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T-5 and Plant questions

1233 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bibbels
Hello all,
I have a 90g tank that is reef ready with a 20g sump. I inject presurized co2, via a mj1200 with a needle wheel mod. I beleive the co2 is disolving pretty wheel, at least I dont see many bubbles in the tank. All of the plants I have are growing good but not great, and still have yet to have any pealing. This tank is lighted with 2 T-5ho retrofit kits, for a total of 4-36''(39w) bulbs with individual reflectors. Currently there are 2 18k Daylight bulbs and 2 6500K plant bulbs.

My question is with a total of 156 watts or 1.73 wpg, is this considered moderate to strong lighting?
I know im loosing Co2 threw my sump, but do I need to up injection?

Tanks Specs

-90g reef ready aquarium
-20g sump, only filled with bio-balls and filter floss W/ 750gph return pump
-30lbs of flourite, 40lbs of eco-complete, 30lbs of SMS (soon adding 2 bags of flourit and 1 bag of eco-complete)
-Mj1200 w/mesh mod for Co2 difusion
-2- T-5ho retro kits, total of 156watts at 1.73 wpg
-EI ferts dosing
-weekly water change of approx 30%-50%
-Ph range from 6.6-6.8
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I think you already answered your question. If you are losing co2 in the sump increasing the amount would only increase more lost co2.

Why not switch to canister filtration?
Well you have reflectors, and they're T5 HO, so you may end up having more than 1.73 WPG. So I'd say you have medium light.
The T5 bulbs that you have sound fine, but may not be that great. The 18K one is suspicious to me. Also if these were Giesemann Midday T5HO bulbs I'd have no doubt you have enough light. With all other bulbs you just need to see if they work for you. And you will always need much more wattage with all other bulbs compared to the Giesemann's.

The sump is making the CO2 fizz out of the water at a rate that you don't even suspect. With bioballs and water raining over them I'm surprised you have pH of 6.6 to 6.8. If you have an acurate way to check your pH please double check this 6.6 - 6.8. But it's always better to watch the plants and the tank itself to draw conclusions.

And 2 more things:
- How tall is that tank?
- How long is your photoperiod?

And 2 more things:
- How tall is that tank?
- How long is your photoperiod?

The tank is a standard 90g which is almost 25'' tall. The photoperiod is set via timer at 12hours. This tank was previously a saltwater tank, and the bulbs are all Hagen Glo series bulbs. The LFS I work part time at is going to be getting in the Geismann bulbs shortly and I plan on switching mine out to both the midday and aquaflora.

Can I hook up a canister filter to a standard reef ready tank, its the megaflow series. Or would I have to modify it?

I extended the drain tube going to the sump so it expells the water at the bottom of the sump. Half of the sump is packed from the top to bottom with bio-balls, I guess there in there for more of a mechanical filter.
The test kit I use is the Salifert Ph test kit. I also test it at the shop which also reads the same(API).
You could use a canister filter but there is an added danger because of the built in overflows and evaporative loss. If the water level drops below the top of the inner overflow wall the canister's pump will run dry. A little insurance against this can be gained by lowering the drain standpipe or removing it completely turning the overflow weir into a small sump. Success with this mostly depends on how fast your water level drops and how diligently you watch it.

My main tank is an 125 gal with a 55 gal sump and I can attest to the fact that sumps offgas a lot of CO2. I swiched to Mazzei to finally get my levels up and I go through a 10lb CO2 cylinder every three weeks :puke:. One of these days I plan to do a full tear down of this tank and I'm going to cut out the Megaflow chambers and convert to canister filtration.

BTW, I'm using 4x39 watt T5HO retrofits on my 125 with good results(TEK II). Your tank is a few inches taller but my lights are ~10 inches above the water's surface. My minimum PAR readings are 40 micromoles at the substrate level.
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