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Old 09-15-2012, 02:24 AM   #21
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Watts per gallon is pretty meaningless for anything but the old T8 standard lights.

Depending on the bulb manufacturer, T5HO can be anywhere from 50%-100% "more" than T8 bulbs. But again - a direct comparison is difficult.

What I do know - not only wattage/light output, but also length of photo period (how long lights are on) is important to consider. My fixture (on 55g tank) has 3 tubes - 48" T5 HO. If I were to run all three for 10 hours a day (total of 162 watts of T5HO) - I would be so overrun with algae, I would probably feel like quitting the hobby! I run 1 tube for 14 hours, and all three for 5 hours (to simulate mid-day sun). Even with my CO2 running, I have patches of Black Beard Algae (BBA) on some hard surfaces. It was much worse before I allowed Salvinia to cover most of the surface (along with Dwarf Water Lilly). The cover plants both help block excess light, and also "consume" excess Nitrates (the two biggest contributors to algae growth).

I have never owned a 40b tank (though it is on my list - I love the dimensions), It isn't as deep as my 55g. 2 T5 HO bulbs would be pretty high light.

The fixture you have - I'm not sure how you get 200 watts with a 36" T5 HO. Those are usually 39 watts each. Assuming that is correct - Just two tubes on at a time would be plenty of light for most cases. A third tube on for a short time wouldn't hurt too bad... assuming you don't light the tank 14 hours a day.

Can you control individual bulbs, or are they either all on or all off?
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:29 AM   #22
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I was using a secondary fixture to achieve 200 Watts. This 36" fixture only has the option for two or four bulbs

Is 80 Watts still to much? I also have the fixture sitting on the rim of the tank and not elevated.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:30 AM   #23
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To answer other questions you asked:

4 watts per gallon of old-fashioned T8 lights would be high light. But remember - T5 HO have output pushing 2X (or more) standard T8 bulbs. But that is also dependent on light design (reflector) and such.

With different bulbs, then yes - that fixture would make super-high light for a reef aquarium.

I'm still trying to figure out the wattage calculations. Rounding up from 39 watts each (2 bulbs)? If so - then I would start with that configuration even with CO2 injection until you get the algae under control (will take a while, even after it starts to die off). Once you think algae is controlled, try adding ONE more bulb. It won't take too long to see algae trying to make a comeback. Further - as plants grow and as things equalize - the threshold for algae to grow will change.

Keep nutrients to a reasonable level, keep CO2 steady, and don't give too much light. Your aquarium will tell you when things are out of wack - either through algae, or by insufficient plant growth. Also - regular checks of water chemistry (especially Nitrates), and regular water changes will help keep things level.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:07 AM   #24
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Update #3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=sTM9un7GsfE
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:33 PM   #25
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Angelfish have been known to harass smaller tetras.

Also, that is an interesting combination of fish. Not necessarily an issue, just interesting choice.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #26
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I've personally never seen my angels pick on any fish, seldom on each other.

So which fish make this an interesting combo? Most of the fish that are in there besides neons, cory, and angels where starter fish for cycling and most all pulled through. I would like eventually just to have the neons and angels.

I'm aiming maybe in the winter doing a 75 or 150 gal species only with neons
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:31 PM   #27
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I wan't trying to disparage the combination of fish at all. I'm use to more focused tanks with well-planted tanks like yours.

What makes it interesting - angelfish + neons + mollies plus whatever kind of loach you mentioned in the video. Just interesting.

I like the combination of angelfish and school(s) of tetras. I have three pretty much full-grown angels in my 55g, with a school of rummy nose tetras and a school of harlequin rasborahs (another interesting combination - since the rasborahs are natives of Asia, while my angels, rummynose, and plecos are all generally from the Western hemisphere. Of course, plants also are native to a range outside natural for these fish too... oh well!

If I had a much larger tank, I think I would like a few more angelfish, a school of smaller tetras (either cardinals or rummy nose), a school of larger tetras (like Red Blue Columbian Tetras). I really like the contrast.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:58 PM   #28
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I didn't take any offense, just was curious. I feel its an odd random arrangement of species as well. I'd love to through some cardinals in the mix but they are just too $$ here. It's like 1.99-2.99+ a fish whereas neons are 99 cents and I think have better coloring.

Yeah I want a huge tank but after all the work put into this one etc I'm not sure if I'm really up for the task or funding. Maybe because this is my first planted and gets easier down the road.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:05 AM   #29
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You could try some snails maybe some algae shrimp or a moss ball or two, I love my moss balls I had algae problems too even with my snails(who are so fat) I put in a large moss ball and poof problem gone and still enough for the snails plus the look wicket in a current
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #30
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Haha holy crap.
Cut your lighting down (you don't have CO2 right?) like someone else said and shorten your light interval for a week or so, most of it should die away.

Also try massaging it off with your fingers to get rid of most of it.
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