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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I want to create an El Natural tank in this tank (Fluval Osaka 41 gal, W24''XD18''XH24''). The tank is particularly deep, but we cannot accommodate longer tank in our apartment right now.

This tank comes with a 2X24 watt T5HO, probably because you need this kind of high output bulbs to reach the bottom. The tank also does not have a lid/canopy, and it won't be placed where sunlight can touch it (no space there). Although my LFS recommends to provide CO2 injection, I'm not willing to go down that path: it would no longer be an El Natural tank (high maintenance, degradation of substrate, etc.). My question is then: do you think the two T5HO bulbs will provide too much light? Can it "burn" the plants if there is not enough CO2?

Thanks,
Bart
 

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If you are dead set on this tank being used only for low light, ask your LFS if you can swap the T5s for a dual-bulb T8 hood. The T8s would be a lot cheaper and you would save some money!

If your stuck with the T5 hood, then just run one bulb. I'm sure that would be plenty of enough light, but hopefully someone with more experience will chime in!:D
 

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I thought I would give some update about the T5-HO light.

Until now, I have been very pleased with the light. Only 48 watts in total, but my plants are growing like crazy AND I can keep red plants, something I've been unable to do in the past.

The tank is two months old now, algae showed after 6 weeks, but disappeared last week as the snails ate them and the plants outgrew them.

Because the tank does not get sunlight and is very deep, the T5-HO was probably a savior. My only complaint is that it is a very concentrated source of light, so all the plants tend to bend toward it: I can see how an alternative source of light like sunlight might help in getting a more balanced look.

I started with 10 leaves of duckweed and they now cover almost 20% of my tank surface. Most of my submerged plants emerged from the surface after 7 weeks and we are talking about a 24 inches tall tank there (they grew to a point where I had to do a big trim job because the tank was just too dark and the lower plants and leaves did not get any light, water current was reduced a lot, etc.). And this, with only potting soil (no ferts nor CO2 injection) :)

I'll post some pictures in a week with a more complete description in another thread (it turned out that light was not a problem, but nitrite, parasites, decomposition and, yes, dragonfly nymphs, were sources of worries...).
 
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