set up of 4ft tank - questions

Klopek

Junior Poster
Sep 27, 2007
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Hello all

First time poster here.

I have an empty 4ft tank (48x18x18) that's been sitting empty for over a year. It must be filled!! I want to set up a lower light lower CO2 tank - fish load will eventually end up being on the medium to medium high side.

1. Lighting:

I'm considering one of these two; coralife 2x65 PC or the new Hagen T5 HO 2x54. Will this give enough light to grow a variety of plants well? (I'm not going the AH supply route this time cuz I don't want to make a hood and I want to try something new. I've used them before and of course think they are great)

2. Substrate:

I have Schultz's Soil Clay Conditioner. So I'd like to use that. Question is, is it better to leave it on its own or put down a soil underlayer? I have an established 15 g tank that I want to transfer everything to the 4ft'er including mixing in the old substrate as well.

This is just the start!

Thanks - Frank
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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That is about a 65 gallon tank, according to my calculations. For a low light tank the T5 lights would be too much, and the coralife light might be too much also. Something less than 100 watts total would work better, in my opinion.
 

Klopek

Junior Poster
Sep 27, 2007
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Canada
Hoppy,

Thanks for the reply.

How many watts do you suggest? A double fluoresent will run at about 80watts and a single T5 HO will be 54 watts. Mind you the 2x54 T5 HO is just slightly over 100.

Any comments as to the substrate?

Thanks
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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T5HO fixtures give more light per watt than CF lights do, so I would rate it as giving more light than the 2 X 65 watt fixture. The 80 watt might not be enough, considering they would be T12 bulbs with no reflectors to speak of. A single 96 watt AH Supply type set up would be about right, in my opinion, even though it is a bit short for a four foot long tank. This isn't an exact science in any case, so at best you are guessing about what the optimum light is.
 

Klopek

Junior Poster
Sep 27, 2007
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Canada
Understood - thanks

I agree that the 96 from AH will be short so I don't want to do that.

How about these:

Coralife has freshwater twin T5's NO at 28 watts each. Two of these fixtures would give me 4X28 so 112 watts but of normal output bulbs. Using two fixtures I could also put one in the back of the tank and one towards the front.

Come to think of it I like this idea the best (and did not consider it till now)

Any comments welcome

Frank