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Old 02-21-2011, 01:31 PM   #1
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Light Question

I would like to add a few low light plants in my 55 gallon tank and was wandering about lighting. I have a shop light with two Daylight bulbs that are 40 watt. Can I use this or do I need to buy some different bulbs? Also, would I have to use ferts in the tank? Thought I would ask before I do this. Tank houses about 25 Guppies at the time. Thank you.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #2
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If you are talking about Java Ferns and such then that light should work. You wouldn't want to add ferts though because with low lights all you are going to feed is algae.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
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40 watts total or 40 watts each?
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for letting me know about the ferts smitty. This tank has been up and running for about 6 years and finally thinking about adding a few plants. I was thinking about some Java moss on some driftwood. Starting out slow and will eventually add more lighting. Its 40 watts total.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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Well, I think the Java moss will work it up close to the top but it will grow slowly. I wouldn't add any ferts myself unless you start using more lights. Java Fern may also work and it will grow on driftwood as well.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:02 PM   #6
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I agree, 40W total isn't much... but if it is tied to driftwood and up closer to the light, it would probably do fine. Java fern as well.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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What kind of bulbs would do that I can use in the shop light that I have? Thank you.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #8
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Are you sure they aren't 40W per bulb? The 48" T8 shoplights I have in the garage us two 40W bulbs.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Yes, they are 2 40 watt bulbs. Doesent that still give you 40 watt total? Thats what I was always told. Sorry about that.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:06 PM   #10
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Oh! That changes things. That is a good amount of light so long as the color temp is between 6500-10000k.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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Nope. 40W + 40W does not equal 40W.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:17 PM   #12
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I had a shop light with two 32w T8's on it (I'm thinking 40w bulbs are T12, but I could be wrong). I did pretty well with low light plants like java fern, anubias, and anacharis. The down side to having a shop light is that they waste a lot of light. Aquarium lights are designed to aim the light down in to the tank. Shop lights don't have reflectors exactly, and they're more for flooding a room full of light, so you'll see a lot of light going out the sides of the tank.

I agree though, if you get some good bulbs (between 6500k and 10,000k), you'll be able to pull off some low light plants fairly well. Just don't go dumping ferts in the water, you'll just be feeding algae.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:25 PM   #13
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T8s are a bit weird. 48" bulbs come in either 32W or 40W.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:09 PM   #14
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I do know that 40+40=80. But when you have an electrician tell you that 2 40 watt bulbs make 40 watt, well I guess I believed him. Sorry about all the confussion. And thank you for all your help everyone.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:44 PM   #15
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2 40 watt bulbs would be 80 watts total.
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