This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

3.7 watts per gallon Please help

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by tiger lotus, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Hi there i recently outlayed $230 on T5 lighting it consists of 4x54 watt globes. I was hoping to use this over my 4ft 58 gallon tank which is 20 inches deep.

    I'm really worried that i'm going to have toads of problems with algae and dosing. Plus i don't want to be maintaining the tank 24/7.

    I need everyones input and honest opinions.

    Can this work or will i have to try and get a refund and go for lower lighting?

    Can anyone suggest the maximum wattage i should be looking for, that will support HC and higher light plants but won't be so hard to maintain.

    thanks.
     
    #1 tiger lotus, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2010
  2. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Can anyone suggest the maximum wattage i should be looking for, that will support HC and higher light plants but won't be so hard to maintain.
     
  3. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Hi tiger lutus!

    I'm afraid it will be a real challenge to keep the co2 non limiting with that strong light.

    I would recomend switching to 3x54w or even 2x54w if you have reflectors, you will have much less issues with lower light.

    HC will grow at 2wpg 20inch deep (I have it in 45gal under 90wt5 and it grows like a weed)

    Živio!
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Hi,

    +1 on what Ibanez says, 2 x 54 Watts with reflectors is enough for your tank, it will still grow everything you want, including HC. More light than that will just give you more work, more algae and a higher energy bill. More is less ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    1.85 watts, that dosen't sound like much at all are you sure that will be sufficient. I have found a really good deal for about $60 4x39 watts which works out at roughly 2.68 watts per gallon.
    It's a bargain, but i don't want to fall into the same trap i did with the light i already have. Plus this one i'm looking at for $60 it's a much wider light so it spreads the light out much more. evenly which is a positive over the 2 54 watts.

    heres the link http://www.guppysaquariumproducts.com.au/florescent-light-fittings-and-accessories/t5-florescent-light-fittings-supreme-aqua/t5-aquarium-overhead-light-4x39w-hi-output-120cm-long/prod_1534.html
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Well, I don't think the issue here is about the deal you can get, but about what your plants need and your CO2 can handle.
    Needing high light to grow plants is one of the biggest myths around and we try very hard to make people understand that. The WPG rule is not worth more than anyones guess.

    So if you think that the light wouldn't be enough, look at my tank that has only 1,4 WPG. The light was measured with a PAR meter, and the light at the substrate is still more than 2 times what plants minimally need. Yet I don't have any algae or other issues, and I can grow every plant I want.
    I grow 20 inch Stellatus' which are 4 inch in diameter, and that's a plant that's only supposed to grow well with high light, like 2 or 3 WPG.

    If you are still in doubt, buy the lights you want and just use two tubes. if you're not satisfied with it, you just flip the switch.
    regards,
    dutchy
     
    #6 dutchy, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2010
  7. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Your tank is stunning!!

    You must have a really good quality ballast and globes do you?

    If you don't mind me asking which ballast and what globes do you use?

    your tank actually looks really bright.
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Thnx,

    I'm afraid it won't help you to list my hardware, because I'm using European brand hardware that you won't be able to buy there.

    The tank looks bright, and I don't even use reflectors, but a white painted canopy. T5's are pretty intense lights.

    I wouldn't go for 4x 39 watts, because those are too short for your 4 feet tank. 2 tubes could do it, if you take care that the spread is around 6,5 inch per tube. If that's not possible and you have to buy 2 double fixtures, you can always use them in pairs, with a "noon burst" of 2 hours using all 4. Lots of possibillities here. It's easier not to use all the lights you have compared to adding light.

    Regards,
    dutchy
     
  9. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    well if i use 2 light fixture then thats no different to the lighting i have now, because i can switch 2 lights off and have 2 on at the moment with the T5 i have. It's going to be impossible to find lights that are spread out by 6 inches.

    So you don't think the 2 54 watts will be spread out enough when i buy them?
     
  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    With a 20 inch deep tank, the spread may not be enough with just two tubes in a standard fixture. Very tall plants could get into a shaded area. You could use it if you can aim the reflectors to cover the whole tank area, but you can also do that with what you have and use them in pairs.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
    #10 dutchy, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2010
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,693
    Likes Received:
    725
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Here is a 70 Gallon tank ADA etc, with 2 x 54W:

    [​IMG]

    So........you can think about how much light you need.........


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    It's a beautiful tank, However there aren't many high light plants in there. Most of them are low to medium plants.
    I came across a 4ft fixture that holds 3 x54 watts T5 tubes. Giving me about 2.7 watt per gallon. It also has 2 switches allowing me to turn certain globes on and off. so it would allow me to just have 2 x54 watts on and if i ever need a bit of extra light i have it there to use.

    Here it is:
    http://www.guppysaquariumproducts.com.au/florescent-light-fittings-and-accessories/t5-florescent-light-fittings-supreme-aqua/t5-aquarium-overhead-lighting-3x54w-hi-output-1200/prod_260.html
    what do you think?
     
  13. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    If there is such thing as "high light plants", then why can I grow HC and 20 inch tall P. Stellatus with just 1.4 WPG? The only thing "high light" accomplishes is faster plant growth. Good CO2 is of more importance here.

    Well, you know what you need by now. To see if the hardware that you buy meets your demands, that's up to you I think ;)

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
    #13 dutchy, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2010
  14. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Hi,

    Why not just use the two OUTER bulbs of the 4x fixture? That will provide a good spread and be more than enough for any plant you want.

    You seem stuck on WPG and high light vs low light plants. Please note that WPG has NOTHING to do with how much lights the plants receive. You need a PAR meter to determine this.

    You are getting excellent advice and I understand it is not what you have heard before and are resistant to a different message...

    Look at the examples given and others on this site. Noone has a magic potion that makes their plants grow. It is supplying sufficient nutrients for your light levels and good maintenance practices that ensure success..

    Try your 4 bulbs for a few months and see. Then try 2 bulbs for awhile and compare.

    That's your true test...

    I hope you think more about WPG and what it indicates to plants. NOTHING. It is an entirely useless unit of measure for the application.

    C02, macro and micro dosing, good filtration and flow, scheduled maintenance are more important than your light fixture or amount...

    Light is what drives plant growth and the NEED for more c02 and nutrients. This is simply harder to supply at higher light levels. Using less light causes them to grow MORE SLOWLY is all and is easier to supply the LESSER DEMAND. With the plants getting SUFFICIENT and STABLE nutrients, they grow very well....

    Look at Dutchy's fine example again. I see great growth, no algae, plenty of color, and he has plenty of 'high light' plants. I don't see him needing high light. Tom and many others have many 'delicate' or 'tough' species with the same lighting levels (measured by PAR) so we can be comfortable knowing our light levels are similar despite my using MH and Dutchy T5, and Tom a combination of both..

    You are falling for two myths:

    1) that WPG tells you ANYTHING about how much light the plants receive

    2) that there is really such a thing as a 'high light' plant. Replace 'high light' with 'high C02/ferts' and that is more accurate.

    Hope this helps.
     
    #14 Gerryd, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2010
  15. jcardona1

    jcardona1 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    I agree with Gerry. You're getting excellent advice here from people with first-hand experience, but you don't want to believe. They're not here to mislead you. I'm pretty new to the planted tank hobby, and when I first set up my tank a little over a year ago, I was under the influence that I needed a ton of light. I ran a 4x 54w T5HO fixture over my 55g. After a short amount of time I was bombarded with algae. I lost control of the tank. Here's what it looked like:

    View attachment 1569

    After running the UV light for a few days and letting the water clear up, I stopped using two bulbs, and only ran 2x 54w bulbs. Needless to say the algae never came back. This is what the tank looked like until the day I took it down, all on 2 bulbs.

    View attachment 1570

    Listen to what people are saying, 4 bulbs is overkill. 2 will get the job done just fine.

    DSC02040..jpg

    Copy of DSC03570..JPG
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Using lower light will minimize the risk of algae, reduce the amount of dosing required (enriched substrates also help in this regard), and since the plants do not grow as fast, trimming and maintenance is reduced.

    So, it seems like a win for you all around.

    However, I can't say anything about keeping toads at bay :) Aren't cane toads a huge issue down under as an introduced species?

    I think they may prevent LOADS of problems lol

    Try 2 bulbs and see.....
     
    #16 Gerryd, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2010
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Last word I promise...

    Quite a few of us on this site including Tom, Dutchy, myself and others have PAR meters and have taken even simple readings of our various configurations.

    Tom has even taken measurements of ADA show tanks to get their PAR levels.

    I think it is safe to say the following:

    1). Many ADA and other show tanks are in low light territory using PAR as a measurement.
    2). Many fixtures, especially T5 with good reflectors put out WAY more light than folks need or think they have. Read any of my recent posts on this subject.
    3). PAR is equal REGARDLESS of fixture, type, config, bulbs, etc.

    So, we have some understanding of the actual light levels the plants receive, regardless of WPG..

    This is why you see many nice displays with the hanging lights. It is easier to adjust the levels to what you want and tends to keep the PAR lower the higher the lights are mounted.
     
  18. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    :gw add me to the par meter owner list :)
     
  19. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Gilles,

    So, have you used it yet? What PAR do you have? Fixture, details.... Please

    Get with the program already! :)
     
  20. tiger lotus

    tiger lotus Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:54 AM
    Thanks guys

    i really do appreciate your help, even if it dosen't sound like it. I am pretty sure i will go with the 2x54watt fixture.

    I can see the great results your having so, i am convinced now.

    regards

    tim

    P.S Cane Toads started within a 100km radius. Now they have spread across half of the Australia.
    lol
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice