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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, I am something of a Noob when it comes to lighting, so I could use some advise. I have a 120G community tank, standard 24" tall, which just had a complete replant (Thanks Aqauflora!) with the following:
cryptocoryne wendtii 'tropica'
ceratopteris thalictroides
echiodorus parviflorus
hygrophilia polysperma 'ceylon'
bacopa monnieri
echinodorus 'red flame'
juncus repens
hydrocotyle sibthorpioides
The only existing plant I kept is some Corkscrew Val (I think)
I am buying the sunblaze t5 ho 8 bulb fixture from Steve_thenucks_fan and want to know what bulbs/spectrum to use, I assume I will keep the 4 white that come with, but will likely need to swap out the other 4
Any and all suggestions appreciated
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
What, all this combined knowledge and no replies???
Perhaps I need to clarify. My intent is to mainly promote plant growth, and secondly to bring out the colors in my fish.
 

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I'm not expert!
But how many watts per bulb there?
And what are you specifically looking for? Just growth? or to make your fish shine pretty?
 

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What, all this combined knowledge and no replies???
Perhaps I need to clarify. My intent is to mainly promote plant growth, and secondly to bring out the colors in my fish.
You only posted 2 hours ago.. lets not get impatient.

Anyways for plant growth you want 6700k bulbs. To make the colors of your fish pop I recommend 10,000k bulbs. 10,000k really brings out blues/shiny color. There's another spectrum of light you should use for reds, can't remember what it is though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
eternity302 - as far as I know - 54 watt bulbs. And both (growth and shiny). I figured with an 8 bulb fixture I should be able to do both

jkam - thanks for the reply. that pretty much the info I was looking for, althought I am going to order several rainbows (including some Iranain red) - so I'm now thinking 4 6700K, 2 10,000K, and 2 of what ever brings the reds out
 

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Hang on... even though the bulbs that are 10000k, it doesn't necessarily promote plants general, but out of my knowledge, it will still give light to plants, so wouldn't that be way too much light?

Correct me if I'm wrong guys! I'm kinda interested to know!
as 8x54w... that's killer for a 120 gallon!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
eternity302 - I will also be very curious as to the answer - It is my understanding I will need to hang the fixture about 2-3 feet above the tank.
Anyone have any knowledge on that part of it?
Thanks again for all replies
 

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2-3 feet seem like quite a distance! And i'm sure you're also going to have maybe a glass or acrylic canopy! Out of my understand, it shouldn't affect the light as long as your canopy is clean, and if your light is only few inches away, there shouldn't be an affect! But this is what i'm being told and not from experience!

Let's wait till the experts speak:
2wheelsx2
Jonney_boy
Neven
Target
Bien_Lim
Jiang604
Alym

These are the experts... we'll just hafta wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Logging off for a few hours - will check for replies later - Thanks in advance for ant additional info
 

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Why not just use 4-6 bulbs and hang it closer to the water?

Better questions would be:

Are you using compressed co2?
Are you dosing nutrients for the plants?

If the answer is no, I'd only use 2-4 bulbs

If the answer is yes, I'd use 4-6 bulbs

If you hang it 2-3 feet away from the surface you're just wasting energy and lighting up your floor. Several inches from the surface is better unless you have a really deep tank.
 

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IMO, i think you have a great opertunity to have some fun here. You have 8 bulbs of opportunity!

Like j kam was asking about the CO2, thats the first question to be answered. With or with out CO2, your going to want around 4 bulbs for plant growth. I've taled to a couple pro aquasacpers, and they seemed to be of the impression that, 10 000k does infact grow plant. maybe not as well as 6700k, but they are still in the spectrum to be able to affect the growth of plants. You might wanna give them a 1/2 credit per bulb. that being said, in theroy, 3 6700k and 2 10 000k, should equal a rough 4 6700k. Now thats 5 spots filled. 3 spots left. you might wanna research into the marine lights now, 14 000k, and so on. this where you can have some fun. i've looked into them a little but nothing serious. theres purple ones, blue ones, this that and the other. Not many fresh water peoples have the lighting capabilities to play like that.

Usually if someone has an 8 bulb on a 24" tall tank, (after 90g watt per gallon gets pretty vauge, and height becomes an over ruling factor), their intent is to go supreme high tech. It doesn't seem to me that, that's your intent. So, if your not going super hightech, i think you have 4-5 bulbs that could be used for growing, and 3-4 that you can work with appearance. i'm sure theres some people here that would have the knowledge about that, but it would probably be worth your time to look into a marine site as well.
 

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Just a thought..

120gallons.. should have a good 2watts/gallon for an average plant growth!
If you have a 120gallon, if the light sits on top of it, that's how we usually calculate, but since it's a 2 feet tank, and you're hanging it 2 feet higher, how bout we treat this is a 4 foot tank as a 240 gallon and start calculating from there? =) just a thought, since ur lights are so high up!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
jkam - No to both co2 and nutrients. Please educate, why only 4 bulbs if not?
I'm guessing algae related, but not sure...
Appreciate the distance advise - I was wondering about that. I only need about 6" clearance for feeding, basic access, so I guessing that's the height you suggest?
Thanks
 

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if you're not doing co2 or nutrients you're going to get huge algae issues.

by reducing the amount of bulbs you reduce the amount of light so your plants use up the nutrients in the tank slower. Personally I'd use at most 3 bulbs on your tank just becuase any more would cause algae issues.

Basically there are 3 things that help plants grow. co2, nutrients and light. When one of those things is used up then algae appears. In your case it would most likely be nutrients that get used up first which will give you green spot algae (I think).

I'll let the other plant guys talk about the rest of the stuff.

As for distance, put it as close as you can, less wasted light.
 

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I would pick the TEK lights 6X54 watts HO over the sunblaze any day of the week. these fixture r made by the same company but the reflector they use on sunblaze sucks ....as for the bulb if the budget allows it go for the giesseman midday, looks really good if not just but some at solar hydroponics for like $15 each or less...thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First off- thanks for all the replies, I have done SOME research, but real world input is invaluable!

As suggested in the replies, No I don't intend to go real Hi-tech.
Ok, as co2 is not economically practical at the moment(or immediate future), and I will admit to not being the most dedicated person with my maintenance routine, is there any nutrient product that very easy to use, and can work with a once or twice a week schedule
 

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Hi pdoutaz, I have the exactly same size of tank you have (also planted). I am currently running a 4x54 bulb Tek Light. And I have to say I love Tek and Giesseman so much. I would suggest get the 6 or 8 bulbs fixture. Since you not plan to add co2 and nutrient, you can just put 4 bulbs in and leave the rest empty. You can always add bulbs when you decide to add co2 and nutrient.
 

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OK, 8 x HO over a 120 planted is beyond too much light IMO. You are talking 432 watts of T5. Even half of that lighting without CO2 injection is going to be an algae nightmare. Regarding bulbs, anything in the range of 6500~10000K will benefit plants. Many hobbyists use 10000K because as the spectrum shifts the life of the bulb is longer before needing replacement. Do not use marine bulbs like actinic etc. These are not spectrums used by plants and you will cause yourself other nuisance algae. The tank is not very heavily planted for the light you are entertaining either. I cannot tell very clearly by the pic but if that is an airstone in the rear back, that is not recommended either. The only CO2 you are getting is from the fish at this point and that is being blown off by the airstone.
To be honest, planted aquariums can be some of the highest maintenance aquariums in a lot of ways, particularly algae control. If you are looking for low maintenance, I would recommend low light plants and low light.:)
 

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