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Old 05-20-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 10
Replacing Gro T8's with HO T5's? Watts to gallons?

Hello all,
My 50 gallon planted tank has been languishing on the same T8 gro bulbs for over a year as I await a custom stand and hood that is nearing fruition and now I find myself unsure of the correct lighting!

With the admittedly antiquated watts to gallon theory and recommended 1.5-2 watts per gallon for growing I should have 75-100 watts on this tank if I want to grow a thick growth of plants. It seemed the HO T5's were the right choice so I purchased 3 -24" Sun Blaster T5HO 24W & nanotech reflector, 6400K lamps. They have 2232 lumens per bulb and 3 combined would be 72 Watts, almost 1.5 watts to gallons. SunBlaster Lighting - Fluorescent lighting for home, garden and business.

My tank is L39" x W15.5" x H19" BTW. Oops I see I could have gotten some 36" ones with room for the cord, oh well...

However, I installed 1 on the current plastic hood to keep my meager plants alive for the next few weeks and found it really nice and bright with the 2 T8's still on, however my BF thinks that 3 of the T5's (and no T8's) are going to be too bright to look at. Did I screw up, did I need only 2? I do want nice thick ground cover and the hood will bring the lights 5" above the water and the substrate starts at 17" down so my lights will be 22 inches above the top of the substrate which is within the 24" needed for ground cover... which is correct I believe...?

I could keep these lights for my next project and get 2 36" 39W ones if that would be better? I realize these are not standard aquarium lights... but they seem awesome! They are made for horticulture but I figure a greenhouse is almost as humid as an aquarium hood ack second guessing!!

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Old 05-20-2013, 11:01 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 10
Ended up near Mr Fertilizer today so exchanged 2 of the 24" for 36" which have 39 watts each giving me 78 watts on a 50 gallon, I sure hope thats enough light to grow plants with...
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