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Old 02-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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Please help (lighting for 55)

I have been looking everywhere to find out about aquarium lighting and can not seen to find an anwser. If anyone can help I would be very greatful. I have a 55 gallon tank that I bought as a kit, it came with two canopies which hold a 18" t8 each they are both 15 watts. I am wanting to have a heavily planted tank. I know this is way below the wpg rule. My tank also gets a little sunlight. Will this much lighting work for any plants? Ex low, moderate, or high light plants? If not what is the best/cost efficiant way to add more light? I don't really want to scrap what came with kit since I am sure it cost me a bit in the price. I also called my lfs and a new hood with cfl costs $300. I have already spent $1000 on setup didn't want to spend too much more. Also if it makes a difference I have a tetra whisper 100 gallon putting air into water. I also have a 50-60 gallon over back waterfall type filter as well as a fluval 405 and a fluval fx5 I know it's over kill but I got for very good price. I will also be adding iron to watet and testing levels to make sure it's proper. Any help would be great thx.
Sorry for length of question
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

You'll be hard pressed to grow many plants under that light. Mosses, java fern, and anubias would probably survive, but I doubt they'd thrive unless you raised them up near the light on rock or wood.

The best bang for your buck will be a shop light from your local home improvement store. You can probably get one with halfway decent reflectors and a pair of daylight spectrum 40W T8 bulbs for $50 or less.

Aerating the tank will actually off-gas CO2, which plants need.

A 50g HOB, 405, and FX5 on a 55g? That's probably crossing the line into the category of ridiculous overfiltering. The FX5 would be plenty. When you're ready to set up more tanks, feel free to take a filter off your 55g. In fact, pull the HOB now. The agitation also off-gases CO2.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:28 PM   #3
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To do that I would have to take off both my canopies which keep in moisture. How would I keep moisture from hitting new light? Or would it matter?
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