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Hey all, I just got into the planted side of the hobby and profess extreme ignorance, so bear with me. Yesterday I replaced the stock fluorescent hood on my 46 gallon bow front with a T5 HO system. Needless to say, it looks awesome, but I don't really know how much to expect out of it.

Up until this point I've had some low light species growing, (horribly), and only a couple echinodorus and a microsorum survived 6 months of paltry fluorescent single-tube lighting. So yesterday along with the new system I picked up some more hardy species...how long should I expect to wait before seeing significant changes in growth rate? I don't know how crazy these HO systems are but the salesman was acting like they are a miracle in a box.

I understand that I may eventually want to do CO2 injection, but again, the clerk was acting like that may not even be entirely necessary, and the main thing is the lighting. Well, plants do both light and dark reactions in photosynthesis, so isn't CO2 injection just as important? And can I get by with just one of those little yeast fermentars one can pick up at Petsmart?

Last question: fertilizer. I have substrate fertilizer but have not been adding liquid. Should I start doing so? And if I should, what product should I go with?

Thanks for humoring a noob!

Trish
 

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Queen Platy
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My friend upgraded his lighting to T5HO also and within 2-3 days all his plants went from yellow to green. If your watts per gallon is higher than 2.5wpg then you will have a bit of algae problem if you are not using CO2. Remember since you have HO, you calculate that by doubling the watts it gives off. So if the bulbs say 23 watts, its actually equivalent to 46 watts and so forth. If you have low or moderate light requirement plants CO2 isnt necessary. If you have 3+wpg high light, I would recommend it.

IMO DIY yeast CO2 is not adequate. I used 3 bottles hooked up together by series and injected it in a 20g tank and I still had algae. Algae stopped growing after I introduced pressurized. Also, the cost of the sugar got to me, I use 6 cups of sugar every 2 weeks -.- BUT it is better than nothing and builds knowledge and experience :)
 
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