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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, this is my first post here, but I've been lurking for a while. I've been keeping fish off and on for 20+ years, but recently decided to get more into planted aquariums. I bought Diana's book and have read most of it.

OK, on to the question. I ordered an All Glass triple tube T8 strip light for my 55 gallon el natural project. The problem was that it was on back order. So yesterday, I changed my order to a Hagen GLO T5 dual strip w/ 2x54w T5HO blubs.

Now, after a bunch more research I realize I should have just ordered the version with a single 54w T5HO. I would like to get your input on this. Should I just stay with the 2x54w and have a bunch of floating plants, shorter photo period etc? Will I have major algae problems no matter what?
 

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One T5HO is all you need on a 55 gallon. If you go with the two tube fixture, floating plants will help. You can also raise the fixture above the top of the tank; 4" to 6" should put you back in the medium range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the quick reply Michael. I've thought about raising it up and going with a bunch of floating plants. It would be pretty cool too.

Also, I might be able to just run one tube in this fixture or overdrive a couple T5NOs for reduced lighting. As soon as I get the thing I'm going to open it up and look at the ballast to see if it's safe to run a single tube.

What about running a one of those actinic bulbs with a 6700k. Will that effectively reduce the usable light?

Maybe I should have posted this in the Lighting section... LOL
 

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I think 2x54w T5HO bulbs will be fine. I have a 75 gallon tank that has similar dimensions to a 55 gallon tank (it's 18'' deep vs 12'' deep and, most importantly, also 22'' tall) and I use 2x54w T5HO bulbs. My lighting fixture is raised ~6'' above the water level, though, because I have my TEK light fixture suspended. This tank does not get any outside light. The most important aspect of your tank, IMHO, is the depth; Because 55 gallon tanks are taller than normal tanks (22''), you're going to need more light to effectively penetrate to the bottom of the tank. (I always struggled growing plants in that tank until I updated the lighting from T8 to T5HO.)

I wouldn't bother w/ the actinic bulb; It really doesn't contribute anything to your plants and you may not like the way it makes your plants look. If you notice you are getting algae and suspect it's from too much ligth, I would just run the lightbulbs for a shorter, total amount of time; A midday siesta may be wise.
 

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Well most scenarios in terms of lighting are doable. It really depends on how much time you want to spend with the tank and how much flexibility you want with plants. Since this is in the el natural forum and you won't be using co2, fert dosing, etc. I would keep it to one bulb. The best situation is to have a two bulb fixture that you could run one light and keep the other one on for an hour or so in the event you need it depending on plants you grow or if you change your mind and want a higher light setup down the road.
 

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Hm, I've been running 2x54W T5-HO since June and have lately been starting to notice a decline in plant health. Too much light for no CO2? It's on a 55 gallon as well. Right now I have Dwarf Sag and Amazon swords, and am planting with Limnophila Indica today. Should I drop down to 1 bulb? I'm unsure at the moment how high above the water surface my fixture is, will have to check later.

Sorry to hijack thread.
 

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i also have a similar set up here in my office.
2 t5ho bulbs odyssea fixture. 1 10000k and 1 growlight.
tank dimensions are 48" L x 18" W x 15" water level.
lights are 19" from subs.

i also have more or less same plants as u have and they grow fast.
lights are 5hrs on, 4hrs off and 5 hrs on
no direct sunlight
i have a bit of brown algae but that's ok. keeps the ottos well fed :)

im also following D. Walstad's book.
good luck to you dundee
 

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No problem Marconis. I would love to hear your input. What kind of photo period are you using?
I'm using an 8.5hr photoperiod. I have a bad habit of leaving the blinds open, and the morning hours allows a lot of sunlight to get through...nothing direct, but enough ambient light that the plants probably take advantage. I need to make sure I have the blinds shut completely, as I think that may be affecting things. That, on top of not having any fish! October can't come soon enough.
 

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I'm using an 8.5hr photoperiod. I have a bad habit of leaving the blinds open, and the morning hours allows a lot of sunlight to get through...nothing direct, but enough ambient light that the plants probably take advantage. I need to make sure I have the blinds shut completely, as I think that may be affecting things. That, on top of not having any fish! October can't come soon enough.
how about one light on for the 8 hours and one light on for 2-3 hours around the middle of the period?
i halso have a 75 with three bulbs but i run some co2 and somewhat add ferts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK so I just received the Hagen GLO 2x54w T5HO with ZooMed UltraSun(6500K) and FloraSun(5000K) bulbs today:



Very nice unit, built solid and is aesthetically pleasing, but I'm returning it because it's defective (turns on for 5 sec and shuts off). Plus, for what I'm trying to do I'd have to mount that light 12" above my tank and limit the photo period. Also, with it mounted that high it would light up half the room too. So, I'm sending it back and getting the AGA Triple Tube:



Thanks PetSolutions!
With the AGA Triple Tube I can lay it right on top of the glass tops to reduce light outside the tank. I can also run three different bulbs for a nice spread spectrum. The plan is
- 1 Philips 5000K from Home Depot - cheap! =)
- 1 Philips 6500K from Home Depot - cheap! =)
- 1 AGA Full Spectrum 8000K (They come with the unit)
 

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How about low lighting plant requirements in an 80gallon/// I have (a) Power Glo t8 I used for a few years and no real growth shown except plant seeding and sprouts, now as of the beginning of this month I purchased a 30 watt led to see if it make a diffrence
 
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