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Lighting a 4ft. Opinions?

Steve Smith

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Just a quick general question really. I will be setting up a 4ft (approx 200 litre) tank soon and I'm wondering what lighting I should consider. The tank will hopefully be an echo of the fantastic long tank at TGM, but perhaps not identical.

Planting wise, I'll be going glosso and eleocharis, and some ludwigia acruata or similar. Maybe some Dow noi and riccia as experiments. Nothing too heavy or demanding. I'll be dosing EI and using pressurised CO2, with inert gravel substrate (can't afford plant substrate atm, unless I consider akadama maybe). Filtration will hopefully be up to the task, using an EX700 and Fluval 205.

Anyhow. I'm looking at something like a dual 54w T5 balast, or if I can afford it, a dual/tripple 54w T5 luminaire. I guess my question is, will 108w T5 be plenty? Would I get away with 80w of T8 light or is that too little (this is my "budget" option).
 

LondonDragon

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Steve Smith

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Yeah, these are the luminires I was refering too :) Had my eye on the first one, hadn't spotted the other though, thanks :)

I guess my budget is around the 50 - 60 mark, seeing as the dual 65 controller I'm watching is £32 delivered. And then the cost of 2 T5 tubes on top.

I'm just wondering on the ammount of light I should be aiming for :)
 

ceg4048

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Hi Steve,
Personally, I would not worry so much about sexy luminaries. From a budget standpoint, I would find the cheapest 100(ish) watts T5 that I could and use the money saved to get better filtration/flow, which will make tons more difference. Two Fluval 305s or two Tetratec EX1200s would give you better bang for buck. Everyone seems to be mesmerized by lighting. :rolleyes: Getting more lighting than you need is easy. Getting the filtration/flow that you need is difficult. High light means high CO2 requirements and is facilitated by better filter throughput, especially if you want to grow decent carpet plants. Also, better flow actually allows you to inject at lower gas rates because the flow distributes the gas more effectively. :idea:

Cheers,
 

Steve Smith

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Thanks Clive, your insight is valued as always! I think 2 EX1200's might be a bank breaker... I'll have to see what I can do. I think I need to sell on some stuff!


Edit: What do you think to the Fluval FX5? Would this be enough filtration/flow?
 

Garuf

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I've got 2, I might have one up for grabs, I'll pm you once I know.
 

Dave Spencer

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My up and coming 120cm that I keep rattling on about endlessly, will be powered by 3 x 39W T8 Arcadia unit. The unit is a little disappointing, because two of the tubes are virtually touching, so there will be some serious restrike. I am still planning on there being enough light to grow virtually anything I want.

Like Clive says though, for me the emphasis is going to be getting the nutrients to the four corners, so I have two Tetratec 1200 filters that will run with minimal filter media to keep flow rates up, especially when I consider I will be using a CO2 reactor in line with one of them as well.

Dave.
 

Superman

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