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Is this considered high light?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Mikeybabs, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    Lighting: 24" 2x24W Miro-4 T5 High-Output Retrofit Kit w/ Bulbs

    55 gallon standard

    2" seachems black fluorite sand

    Driftwood and rock decorated

    How many hours should I leave the lights on? Right now it's on 8hrs a day with 4on/off/on/off and seems to be doing ok

    Do I need to worry about co2 or excel?

    Tank is IMO heavily planted but maybe moderately stocked.

    Picture of tank: www.nobodysfat.com/plant.jpg

    Thanks everyone!
    :)

    Any guidance is appreciated. I've only been into planted tanks for about 2 weeks now and still learning :)
     
  2. JJP2

    JJP2 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am not sure if you have a single retro kit, with the 2 bulbs in a line to form basically 1 single line of light or if you have 2 retro kits and 2 lines of lights over the tank.

    If it is 1 line, you're good. If it is 2 lines, you have very high lights and will need CO2 and a fertilization plan and high light/high growth plants.

    your tank looks good. On here, most would say it is lightly planted. You have mostly slow growers, crypts and anubias. With these, you need to stay in low/med light. They will benefit from periodic ferts or root tabs (no need for daily dosing) and always love CO2/Excel but will be fine without it.

    set your light schedule to when you want to view the tank and stay at 8 hrs.

    John
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    My only concern with your light timing is the 4 hr on/off periods. IMO (with no scientific evidence to back it up) is that the plants MAY not process optimally with a daily 4 hr interruption of the assimilation/light cycle.

    I realize that nature gets cloudy, rain, etc but the sun doesn't go OUT daily for 4 hours....

    Your tank looks nice but you may want a few more plants. I would not consider your scape heavily planted.
     
  4. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    thanks so much for your input. it is a single line of bulbs, so would you say its medium light then? i think im going to add some fast growing plants to the mix to make things more interesting, do you have any recommendations? How about water wisteria? can you suggest a dosing plan for the ferts and excel? i want minimal ammount of work! :) right now the lights are set for 8 hours a day and on during the times im viewing the tank... on my days off can i increase the viewing time from 8hrs to 12 hours or is that bad? im only off 2 days a week... any names of nice looking fast growing plants would be great... thanks a lot!
     
  5. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    hmm i have read on other forums that people have had success with the 4on/off/on schedule and people actually switch to it to reduce algae? you might be right though as i can't back anything up with scientific evidence... in fact if i had a choice i would choose to do 8 consecutive hours every day, however the problem is i work from 2:30-11pm every day, 2nd shift, meaning i like to view them for 4 hours before i go into work, then 4 hours when i get out of work, so the schedule is 10:15-2:15pm, and 9:15-1:15am... if i did 8 consecutive hours starting before i went into work then i would be missing them all day long and they would be off when i get home :( thanks for your input though! now that you said that about not being heavily planted i would have to agree and i think i should add some fast growing plants to the mix... thank you! :)
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hmmm... Answer Shopping


    Hi,

    I would regard yours as a low light tank, which is great if you wish to stay away from CO2 and such. I keep tanks with little or no lighting beyond the ambient light (we have lots of that here
    :D).

    I agree with Gerry I would add a few more plants, dose on the light side with the fertz.

    Hmmm if you already had decided other forums had the “right” answer (the one you wanted) why bother asking the question here?
    :confused:

    Gerry gave you an honest answer based on his experience and understanding.

    Personally I agree with him, I am aware there are some, particularly those that like very high lighting claim “siesta” times allow the higher light without algae. Okay if that is there experience, fine.

    I agree with Gerry I just do not think that "siesta" times provide optimum situation for the plants, particularly at lower light levels.
    :gw

    Biollante
     
    #6 Biollante, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2011
  7. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    Hello. Thank you for your reply. I didn't say the other forums had the right answer I was just stating what I read on other forums to be a possible answer. I was questioning this on this plant forum because I felt like I would get a more accurate answer...

    So you guys think it's bad to do the 4 on/off/on schedule?

    Also I was told by the person selling my lights that they would grow almost any plant and they are moderate to high lighting and not to pay a huge deal of attention to the WPG rule. He said the reflectors make them intense or something like that. Me being a newbie doesnt really know who to listen to lol

    If they are low lighting I will be happy because I don't want co2 and i just want to dose lightly on the ferts.

    Since you said dose lightly is there a specific guide or amount you can direct me to?

    I plan on adding more plants soon... What is a siesta time?

    Thanks everyone for helping out a newbie :)
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    BTW, when cloudy condition exist, the PAR is still around 500-1200mmol.......or a LOT of light..........as Gerry stated, the sun does not go out for a few hours, this is not in the middle of the day, it is much more typical late in the afternoon/evening.

    I think many folks that honestly do not know and do not KNOW me or Gerry from Adam....so they are going to ask....the web loses some of the innocence we all have when we are new to all this. It can come across wrong, believe me......folks think I am very different on line that when they meet me in person. I come across harsh on line. Who's to say who's right?

    Well, you can convince the honest folks. Be straight with them. The others? Nope. No convincing the faithful believer.
    A siesta will not hurt a tank.....but I've never once been able to show it helps a tank either.........That darn P. Hiscock put it in a book and everyone thinks it is some "real solution".
    There is no support for it.

    There are many examples where the treatment neither helps, but importantly, does not harm the tank etc.........so a few folks will get some correlation and their tank improves, but others try it and find no impact.
    You can try this several times also. This is not a bad treatment to test, it cost no money!

    So you are not out anything, but you gain nothing also.
    It's more a marketing thing that appeals to wishful thinking and sounds somewhat reasonable till you realize how much light is still coming down and into the water even on a very cloudy day.
     
  9. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    Thank you for replying! Since you say it has no negative impact then I will continue to do the 4 on/off/on routine.... The only reason I'm doing it is because it fits in with my work schedule better. Otherwise I would continue to do 8hrs in a row everyday cuz it feels more natural but I don't know the science behind it and am open to honest explanations

    Thx everyone for supporting my newbism:)
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    BTW, I think that 48 watts of t5ho on a 55 gal IS high light and this may cause issues going forward. As far as a 'siesta' this is simply a rest period for the plants as they will 'shut down' when the lights are off for 4 hours. My concern is that the plants now need to wake up twice daily.

    If the plants remain healthy then no reason to change. I think the high light will cause issue going forward. Planting much more heavily will help somewhat. However, light is what drives nutrient demand for c02 and macro/micro ferts.

    Since you don't have c02 this could be a problem with the high light.

    What about using only 1 bulb and leaving as is?
     
  11. JJP2

    JJP2 Lifetime Charter Member
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    He has 2 - 24 watt bulbs forming a single line over the tank. He can't raise them due to being in the canopy. If he goes to 1 bulb, he would have to center it and then would have dark ends.

    I believe he is in the med light range with this. I see this, as on my 125, I run only 2 80W bulbs and don't have a light issue. I have them spread out to cover as evenly as possible.
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Understood about the single bulbs...I think we should agree to disagree re: high vs med light :) Without using a PAR meter we cannot say for certainty anyway.

    IME I have had a 55 gal and used T12 to light it and was able to grow many plants with and w/o c02 usage. I know for a FACT that T5HO produces a higher PAR and a 55 (or any normal tank really) is not as large/deep as we think when it comes to lighting it. So, my experience suggests MAYBE higher light THAN needed...

    Too many factors make up the balance of light and to get the 'right' amount for each aquarium. It is good to exchange opinions but w/o some PAR readings we are both guessing IMO :)

    I agree it is tough with a canopy to do anything. Dark ends can be overcome with plant species and scaping...but aesthetically that may not be pleasing to the owner...and THAT is important lol

    Thanks!
     
    #12 Gerryd, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2011
  13. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    IMO and according to a chart i referenced, I believe this is medium light... Possibly high light but probably in the medium-high range...

    Thank you all for your opinions and sharing experience... I know there are many factors to consider so it's hard to tell...

    Can we all agree that this is definitely not low light though? Assuming it's in the medium to high range I'm wondering if I am going to have problems if I don't use a co2 system?

    Should I plant the tank heavier for better success? Also... With rooted plants... Is it bad to move them a lot to redecorate?

    I'm considering to eliminate the siesta time and do a straight 8hrs everyday...

    Also is it bad that these lights aren't fan cooled?

    Thanks everyones!:)
     
  14. JJP2

    JJP2 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry... no problem at all. You are very right that there are numerous variables in this and we know very few of them.

    Algae ... more plants will be a benefit to help reduce the algae. Gerry and others recommended more and fast growing ones in previous posts. Each tank is different so its unknown if yours will want/require CO2 or Excel. It never hurts, but is expensive at first.

    Rooted plants .... all plants root, just some like crypts, swords, aponogetons have massive root systems once they get established. Pulling these up will dislodge other things, create a crater and cloud the water with mumb and substrate. At the point you are at, you won't have this too bad for a while. Move then often before they get well established. Other plants are not so bad at all.

    Fans ..... I think that depends on where you mounted the ballasts for the lights. These are what gets hot. If they are in the canopy, you will have very hot air over the water and that will warm your tank. If they are in the stand, the lights will still warm the water but to a much lesser degree.


    Keeping the lights cool either by fans or other ventilation is suppose to prolong bulb life and increase brightness. I have no proof to either, but the one of prolonging the life makes common sense.


    John
     
  15. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Having two 24 inch T5HO bulbs placed end to end on 48 inch aquarium is slightly less than having one 48 inch T5HO bulb (2 x 24w vs 1 x 54w).

    According to Hoppy's chart, one T5HO placed on top of a 20" tall aquarium like the 55g, this is medium lighting. If it was raised 4 inches, this would be low light.

    Hoppy's chart
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    Thank you. That's exactly the chart I was going by... Now that I've establish that it's most likely mediumish light... My next question is can I approach things with the no co2 method or should I use the excel that I have on hand? I know excel will speed things up but I want minimal amount if work...

    Also what should the water change schedule be like? How many nitrates should I be aiming for and can I get by with no water changes?

    Thx everyone. Very help forum. Hopefully I can help others when I'm not so much of a newb :)
     
  17. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Can you raise your lights 4 inches? This would put you in the low light category. Or, at least raise them some.

    Going to low light or somewhere near that may be the ticket that you are looking for.
     
  18. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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    They actually might already be raised approximately 4 inches cuz they are mounted inside a home made wooden fixture that I spray painted... I'll have to see how much above the top of the tank they are when I get home from work :) it shouldn't be hard to raise them 4 inches. So am I measuring from the top of the tank to the reflectors?
     
  19. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Hum ... I think that you measure to the bulb. Heck, either would be close enough.

    It can't be medium light now. If the bulbs are raised above the top of the tank, you are somewhere between low light and medium light.
     
    #19 Left C, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2011
  20. Mikeybabs

    Mikeybabs Junior Poster

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