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lighting question

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  • lighting question

    I have a 50G high tank (36x15x21) and currently have a 96w CF lamp, which really doesn't cover enough area. I would like to have about 2wpg, so I can grow most plants well, and came up with the following 2 options:

    1) 3 x 39w T5s (2.4wpg)
    2) get a 2nd 96w CF and perhaps put them on timers and switch them alternately on and off during the day, perhaps leaving them both on for a few hours each day (1.9wpg)

    I would think that option #1 would be the best, but if option # 2 is almost as good, I might go with it, because it would save me money.

    I am planning on buying either a retrofit kit or individual parts and building the lights into a DIY canopy. I'm not much of a carpenter, but my 96w CF setup came out OK.

    Any thoughts? Is there a better option than my 2 above? Thanks for any advice you can give.
    Last edited by tedr108; 01-08-2008, 02:59 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Ted,

    What type of tank are you trying to make?

    CO2, Excel, Low tech non-carbon?

    This will help with responses.


    • #3
      either option would be suitable depending on the specs Mooner is stating. if you read some of Tom's recommendations for "expectations", you will answer this question for yourself. do you want a fast growing tank that requires a lot of work... or do you want a slower growing tank that requires less? if you are dosing CO2 and making sure the plants receive enough nutrients, either setup seems fine.

      the idea of having the lights alternate was something i tested. i tried to emulate the range of light throughout the day with some red 5000K lights in the morning and evening and 6700k to 10000k lights during midday. unfortunately i did not test enough methods on dosing nutrients and all i got was algae

      hope that helped.
      100g Wide (aquarium)
      flora: micranthemum umbrosum + ludwigia repens + lysimachia nummularia + hygrophila salcifolia
      fauna: 1 hyphessobrycon serpae + 1 peckoltia vittata + 7 chromobotia macracanthus + 5 crossocheilus siamensis

      There are no stupid questions... only stupid answers.


      • #4
        Thanks ... for your advice and patience ... sorry I did not provide better info. Duh!

        Yes, I'm keeping the CO2 at 30ppm with a canister setup and I am using EI. I am enjoying the rapid growth that I am getting now (you can practically watch some of these things grow!) ... getting a little tired of moving the light everyday a number of times to get full coverage. If a second 96w CF with both on timers has potential, I think I'll give that a try since it is cheaper for me -- even DIY lighting is rather expensive! Even if this doesn't work well, I can always use the 96w for another tank sometime.

        Another question: Can the polished aluminum reflectors be cleaned with regular window cleaner and a cotton cloth? Mine is getting water spots on it and I'm sure that cuts down on light.