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Newbie on forum, need some advice with T5HO lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Hugefoot, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Hugefoot

    Hugefoot Junior Poster

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    Hi guys,
    This is my first post on this forum so I just wanted to say how amazed I am by the amount of information available and the overall positive atmosphere. I have 12 months experience with aquariums so I can safely say that I am a newbie.
    Now, to the issue at hand.
    I am planing an iwagumi setup in a 180 liter aquarium (47.5 gallons), with a length of 40" and a height of 16". I have a CO2 tank as well as liquid fertilizers.

    With this in mind, here are the issues that I would need a little help with (most, if not all of which are lighting related):
    - I have seen several topics mentioning the PAR way of measuring effective lighting. I have tried to find the basic information covering this topic on the forum but I have yet to be successful. If you would be so kind as to point me into the right direction, I would really appreciate it; - FOUND IT
    - Most websites set interpretable criterion in regards to amount of lighting required by specific plants (low, medium, high, etc) - how does this translate into the PAR thing mentioned above? - FOUND IT
    - I can technically use 4*39 W T5HO 85 cm fluorescent lights. Would this be overkill, algae prone or would id be all right? - FOUND IT
    - last but not least, taking into account that i use liquid fertilization, how detrimental will the use of neutral quartz substrate be to my plant growing?

    I would like to grow Hemianthus Callithricoides 'Cuba', would that be easily accomplished or should I look to alternatives for a good carpet plant (if yes, which ones)?
    Thanks in advance
     
    #1 Hugefoot, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2012
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    You already seem to know that most questions can be found if one takes the time to look around :) Anyway I'd start with just two T5's with good reflectors. An Iwagumi scape is very open so no shading issues.

    Since plants can uptake nutrients with their leaves, you could use any substrate you want, although some plants do their preferred uptake through the roots (Stauro, crypts) Anyway they will grow even in an inert substrate.

    Typical Iwagumi plants are also Staurogyne, Glosso or short hairgrass. I find HC to be quite a handfull since it's short roots easily uproot when doing initial planting or maintainance .
     
    #2 dutchy, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2012
  3. Hugefoot

    Hugefoot Junior Poster

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    Thanks for your answer dutchy.
    I had looked for a while before posting and have found the answer on what probably is the old tom barr forum (plantedtank.net).
    Anyway, as it stands i have a makeshift reflector on my lid which kind of looks like an aluminum plate glued on there. What I was wondering is that if i start the tank with this reflector and then switch to brand reflectors like JBL or such, would that be a huge difference (meaning, enough to get me into algae problems) or would it be allright?
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    A good reflector typically bends the light down to the tank because of the curvature. How much that exactly differs with your current setup, is hard to say, but that they will be better, is obvious. As soon as you add them, add one by one and take a week in between.

    No problem if you add them later.
     
  5. Hugefoot

    Hugefoot Junior Poster

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    Thank you for your quick reply.
     
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