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Old 07-02-2007, 04:45 PM   #1
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125 Gallon Lighting Needs

Hello everyone,

This is our first post at Aquarium Advice and we hope to get some good help, now on to the question.Me and my grlfriend are setting up a 125 Gallon planted discus tank, we have done this before and are avid fish enthusists so we know a thing or two but our question is;

For a 125 gallon planted tank we need a light recomendation. Our three choices are between two Coralife 36" Double Freshwater Aqualights at 196 watts each, Two New Hagen T5 powerglow and lifeglow fixtures at 112 watts each, or two Coralife 36" Single Freshwater aqualights at 96 watts each. The tank measures 72" x 18" x 22", so we are looking for the appropriate lights for the tank. Or if you have any other suggestions we would be glad to hear it but we live in Canada and our LFS doesn't carry very much! Well hope to get replys soon and happy fishing
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA.

I'd go with the Hagen HO T5. With your bulb setup (6700k and 18000k) you'll look at a nice white color and will get the benefit of the blue in regards to colors of your fish. T5 also penetrates deeper than power compact bulbs do (the aqualights).

Only problem I can see with going that route is that the bluer bulbs (18000k) are pretty much unusable by plants, so if you'd like to keep some higher light plants I would look into some 10000k bulbs.

Just my opinion.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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I've got a 125G with the same dimensions as yours and have used a 2x96 36" fixture on either side with good success. That said, I recently switched to T-5 and MH lighting and, IMHO, I firmly believe that T-5 lights are superior to CF lights in brightness per watt as well as color rendition. I would highly recommend going with the T-5 setup.

Of course, this all assumes that you want a high-light setup and that you are planning on using pressurized CO2 with this system. If not, I would go with the third option.

Let us know how things go
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:42 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone that awnsered very quickly All in all I do not want to use a CO2 System. With the discus I am only going to use plants that dont need so much light and would do well with the discus such as: Echinodorus, Anubias, Cryptocoryne...plants like that.

We were talking and we think that either the two coralife 36" single aqualight fixtures (96 watts each) or the two hagen T5's (112 watts each). I am leaning more toward the hagen fixtures but I have always hated hagen product, they have always been craptacular for me...I have seen others with better results but you know what im saying. Well hope this new information helps about the CO2 and such. Well we hope to hear more responses soon, thanks a million and happy fishing
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:49 AM   #5
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If you don't want to use CO2, I'd go with the coralife aqualight fixtures. IMO, the T5 will give you too much light. They are much more intense than compact flourescent lights.

Just my opinion. Some people would say that T5 is comparable to Metal Halide in it's intensity, if that gives you an idea.

HTH
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:56 PM   #6
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Well see I would like some help on Co2 if you could then...maybe it wont be so bad right? Well also the T5's work out to about 1.7 watts of light per gallon where as the coralife fixtures work out o about 1.5 watts a gallon. Well if you have some Co2 ideas/help or some more lghting tips that would be greatly appreciated.Thanks a million and happy fishing
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:00 PM   #7
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I have a planted 125 gallon tank and this is what I am running with great success.

Lighting- CoraLife Lunar Light 72 inch light with 4 96 watt bulbs. This gives moderate light of 3 watts per gallon. The set up came with one pair of antinic bulbs, which I replaced with fresh light bulbs (10000K or 6700 K). The light has a awitch for each pair of 96 watt, so you can only run one pair of bulbs if want at first. I also have the lights on timers with 10 hrs one pair, 8 hrs both pair, and lunar lights at night.

CO2- Pressurized CO2 system with a Milwaukee regulator, tank, and a glass diffuser (although they are not recommended for a 125, but my CO2 levels run 20 to 24 ppm and the plants are doing extremely well). My system is pretty easy to set up and use. The regulator comes with a bubble counter to set your injection rate. I think it cost me about $200 for the regulator and tank. To fill the tank was $16; after 8 months I am still using the first filling.

A couple places you may want to check for supplies are Foster and Smith, Big Al's, and Aquarium Plants. Compare prices and shipping (sometimes F&S and Big Al have free shipping and sales). I think Aquarium Plants was the only place I could find the Milwaukee regulator. If you need plants or fish, I have good luck purchasing from Live Aquaria, part of Foster and Smith.

The people here on AA are a great source of advice. Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:21 AM   #8
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Based on bulb replacement costs, I would recommend against using any CF lighting w/ 36"-96 watt bulbs because they are so expensive. Each bulb costs $40 (replaceing each year)and the 36" bulbs are fairly hard to find compared to 22" bulbs.

While I have no experience with T5 lighting, I understand that the bulbs are much easier and cheaper to replace.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:57 AM   #9
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Please keep in mind that the WPG "rule" is based on T12 Fluorescents which are nearly as efficient as the bulbs you're looking at. That's why even though the T5's calculate out to only 1.7 WPG they still give you more than medium light and will probably result in CO2 injection being a necessity.

For that size tank you want to look at a Pressurized CO2 setup. You should be able to buy the CO2 cylindar locally. Do some checking around to compare prices on both the initial purchase and refills. Some places swap, while others will fill as you wait, while other fill and return to you the next day. All things you want to consider. All that you absolutely need is the regulator, a needle valve, some tubing, and way to diffuse the CO2. A brass check valve is highly recommended as is a bubble counter. The rest is extras that give you more control over how automated your system is. I would definately recommend purchasing from Rex Griggs. His units aren't the cheapest, but they're well built with quality parts. I've been very pleased with the regulator that I bought from him.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:56 PM   #10
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in the diy section easy diffusers pretty cheap to make too or sparky 697 sells them i think
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75 gal,planted,co2,diy defuser,gw ferts,l,223 watts of usable light 3 wpg,rena xp3 & marinebiowheel 350 "taking out biowheel" and lots of help thanks all!!!and the plants come from a MAD SCIENTIST ;]and now the fish15harliqun rasboras,7neons,8cardnails tetras,6 black skirt tetras,3flying foxes,3 algae shrimp,6zebra dannios,1rubber lip,1redtail shark[i]
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