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Discussion Starter #1
I am upgrading the lighting on my 29 gallon to either a 24x4 t5ho fixture with ind. reflectors or a single 150watt Metal halide lamp. One of my main concerns is healthy bottoms of stems plants. Id like to get as much light as possible to the bottom of the plants and have them in tip top shape for aquascaping. For all intents and purposes would the t5 fixture get a lot of light to the bottom of my plants to give me top quality looking plants for my aquascape or would the halide serve my purpose better? Im not really concerned with heat althoguh it is an issue, but p[lant quality is top priority. Lets assume that my co2 and fert regimen is religious as I am a pretty experienced planted tank keeper. I just want to have my red plants, red all the way down to the bottom. Any thoughts here? I want to make this upgrade count here. Thanks guys!!!:prayer:
 

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What are the particular T5 and MH/HQI bulbs that you are interested in using?

The 24" T5's can be staggered so that the whole length of the aquarium recieves some light or they can be centered.

The MH/HQI light spread general recommendations are one bulb for every 24". You have 30" to deal with.

Your aquascaping design will play a major portion in your lighting selection. Have you decided how you want your aquarium to look?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
im looking at the catalina solar t5ho fixture with individual reflectors it uses 24" bulbs. The halide im considering is a 150x1 Clip on with an arm similar to the viper one.
 

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Im playing this game right now with my fixtures. I only keep narrow java fern and anubias on the edges of the tank and my higher light plants in the middle, which isnt an issue although it would be nice to get an even light spread through out. DO you think If i raised the MH up a hittle higher I can get more spread or would the depth it penetrates suffer?
 

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Long linear bulb lights will lose less intensity per inch of water depth than will nearly point sources of light. But, you can easily compensate for that by using a higher intensity light. Personally I would use the T5 bulb fixture, since it will give more uniform lighting to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
my question is will my plant quality vary between halide lighting and t5ho? Would there be a difference in terms of growth and plant quality?
 

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my question is will my plant quality vary between halide lighting and t5ho? Would there be a difference in terms of growth and plant quality?
If you provide the plants with adequate CO2 and fertilizers, they will do well with either type of light. If you are planning an aquascape featuring a heavily planted center, with only lighly planted areas around that, the MH is probably best, but if you plan to utilize the entire footprint with heavy plantings, the T5's will likely be best. But, the difference might not be visible. Once you have enough light, more light just causes faster growth.
 
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