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Old 11-24-2005, 01:58 AM   #1
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Lighting Systems Advice

Hello. I am an experience aquarium guy with a 75 gallon fresh water and considering upgrading to a 125 gallon fresh water tank. 15 years ago, I had a 15 gallon tank and had extremely good luck with plants, but have not had any luck with the 75. I have heard that I don't have enough light for my 75 (a single 48" fluorescent bulb). The recommendation that I have received is 5 watts for each gallon for plants to do well. If I made the new purchase, I would like to have it set up to have live plants along with the fish. Does anyone have any recommendations for wattage or lighting systems? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2005, 03:08 AM   #2
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5wpg is way more than you NEED for a fully planted tank but it's about right to grow any plant you choose (barring species that can't take full light). That said, 2-3wpg will usually be a good range even when you are talking a 125. Anything over ~1.5wpg will probably benefit from CO2 injection. Read up on the stickys and get back to us.
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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5watts is way more than you'll need.

Stickies at the top of the forum cover a lot of this.

From my research, most peple with 125g tanks who want a high light setup, run about 440watts of lighting.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:15 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! Here is what I am thinking for a new aquarium, any of you with comments, please let me know. 125 gallon tank, two 260 gph Fluval canister filters, no ugf, and 384 watts of lighting, which is above 3 watts per gallon. I know I may eventually need to add a CO2 insertion, but hopefully not from the very beginning; I would like to get the new tank up and running. get the initial expenses paid, and get some plants life growing and healthy (its been 15 years since I've had good plant life). I would like a freshwater tank with both fish and plant life. I'm not sure on what type of plant life, but I really don't need any major exotics plants (at least not yet). I will be thrilled with a good running tank with healthy fish and plants. Any feed back, comments, or advice?
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:24 PM   #5
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Depending on the type of lighting (power compact vs N.O. flourescent), you won't need over 3wpg to grow anything. I have yet to have a plant that needed over 2.5 wpg of PC lighting with good CO2 or 3wpg with N.O. Fluorescent lighting. Over 3wpg with pc lighting leaves very little room for error when it comes to ferts.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:40 PM   #6
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The lighting system I am looking is power compact fluorescent with four 96 watt bulbs. 3 wpg would be 375 watts, I'm looking at 384 watts with the system. Am I looking at too much light? The first recommendation I received locally was 5 wpg; it has been very much of a learning experience for me, so any advice is welcome. All the new lighting stuff is new information; my current 75 gallon tank has a single 48" regular fluorescent bulb. Also, should I look at elevating the light above the tank or can it just sit on the glass top?
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Old 11-27-2005, 03:00 PM   #7
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I have the exact same setup that you are looking at - a 125G with 384 watts of PC lighting. I've also thrown on the old NO lights giving me a total of 440 watts (like Malkore said ) of light. It works like a charm but you will want to use CO2 with that much light. I tried it without CO2 for a while but was simply inundated with algae. CO2 is basically mandatory once you go over 2wpg of light. I cannot advise that you try this setup without it.

I also use dual canister filters. It is the only way to go with a tank that size. The best part is that you have built-in redundancy. If one fails, all of your fish won't die. Definitely a good call
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:10 PM   #8
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Thanks Travis! The light system I am looking at has, I believe, two separate switches for each of the 96 compact lighting, so I can run half the light at a time if needed. I will definitely be looking at a CO2 set up at start up or early after. I am considering a tank set up that comes with two 36" standard lights, so I could bump up to 440 watts like you have. I am learning, and definitely don't want algae influx, so I sure appreciate the information. It is good to know that I am looking at a proper aquarium set up from the work go.
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:34 PM   #9
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Co2 is deffinitely a must with that kind of light. I don't know if one can have too much lighting but if you slack off on dosing and waterchanges, you will get algae. I run 4x65 on my 75 gallon tank. Dealing with greenwater after rescaping and adding new plants (stirred up some nh3). Thread algae was a problem due to the newness of the setup. Its all but gone now but it blooms again if I don't keep up with my dosing.
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Old 11-27-2005, 08:08 PM   #10
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What type of dosing are you talking about, Simpte? I am new in the area of planted aquariums, especially large aquariums and the high doses of light. I may just utilize the standard light set up, about 60 watts until I get a CO2 system going. I have seen the CO2 tank set up, is dosing another option?

What can anyone tell me about CO2 tanks set ups? I know I would need a regulator and tank? I am assuming some type of bubble device. I have also seen CO2 "reactors"; just what is reactor and is used with a CO2 tank set up or is it something different?

Thans for all the information. I am really learning about aquarium plant life here. Sorry about my ignorance on the subject, but the info is really helpful.
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