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Old 06-29-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
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How to light a 55 gallon blackwater tank and still grow plants?

Hello all.

I have a question regarding lighting up a standard 55 gallon tea color amamzon themed tank and still have enough light to grow plants and enhance the color of the fish?

The stocking is as follows;

6 Julii cory, 10 Bloodfin Tetra, 10 Redeye Tetra and 6 Blue Rams cichlids.

Substrate is silica sand.

Currently has stock lighting with canopy but looking at the Coralife Aqualight T5 Series - Double Linear Strip--not the ho.

Would this light take away the tea color water or just enhance it more. I DO want the tea color.

Is their a combination of bulbs that would be effective for both jobs?

The plants I want to grow are Amazon Swords, Vals, Cabomba and Wisteria.

The current stock lighting is not enough for the vals and swords and cabomba.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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I can't help with much, other than, for a better lighting fixture there's this: 4Ft/4Bulbs fixture I will be following tho.
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Thanks Aquarium1, but I will probably get the coralife.. Money is tight.

Dan
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:23 PM   #4
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Well they do have the 2 bulb fixture. Idk about how much light you'd need for vals but its High Output so it would most likely be better than the coralife: T5-ho 4ft / 2LAMP Aquarium lighting
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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I am in Canada, so it wouldnt be cost effective for me. I can get the Coralife Aqualight T5 for about $75.

I;m more concerned about keeping the tea color water and gorwing plants without blinding the fish and losing the color of the water.

Thanks
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:48 PM   #6
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Oh I didn't notice that lol. Sorry I couldn't help more, but I think it's a really cool idea
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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No problem..Appreciate all responses.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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I got an HO ballast for my regular T5 fixture. I had to screw it on the outside, but it overdrives the bulbs nicely. $20
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:16 PM   #9
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Just get a better reflector. You want more PAR out of your light to penetrate the stained water. A better reflector will direct more light into the aquarium.
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:20 PM   #10
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But with 36 watts, thats only about .75 wpg.

Thats not going to grow amazon swords or vals very well if all???
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