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Old 01-18-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Yellowknife, NWT
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How much light do I need for my 45G freshwater tank?

I've decided I need to upgrade my lighting for my 45G freshwater community tank. I've a few species of plants in there and they are all just kind of existing but not really thriving. Its not a "planted tank" or anything but I do like the jungle look and don't mind if I have to do some pruning back once in a while.

I discovered that the 30 inch, 25 watt, power glo T8 that's in there now only puts out 1160 lumens when new. Thats only 26 lumens per gallon and about half a watt per gallon. That seems really low!!

My 20G tank has a 20 watt life glo T8 that outputs 1470 lumens. That's 73 lumens per gallon and 1 watt per gallon, a much better ratio and the plants in that tank are doing great.

It seems the life-glo bulbs put out far higher lumens per watt than the power-glows, flora, marine or aqua-glo bulbs.

Anyway I'm thinking of getting a new glass canopy and the hagen glo T5 HO double light fixture. If I put 2 34 inch, 39 watt T5 HO bulbs in it at 3000 lumens each that would give me a total of 6000 lumens. That's 133 lumens per gallon. Is that overkill?

How much light do I really need? Maybe I only need the single bulb T5 HO fixture. Or maybe the double fixture with one life-glo and one power-glo for a total 4500 lumens. I don't want an algae problem. But like I said I do like thick plant growth and don't mind doing a little pruning now and then.

Wow, so many numbers to crunch, all I want is a nice looking tank!! Any advice appreciated.
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freshwater, freshwater tank, light, tan

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