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Old 10-29-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Location: Newark, NJ
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Too much light?

I was at one of the better LFS in my area and they told me that for a FOWLER 55 gal, a 4x54w T5HO (2 10k, 2 actinic) light would be too much, and would do little more than turn my tank into a hair algae bloom. I was advised to simply get a 2x54 T5HO system, and that it would be more than sufficient for my tank.

They also said that due to the general bioload of a FOWLR tank (and the lack of Ca supplementation, among other things), its much harder to grow coralline algae, and that live rock is used more for filtration than aesthetics in such a set up.

From lurking in this forum for the past few months, I was getting a pretty different viewpoint on things. How legitimate are the claims this place is making?

As always, thank you ahead of time for your responses.

- Dan

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Old 10-29-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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I run 2x54 on my 55 and have some lps corals and no algae problems. I think that would be enough.

Depending on what salt you use you may not have to suplement Ca to get coraline growth. I use oceanic and it puts my Ca at about 480 I never suplement Ca and have great coraline growth.

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:59 PM   #3
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Agree with your LFS that the 4x lighting would be overkill for a FOWLR. In fact, T5HO in itself is probably overkill.

Calcium levels of any major salt brand are enough to grow coralline, but depending on how much grows, and how often you do water changes, it may not be enough to sustain that growth. Even before I started doing corals, and doing 10% a week water changes, my coralline bleached due to calcium levels getting too low. The coralline growth was so much that it was depleting the calcium quicker than the water changes replenished it. But depending on your salt mix, and your PWC schedule... your mileage may vary.

So... I don't think your LFS is steering you too wrong.
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