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Old 07-27-2015, 02:17 PM   #1
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Question Lights for Plants

I have just recieved a used 55 gallon aquarium and the setup came with a 40 watt fluorescent light. I was wondering if this is good lighting for plants. Is this a generally low watt for growing plants or is it a very high watt?

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Old 07-27-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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Anyone there?


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Old 07-27-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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Please help me


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Old 07-27-2015, 06:03 PM   #4
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Watts don't exactly matter these days. Is it a T8 or a T5 bulb?


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Old 07-28-2015, 10:19 AM   #5
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Can you elaborate? What is a T5 and a T8 tube? I have many lighting questions too. What does this refer to? Can these go in a regular hood, or do they need one of those special hoods that stands above the tank? And what are those hoods called? For plants do you always need C02? Also do you also need special substrate?
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:17 AM   #6
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They refer to the diameter of the fluorescent tube. T8 are fatter around than T5. It is likely a hood that came with an aquarium is T8, but without more information there is no way to tell.

You can use sand or planting medium substrate like "Eco-complete" (one of many brands). Gravel is not generally recommended.

No, you do not always need CO2 for plants. Many of us do use a liquid that provides CO2 that you will see referred to as Excel, CO2 Booster, or glut. Some use nothing to provide extra CO2.

Most of us use some kind of fertilizer for our plants. This includes liquid that goes in the water and root tabs that go in the substrate.
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
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P.S. If your hood is T8, it is possible to successfully grow some low light plants. I started out with a T8 hood that came with my aquarium and upgraded my lighting a few months later. If you do have a T8 hood you can buy bulbs for aquarium plants for it at just about any pet store with a fish section. It will most likely still be for low light plants, especially if it only has room for one fluorescent tube.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:17 PM   #8
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I have some low light plants now and they are doing very well I was just wondering if I could get some plants that need high light


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Old 07-28-2015, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I have some low light plants now and they are doing very well I was just wondering if I could get some plants that need high light


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It all depends on your lighting and fertilization. One plant can grow and thrive under a light while another can die off.


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Old 07-28-2015, 06:09 PM   #10
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I have some low light plants now and they are doing very well I was just wondering if I could get some plants that need high light


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On some plants there are contrary recommendations depending on the source of the information. High, med, and low are usually ranges. What does well in one tank may not do well in another regardless of exact lighting levels. The spectrum of the light is important, not just the level.

If there is a plant I want to try, I try it.

If I put a high light difficult to grow plant in my medium light low tech tank and it withers away, it's not a surprise. But sometimes there are happy surprises and the plant does well.

I'd suggest starting off with plants that are considered lower light and easy to grow in general. Still, there is nothing wrong with trying a plant to see if it works in your tank. When I get a new plant, I always think of it as "trying" it.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:37 AM   #11
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I've noticed that some of the tanks with plants seem to be more shallow/less deep. Or is that not really the case? Now that we're on the topic and I need a new tank, maybe I'll try a plant or two. Is a 24" deep tank okay? I will google the light stand that I keep seeing. It's good to know that there is liquid c02. Thanks. This is proving to be inspirational. I know I could just google all this, but it's great to have some advice, and direction. I have black sand right now. How would you recommend adding some planting medium substrate when I start my new tank? In certain areas or mixed? Yeah I'm new here:roll eyes:

Oh shoot, you know what? I have a parrot fish. I think he'd destroy the plants. Agree?
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:07 AM   #12
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Some of the planted tanks are less deep. At 24 inches, less light will get to the bottom than 12 inches. It's certainly not prohibitive, though.

Whether to keep your sand or to use a planting medium is up to you. Either will work. Mixing can and has been done, but I don't recommend it. Best to do one or the other.

Lol, you got me on the parrot fish. Are you talking about a blood parrot? I've read that they are okay with plants, but I really don't know much about them.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:32 AM   #13
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Some of the planted tanks are less deep. At 24 inches, less light will get to the bottom than 12 inches. It's certainly not prohibitive, though.

Whether to keep your sand or to use a planting medium is up to you. Either will work. Mixing can and has been done, but I don't recommend it. Best to do one or the other.

Lol, you got me on the parrot fish. Are you talking about a blood parrot? I've read that they are okay with plants, but I really don't know much about them.

I've read parrots learn more to the carnivore side of the chain so I wouldn't worry about plants that much. Definitely not small fragile plants but larger ones like amazon swords should be fine.


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Old 07-29-2015, 03:54 PM   #14
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Parrots really like to pull up plants my parrot never really hurt the plants but it was a pain in the butt because every morning I would have to replant half of them


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Old 07-30-2015, 09:31 AM   #15
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My parrot is such a jerk, but he's so funny. I hand feed him blood worms and he does this sort of bizarre territory dance on and around my hand. It's hysterical. Does anyone plant with sand alone, It doesn't seem like it would work. Hmmm. There's no half-assing plants huh? I was thinking substrate parts of the tank and sand other parts, but that would probably end in a huge mess. So much to consider. Do you guys have glass/plexi-glass lids on your tanks, below your t-5 lights? Do those glass/plexi lids become really gross really fast? by gross I mean, green, slime and calcium build up. Any advice on getting rid of calcium build up (especially on plexi-glass)?
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:31 PM   #16
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I don't have T5s, I have LEDs. If you are going to buy a new light for your tank to grow plants I'd suggest that you look at the many newer LED lights for planted tanks. Have you figured out what kind of bulb/tube your hood uses?

I do have a plexiglass (acrylic) lid over the main opening in my acrylic tank. Except for a few scratches I could buff out, it looks like it did the day I got it.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:24 PM   #17
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I'm not entirely sure about going planted. I was thinking about buying and reading a book (I'm old fashioned) before I start one. (Any recommendations?) I have the feeling this type of dedication may have to wait until I'm retired. I didn't know you could use LED lights for plants!!! Wha??? I have much studying to do. I know NOTHING. I have been watching some youtube projects and follow ups. What dedication!
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:53 AM   #18
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If its 40 watts it isnt a T5, there is no such thing as a 40 watt T5 bulb, just letting all of you know.. T5 46 inch bulbs are 28 or 54 watts for HO, there is no 40 watt T5, T8's are either split into two 24 inch hoods or one long 48 inch hood.


His is clearly one as he said, which means he has 1 T8 light.. 1T8 light is low lighting, you can only grow low light plants...


High lighting, would be something like 4x T5 high outputs over a 55-90g tank. Medium lighting would be more like 2xT5 high outputs or 4x T5 normal outputs. Im afraid even if you get a 2nd T8 your lighting is going to still be low light
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