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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
72x18x18

Needing to get some lighting going.... (NO) Fluorescent going to be alright?
Looking to probably do two 36 inch fixtures. w/ 4 bulbs total.
Whats the best budget way to get lighting on it?

I also have two penguin emporer 400...Enough filtration? The tank is not drilled.
Going to run a tropical community.

Got to make a stand still and make a hood. Anyone got plans, or a link to some?

Stoked on the larger tank.

Here is a pic
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have been scourin the net to find some inexpensive T5 lighting solutions. Most of them seemed to be out of my budget. I came across T5 lights tailored towards growing plants indoors.

Sun Blaze 54W 4FT T5 Fluorescent Strip Light - Plantlighting Hydroponics

Looking to go w 4 of these spaced out...Will it work alright? I understand that it may be beneficial to upgrade the bulbs to the correct spectrum if I get them.

May opt for reflectors as well......

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks all,

Apoligize for not clarifying...It's going to be FW, and a small fish tropical community. I'm looking to get around 25 tetra, 5 cory cat, 4 pictus cat, 8 glo fish, 3 otocinclus, 1 rubbermouth pleco, maybe a couple clown loach, maybe some swords too. I'm looking to build apeaceful aquarium.

I like growing plants in the aquarium and am trying to assure I have enough lighting.

Two top options are:
1) Two fixtures 4 lights total: Current USA Nova Extreme T5 X2 Freshwater Aquarium Lighting Fixture, 2X54 Watt, 48 inch about $225 total...216 watts

2) Two fixtures 4 lights total: Standard Lowes T12 fluorescent fixtures w/ 40 watt plant bulbs. About $60 total...160watts

48" length works perfect over the cross braces..
I want to run an open top.
I worry that the T12 will not be enough wattage to keep the plants healthy.
The size of lights aren't an issue.
I love the price of the T12 setup.
 

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Your #1 above is exactly what I am running on my 75g tank. This is close to 3wpg but I am also running CO2. I also have it so that all four bulbs are not on for the full 10hrs. On eset comes on earlier and the other shuts off earlier.


You will be overlapping the 2 fixtures over 2/3 of your tank so even though 216wpg comes out to 2wpg, it is actually a bit less since they are not a full 72" across the whole tank. However, even 2wpg is a bit high unless you are planning to use pressurized CO2 in your setup since these are T5 lights. ;)
 

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HOw too high? too much light is possible?
Yes too much light (and on for too long) is the number one cause of algae! With live plants a balance has to exist between lighting, nutrients, and CO2. With low level lights (1-1.5wpg) you can get away with not having to add CO2 or much nutrients because your plant grow is very slow, however, once you begin to add more light you need to increase the other 2 or you will end up with an imbalance. This imbalance is what causes various algae blooms.

T5 lights have more penetrating power than other types of bulbs, so their wpg is actually decieving.
 
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