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Old 08-08-2015, 03:24 AM   #1
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LED or fluorescent light?

I have a 37' gallon big tank that is 22'-24' inches tall and 30 inches long. I'm using a 30 inch long hood that uses two 24' long T5 bulbs. I was told that it might not be enough to grow plants that require medium to high light. Would switching to one of the good LED fixture solve this problem or should I stick to fluorescent light I currently have?
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:43 AM   #2
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Are you running CO2?
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:14 AM   #3
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Two t5 and co2 could cut it. It just may not grow as fast as you would like.


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Old 08-09-2015, 10:47 AM   #4
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Factors that come into play are T5 versus T5HO and reflector type/quality. The HO (high output) fixture produces much more light than the NO (normal output). Individual reflectors per bulb are more effective than a single reflector over two bulbs.
I used a 30" dual T5NO single reflector fixture for my first planted tank (only 12" deep) and it was disappointing. I moved it to a low tech shrimp tank that housed low light plants (mosses and crypts) and they did fine. This was also in a shallow tank.
If your goal is medium and up for plants, start investigating LED fixtures. Not all LEDs are the same. Would only recommend T5HOs if you already have them but these are starting to phase out for the more efficient LED.


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Old 08-09-2015, 11:06 AM   #5
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Just a thought but talking with a guy at the lfs he said his plants suffered a bit when he changed the bulbs every 6 months? I think this was as the plants adopted again. He was keen to shift to led to get away from that (plus the bulb cost was making led look attractive).
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delapool View Post
Just a thought but talking with a guy at the lfs he said his plants suffered a bit when he changed the bulbs every 6 months? I think this was as the plants adopted again. He was keen to shift to led to get away from that (plus the bulb cost was making led look attractive).

LED has made its way up the chain not only IMO for looking better than bulb fixtures but because like you said of their life span. Many fixtures last 10000+ hours now if kept in good condition.


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Old 08-10-2015, 03:38 AM   #7
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Okay, thank you all for your replies.

I am not currently running CO2. I've thought about this but it's kinda scary because I've done some research and I think it's very pricey and I don't know the cheapest way to set up the system. I also considered using the fluval co2 system but I heard the cartridge doesn't last long and you gotta keep replacing them every one month or so.


yes, I am indeed using the t5ho bulbs. If I wanted to go with stronger light, what brand of led light would you recommend with the setting I have?


This is kinda off topic but I also need something that won't produce algae. My tank is only 2 weeks old but I'm starting to notice little bit of algae. I don't have any fish in my tank right now and I only keep the lights on for 8ish hours everyday so I'm not sure where it's coming from
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:01 AM   #8
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Do a siesta in your photoperiod. In other words, take a break for an hour or two at the 4 hour mark. This puts a big damper on algae growth

Take a look at DIY co2 systems. Many are made dirt cheap and work well. Plenty of users on here use them but everyone has their own recipe.


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Old 08-10-2015, 12:03 PM   #9
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Plus one on above.

One for the experts but I'd be wary of trying to do high output lights without co2. Higher light means more ferts / co2 is needed otherwise plant runs out of nutrients and gets overrun by algae.
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