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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 72 gallon new bow front. Flourite substrate :painkilleand Rena XP3 canister filter. Literally, nothing else is in the tank yet. I do know I want to have plenty of mosses and nice green flora.
I don't know what light system to purchase. I've been told that I probably need about 2 watts per gallon which puts me at 144 watts:flame: (150 set up).
Anybody have any advice as toward a good light set up? I'd prefer it new but will consider all deals (I have a limited budget). I do NOT want to mess with CO2 injections so I'm just looking for enough light to provide for my tank which will house large aggressive fish.
:flame:Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum, Adam.

As for the lights, the best that exists now and the best bang for the buck is T5HO. The WPG don't hold good anymore with lower wattage and HO/VHO/PC bulbs providing a lot more light output than the previous generation of Fluorescent lights.

If you're a handyman, you can check out the DIY section and build the lights by yourself for a lower cost. No matter what, I'd seriously recommend the Giesemann Middday bulbs for the tank. You can get the whole setup at ReefGeek. Niko, a valued member, in this forum is the best to pose your questions to.
 

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BassMan,

If you don't want CO2 then the safest bet is to use lower light. I would suggest a single 54 watt Giesemann Midday T5HO bulb. It's 4 ft. long. If you are handy and can DIY it will cost you about $80 for bulb + reflector + ballast + cord.

The Giesemann Midday bulb is not exactly low light despite what the wattage suggests. With the reflector installed it can provide enough light to read a newspaper about 30 ft. away from the bulb. So another option is to use a Normal Output T5 - T5NO. Here in Dallas I can buy the 28 watt 4 ft long Sylvainia 5000K T5NO for only $5 each. The ballast is about 15.

Keep in mind that mosses grow under crazy conditions. How does 6 months damp (no other water) in a ziplock bag on the window sill sound? And it grows. So, knowing that don't try to hit the mosses with a lot of light.

For plants other than mosses it would be best to get any kind of Java Fern.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks niko and gravy!
I hope to have some other plants in the set up, such as java ferns, but my concern lies with the size and behavior of my fish. I'm weary of placing plants in the tank with long delicate stems that my fish can break easily. Some top water lillies and well placed mosses and hopefully ferns should go great so long as I provide adequate cover elsewhere in the tank. I'm in the process of purchasing my bogwood and rocks so I should have a better idea soon as to where I can place everything.

I clicked the link to ReefGeek but am a little confused as to which set up I would need. Could someone please send me a direct link to the 48inch set up I should purchase? I can easily put together a set up but I want to make sure it would include all the proper parts; ie ballast, bulbs, reflector, tank legs, and light housing.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Bulb:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5...00K_Midday_Sun_T5_HO_Fluorescent_by_Giesemann

Reflector:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5...t_Reflector_for_1-54W_Bulb_by_Sunlight_Supply

Ballast (This ballast is made for PC bulbs but works for one 54 watt bulb. If you need more look at the other ballasts in the same category - next one up is Workhorse 5 (for 2x54 watt bulbs):
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/Pa...ompact_Fluorescent/Workhorse_Long_3_by_Fulham

Or this is a ballast made for t5HO:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/Pa..._T5_High-Output_Ballast_by_Universal_Lighting

End caps:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/Pa...ture_Proof_End-Caps_(Pair)_by_Vossloh_Schwabe

If you will be using screws to attach the waterproof end caps to wood for exam;e It's easier to mount the caps using these mounts:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/Pa...for_Vossloh_Schwabe_End-Caps_(Pair)_by_IceCap

Or these much cheaper but non-waterproof end caps:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/Pa...cent_Twist-Lock_Sockets_(Pair)_by_AAG_Stucchi

Cord:
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/Pa...rescent/Powercord_w!_Grounded_Plug_(6_ft)_by_

Wiring diagrams:
http://fulham.com

--Nikolay
 

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Hi Niko,

I did AH Supply DIY for two of my tanks, but I have been thinking of going T5 for my next aquarium. Thank you for those links, they saved me a lot of time and effort!
 

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For what you are talking about having as far as fish and plants, you don't really need anything more then a nice plant spectrum bulb in the hood that came with the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For what you are talking about having as far as fish and plants, you don't really need anything more then a nice plant spectrum bulb in the hood that came with the tank.
I don't have even that light so I figure I'd play it safe with the HO set up in case of future plant additions.
 
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