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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I need some help with my lighting needs. Here's a little bit of information about my tank, it is a heavily planted 55G aquarium with a pressurized CO2 system and dosing dry fertilizers NPK Trace FE Ca Mg similar to the SI method. The lighting system is a Current Orbits 4X65w with (6500K bulbs), I am currently running 2 bulbs for 10hrs from 10:30AM-8:30PM and the second set of bulbs for 3 hrs from 1:30PM-4:30PM. FACT: You can see my plants pearling a little bit around 1:00PM with the first set of lights on but when the second set hits that's when all the plants start pearling like crazy. FACT: I am able to grow HC ‘Cuba’ and Eleocharis parvula with only 2 bulbs on. QUESTIONS: When all 4 bulbs are on the total WPG is 4.73 and I was wondering if that's too much light? Should I run the 4 bulbs for the entire time or only the first 2 and skip the second set? Run 2 bulbs and increase the duration of the second set from 3 hrs to X# of hrs? Please let me know what you guys think your opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
 

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If the system is working for your tank, then go with it. Bottom line is whether your plants are growing healthily and you have no algae issues. If the answer to those 2 is yes, then you're golden. If you start to see problems, then adjust accordingly. My 2 cents.
 

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Very high light does create more work for you with more frequent trimming but if you don't mind the work or the extra dosing then go for it. Stick with what works if everything is going well. No two tanks are the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, I've had this tank, lights, and CO2 for about 4 years now and I've been able to grow many plant species including difficult ones, and believe it or not I've never added any type of fertilizers so as you can probably guess many of them showed a sign of deficiency including holes in leafs and then falling off. On the other hand the easiest plant species (Java fern and anubias) all died within 1-2 months, faster growing plants must have taken all the minute quantities of nutrients found on tap water and slow growers clearly didn't have a chance. I love slow growers because of the low amount of work involve and they also look so natural and wild, my tank's plant mass is a little over 50% composed of many species of java ferns (3), crypts (9), anubias (6), moss (6) and bolbitis, the rest are foreground plants and some stems mostly on the left side of the tank. I can really see the difference fertilizers make, all of the slow growers that used to die after a short time are now doing great and growing really fast. The only algae problem I really had was with BSA growing on all of the anubias leafs and this week for the first time I reached 10-15ppm NO3, 1ppm PO4 and immediately 90% of all the BSA disappeared. Thank God I’ve never had any hair algae, filament, etc. I will keep the same regiment of having the main lights for 10hrs and might increase the second set ½ hr at a time for a maximum of 6hrs total and see how the plants and algae respond. Thank you.
 

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I say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I would leave the light schedule alone and enjoy.
I agree. Don't push your luck by increasing the light time. You might be asking for trouble. Considering your tank is well established it would be heartbreaking to have a massive algae outbreak and have to start all over. At high light levels things happen fast, including algae outbreaks.
 
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