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How much light in a new tank

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Barney, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Barney

    Barney Junior Poster

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    Well I have my tank setup, now keeping the CO2 drop checker in the yellow (no fish in there) and using ADA brightly K everyday (with ADA Aquasoil/Powersand).

    I'm not sure how much light I should be using though. Currently I have X4 T5 54w strips that can be turned on in pairs. Currently I have two on for 6 hours and the other two on for 1-2 hours (and a one hour off period in between).

    I think this is possible too much light for a new tank?
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    How big is the tank? An "off period" for lights hasn't been demonstrated to be beneficial, as far as I know. What does help is using lower light for most of the day, with the high light limited to an hour or two in the middle of the day, but no off period.
     
  3. Barney

    Barney Junior Poster

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    Sorry that would have been a useful piece of information to include.....

    Its around 160L, 142cmX36cmX36cm
     
  4. neil1973

    neil1973 Prolific Poster

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    Assuming reasonable reflectors then you have a lot of light for a tank that size. 2 tubes will be plenty for most of your lighting. Beyond that i agree with VaughnH - short high light period and now dark period in the middle.

    regards
    Neil
     
  5. Barney

    Barney Junior Poster

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    So 6 hours is ok with a 1-2 hours burst of all 4 during the middle of the day?

    I know there is way to much light for this size of tank so I was thinking of changing two of the to "Display" lights. I remember years ago seeing lights that weren't meant for plant growth but apparently enhanced fish colour/reflection. Anyone used lights like this or have any recommendations?
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I haven't tried 6 hours of light, but 8 hours works fine. Algae aren't going to know that you intend the "display" lights only for appearance sake. They will just assume it is for their benefit and thank you by giving you some vigorous growth. Joking aside, I know some people use actinic lights for the appearance, even though they are not good plant lights. I don't like that particular appearance, but if you do, that is an option. I don't know of any other lights that would not benefit the plants and algae.
     
  7. jeff5614

    jeff5614 Prolific Poster

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    I'm not meaning to hijack this thread but I have similar question regarding lighting. I have an established 55 gal and currently run 2 x 65 CF 11 hours per day. CO2 is pressurized and I'm dosing EI. Would there be any benefit or detriment to having a 4 hour noonday burst using 4 x 65 while staying with the 2 x 65 for the rest of the lighting period?
     
  8. neil1973

    neil1973 Prolific Poster

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    Depends what you are after really. If you want to see how fast you can grow plants then more light will help, if you just want a nice planted tank and an easy life then IMO your current lighting is plenty.
     
  9. jeff5614

    jeff5614 Prolific Poster

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    I've always lliked the easy life :D
     
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