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Tom, need you to calm my OCD (lighting question)

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Matt F., May 28, 2010.

  1. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, Tom-

    I actually wanted to ask you directly what you thought about my set-up. This is the first time I'm trying an HC foreground in my 55 Long (48x13x20") I'll prob have 2-3" of substrate in the lowest points.

    Is 108 watts of T5HO enough juice (2x54 watt)? Or do you think later I'll need more? I have an Archaea fixture.

    I'm pressurized as far as CO2's concerned, and the HC will be on AS as you know.

    Thanks!

    Matt
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Actually AFA did it with less, but HC lawns are weedy. Upkeep and trimming is required.
    Even at lower ranges, which you are not at.

    Plenty of light there.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    The definitive answer. Thanks. I feel better and so does my wallet. ;)
     
  4. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    I'm seriously considering an upgrade from the Archaea fixture 2x 54 to the Tek 4x54 watt with Giesemann bulbs (two midday, two aquaflora).
    So far I have no algae.
    Growth with the archaea has been slow and verticle.

    I'm injecting CO2 via ADA diffuser (6-7 bps)...circulation via 2 eheim pro-2 w/ spraybar.

    When I had 3.1 watts of T5HO over my 20 Gallon Long, the HC growth was horizontal.

    Do you think increasing light is the answer (or should I just be patient)?
     
    #4 Matt F., Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2010
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With HC?
    Patient. Carefully what you ask for, more HC growth is not a good thing.
    Well, you will find out on your own I guess, you are headed to high light land.

    3w/gal of Tek T5 is like 6w/gal or old school FL lighting FYI.

    A heck of a lot.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'll be patient then. I'm just anxious to see how this tank fills in. RIght now I'm at nearly 2wpg of t5ho. I hope the archaea fixtures have enought par.
    I won't buy the tek fixture at this point.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Patience with the foreground is key, I can say the same impatient attitude about Starougyne, or HC, or gloss, or hair grass etc........they all just sort of sit for 2-3 weeks, then they take off.
    Good things come to those that wait, use the outer 2 bulbs only on the Tek.

    You end with 10% more growth and 1000% more hassle and algae with 2x the light.

    AFA's tank is low light, 2 bulb range for your Tek:

    [​IMG]

    Trimmed:

    [​IMG]

    Do you really wanna trim this every 1-2 months?

    Use less light, this tank has low light, about 40-50micromols.

    2 bulbs off the tek on your tank will be about the same PAR.
    If you have more skill than the above tank example, then perhaps........if not, then do not mess with it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    One question remains:

    Do yo think the Tek light (if I use only two bulbs) is a significant enough upgrade from the Archaea fixture to warrant a $390 purchase?

    Appreciate it.

    -Matt
     
    #8 Matt F., Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2010
  9. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    double post
     
  10. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    The only possible reason I could think of to move to the 4 lamp fixture is for a better spread of light over the tank. i.e. just use the two outside lamps and leave the inner two off, or even empty. You won't need it and the reflectors on the Tek fixture are damned good so you're not going to be wanting for light. Even with some eggcrate diffusor and some floating plants there's more than enough light hitting the bottom on my 40B tank with the fixture a good 12" or so off the surface and 16" to the substrate. The other tank gets less light but the surface overgrowth is just insane and I usually pull out a softball sized helping of salvinia every few days.

    You have enough light now. If you want to get the Tek "just in case" then it's a good fixture. It will give you the option to crank it up later if you wanted to. One reason might be to get things growing quickly for a week or two to fill in and then back down. You'll have to be on top of it though as 216W of light over a 55 long is going to quickly grow algae without enough CO2, and you'll be hard pressed to provide enough of it.

    -
    S
     
  11. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks shoggoth43 for the clarification. The only way I can justify buying the Tek is if I can sell the Archaea fixture. The only reason I'd sell the Archaea is for the Tek's better reflectors and better spread. The 55 Long is 13" narrow, though. So $400 for better spread and a little bit better reflectors...

    Ah, Decisions!
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think it will make a large difference.
    If you want to add high light, then you have the option with Tek
    But that's putting thy hand in the hornet's nest

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yeah, Tom, I think I'm getting to old to try to steal the honey from the bees nest w/o getting stung. Plus I need to put my energy into my school work and not fighting algae blooms. I apologize for the repetitive questions.

    Thanks, all!
     
  14. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Disregard my last post (I was trying to rationalize my way out of not buying the Tek). I bought the Tek fixture.
    For now I'll only use the outer bulbs.

    I do have a question:

    I have heard that people "burst" their tanks with high light for an hour or so during their normal lighting period. Is there any science or benefit to doing so?

    e.g.

    Light on at 10 am (2 bulbs), burst of extra 2 bulbs between 12-1pm (4 bulbs), then reduce to (2 bulbs) again till 7 pm.
     
  15. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    The idea is that at "high noon" there would be less canopy cover overhead so there'd be more light hitting the bottom of the river/lake/whatever. Conversely lots of places have a mid afternoon storm so some people drop the light instead on the theory that two periods of lighting will affect the algae more than the plants. I'm not sure it'll get you much other than a slightly higher electric bill and possibly more algae if your CO2 isn't spot on. You can try it, but the length/width of a 55 does tend to make water flow a little tricky so getting your CO2 distributed properly is already going to be a challenge. I think you'll find the two bulbs on the Tek more than enough as it is.

    -
    S
     
  16. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Regarding flow, I have two eheim pro-2 w/ spraybar attachments. Growth so far has been slow but algae free. Growth looks even on both sides of the tank.

    FWIW I grew HC with 3+ watts of T5HO on a 20 Long. I was able to control algae with EI and CO2 in that tank. Each tank is different.

    Growth in this tank is vertical versus horizontal in the 20L. I'm thinking lighting has something to do with it in this case.

    more light, horizontal growth...less light intensity, vertical growth...

    Some people claim the opposite, but the only difference is the size/shape of the tank and the distance/intensity from the light source.


    Same soil, same diffusion method, etc.

    I'm also excited that all the light will not be centered about the rocks which caused bba in the previous incarnation of this tank...

    the largest rock is 4-5" from the surface of the water.
     

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