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Old 05-30-2013, 10:14 AM   #1
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Dual T8 fixtures?

I have a tank that is 30 inches long (a 56 gallon column tank), and would like to find a dual tube T8 fixture. The tank is lightly planted, so I'd like to get two different tubes up top to help both the plants and bring out the colors in the fish.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate a dual tube fixture that will fit the tank. Most that accept the 24 inch tubes are only a single tube setup. Does anyone know of someplace that would sell a dual tube fixture at this size?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
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I would recommend building your own, t8 ballasts and sockets are fairly cheap. The issue with that, (not knowing what plants are in there) is in my experience, t8 are not great with planted tanks. I know with 2 48" t8s you would only be able to get about 60 watts, you'd get something less since the bulbs will be shorter. I know watts per gallon is a basic measurement, but the PAR ratings on t8s aren't that great either (someone correct me if I'm wrong here) if you'd like more info on building your own, let me know and I'll help out with some research!
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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Are T5 (normal, not HO), recommended for plants? Aqueon makes a dual tube T5:
Aqueon Ľ T5 Dual Lamp Fixture | Products
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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How tall is your tank and what type of plants are you currently or hoping to keep?
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:50 AM   #5
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Tank is 24 inches tall. It just has a few swords in it, nothing fancy, and not a huge number (half dozen at most).
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Most swords are moderate to high lighting. I would use t5 (no or ho) or PCs instead of T8s. Let me hop on my desktop and ill do a little digging and see if I can help you out a little more
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Thanks, much appreciated
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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Obviously this is up to you and your tank, but with just basic swords you should be ok with a dual T5 Normal Output, on the low end of ok. this should put you in the high range of low light, or in the low range of medium light. If you wanted to do any "fancier" swords or think you might want to upgrade your plants later I would definitely go with a T5 High Output or a PC fixture. If you are more interested in planted tanks and lighting here is a great article on it with a lot of great charts:
Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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Thanks. I don't ever envision this tank being heavily planted, or planted with 'fancier' swords, but that article is definitely a good read. I want to avoid CO2 injection if at all possible (I use Flourish Excel, I know it isn't a perfect replacement for the carbon, but between that, Flourish tabs, and Ruby's tabs, I think I have the carbon well covered)...
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