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Old 09-05-2013, 08:29 AM   #1
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newbie needs help with lights!

Hey there. I have been keeping fish for awhile now but never had a planted tank. I just bought a dual 48" t5 light. Do I need to change the bulbs to accommodate plant growth? I have a 55 gallon tank
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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As long as it's a new fixture you shouldn't need to change the bulbs. Other than that they will need to be changed every 10 months or so.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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Thank you so much. I wasn't sure if the lights it came with would be strong enough to reach the bottom
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #4
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Is this a t5ho?

The type of bulb you use in a fixture is pretty much set in stone. The only thing you can readily change is the color temperature.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:30 AM   #5
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It's a t5 NO with:
6700k daylight 28 watt
Colormax 28 watt
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Over a 55g that's probably going to put you right on the edge of low / medium light.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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So do I need to add more lights or up the temperature of the lights?
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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It depends on what plants you want. I have a dual t5ho fixture over my 55g tank and it gives me a solid medium light level. You could potentially change the ballast and upgrade the lights to the HO version if you wanted higher light plants.

The temperature is only the colors that the bulbs are. It doesn't effect the light level. For example, a 6500k light will have a heavy yellow color to it while a 10000k light will have a lot more blue tinting to the light.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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Is it hard to change a ballast?
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
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I would imagine that depends on your light fixture but it shouldn't be terribly difficult.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:56 PM   #11
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The T5no usually come with pretty crappy reflectors as well. You would see some improvement just replacing the ballast, but buying a better t5ho fixture would probably be better.


Also, you would need to check the electrical ratings of the equipment. A HO ballast might be too much for the wiring.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:29 AM   #12
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Ok so decided to change the lights all together. Is a dual t5 ho enough or should I go with a quad? Looking for medium to high light.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #13
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Ok so decided to change the lights all together. Is a dual t5 ho enough or should I go with a quad? Looking for medium to high light.
A t5ho will give you medium light with decent reflectors.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:55 PM   #14
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A t5ho will give you medium light with decent reflectors.
Agreed, a dual t5ho even with good reflectors on it will only give you a medium light tank. They work well, but if you want high light plants I would go with 4 bulbs in a heart beat.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:59 PM   #15
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Ok if I get a 4 lamp t5 ho will I be able to keep my glass top? Or will it be an open tank?
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:03 AM   #16
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Ok if I get a 4 lamp t5 ho will I be able to keep my glass top? Or will it be an open tank?
You should be able to keep your glass top
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:14 AM   #17
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Ok if I get a 4 lamp t5 ho will I be able to keep my glass top? Or will it be an open tank?
You could look into LEDs also they have some that are affordable.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:22 AM   #18
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You could look into LEDs also they have some that are affordable.
I literally just started to understand t5 lights. I don't even know where to start with led lights.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #19
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Ok. So I got a 3x54 t5ho. What would be the best light combination to use?
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