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So im getting together a freshwater aquarium to start. Want to make sure i do enough research and have everything before i start. This is were my question come in.

Im going to be doing a planted aquarium. What lights do you guys recommend to work with? 2 24" fixtures or one 48'? What kind of bulbs? I see many T5 fixtures ranging from $100-$500. What do i llok for? I dont need the best, something in the middle is what im looking for.

if you could link me or give me a specific one to look for that would be great. I know i wanna get T5 but im lost after that. I dont need the best but i dont want the worst. something in the middle is what i am looking for. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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So im getting together a freshwater aquarium to start. Want to make sure i do enough research and have everything before i start. This is were my question come in.

Im going to be doing a planted aquarium. What lights do you guys recommend to work with? 2 24" fixtures or one 48'? What kind of bulbs? I see many T5 fixtures ranging from $100-$500. What do i llok for? I dont need the best, something in the middle is what im looking for.

if you could link me or give me a specific one to look for that would be great. I know i wanna get T5 but im lost after that. I dont need the best but i dont want the worst. something in the middle is what i am looking for. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
With a 4' 55g you could use 2 tube utility shop lights with 6500k bulbs. 32w (t-8) 2 fixtures would be around 128 watts for just over 2 w/g. Fixtures cost $8 at home depot and the tubes are $6 for a package of two.

just a thought. But you may want to put the fixtures in some kind of hood to make it look better.


my .02
 

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I am assuming that you are new to planted aquariums. Correct me if I am wrong please. I would stay away from the t-5 lighting for now until you get the feel for things. T-5's have a high output and will easily lead to severe algae outbreaks if the correct plant load is not present.

I would start with the 2 bulb shop light approach with daylight 6500K-10,000K bulbs. If this idea will be visually unappealing ( no canopy to hide shop light.) to you then I would recommend using 2 24" twin tube aquarium lights but with the same light bulbs.
If you are wanting to get a T5 then I would recommend Finnex brand. They are a fairly new low cost fixture and are getting high remarks in the aquarium hobby.
 

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Dan - I recently made the change from a standard strip light to the t5 and as you said in your post, I'm starting to see an outbreak of algae on the leaves of my swords. I've cut back on the hours of lighting a bit and added a few otto's... what else would you suggest? Should I abandon the swords and put something else in the background of my tank?
 

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What size tank? How many bulbs? And what type are the bulbs? Daylight? I would not abandon the swords. You just need to add more plants to balance the tank eco-system. I always suggest to people upgrading to t5 lights that they need to add a few faster growing bunch plants to help absorb any excess nutrients and also helps keep the algae in check until the tank has adjusted to the change. Then the amount of bunch plants can be slowly cut back if and when you want to add other plants. Hornwort in my opinion works the best. But many people do not like the stuff due to the potential shocking phase it may go through. So Ludwigia, Bacopa, Hygrophila would be my next suggestions.
 

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It's a 75 g tank... below is a picture... I'm using the Hagen Glo T5. No daylight reaches the tank it all. My room is in the basement and that's where the tank is.

 

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I was asking whether your bulbs were daylight or not. LOL I do not think it will be a serious problem the algae looks minimal. If there were serious problem there would be algae everywhere. Especially on the driftwood. I am thinking once your bunch plants take hold and start growing the algae on the swords will disappear or the otto's will get it first. I would just keep an eye on it and let me know if it gets worse. You did mention you cut back on light time. How long are you leaving the lights on for?
 

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I had been leaving them on from 7AM to 9PM and feeding the fish twice a day. I know that's too long and too much food. So as of this morning the timer kicks on at 10AM and the lights go off 8PM so that's 10 hours instead of 14 hours and I feed once a day. Should that make a difference?

One other things. I've been using Flourish about twice a week. Should I cut that back or stop it entirely? I thought it was needed to get the plants going.
 

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10 hours is better then 14 for sure. Feeding the fish 2 times really wont change much. The only plant I see in the pic that would benefit from the flourish is the swords because of the iron. Which sword plants require. Don't get me wrong flourish is good but not necessary for your setup. I would cut back on the dosing that may well just be the cause of the algae.
 
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