Additional Lighting For A 29 Gallon Tank?

  1. Guppykid101

    Guppykid101 Well Known Member Member

    I have a 29 gallon tank that I was running for a while (Its recently been decommissioned due to me moving, the fish from it have been permanently moved to my 60 gallon.) I have an Odyssea fixture that holds 2 T5 bulbs, and they worked alright for growing plants, but the tank is a little over 18 inches deep, so I think a second light might help out. Specifically, an LED fixture that would add more to the color spectrum for the plants. I have a Finnex Planted+ on my 60 gallon and it works great but I was wondering if anyone had another suggestion. I don't want to go too expensive on the lighting because I'd also like to get into CO2 on this tank and I know I'm in for a hole in my wallet.
     
  2. Sebastian Perdomo

    Sebastian Perdomo Valued Member Member

    T5’s diffuse light very well thought a tank. I found that with some plants you don’t want to provide them TOO MUCH light. You’ll eventually be doubling the light intensity and the key to any tank is stability. When you put the second bulb, try elevating it higher over the tank so that, the intensity isn’t that big of a jump. Try 6 inches over the tank.
     
  3. SeattleRoy

    SeattleRoy Well Known Member Member

    Hi @Guppykid101

    A fixture that holds two T5 or T5HO bulbs/lamps should be plenty of light for a 29 gallon tank, even down to the substrate level; if you want to bring out the 'reds' in you plant or fish try changing out one of the lamps with a different spectrum. Adding If you are having issues with plant growth I would suggest looking at other aspects such as nutrients.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Guppykid101

    Guppykid101 Well Known Member Member

    Good point, I wasn't exactly sure if there was such a thing as TOO MUCH light for aquatic plants.
    I was always under the impression that T5s only served the purpose of lighting the tank and didn't provide the right kind of light for plants to grow. So you're saying I should keep the same light and invest into nutrient dosing?
     
  5. SeattleRoy

    SeattleRoy Well Known Member Member

    Hi @Guppykid101

    Here is some shocking news, plants do not care if the source of the light is incandescent, fluorescent (T12, T8, T5, T5HO), LED, or halogen! They also do not care if the spectrum of the light is 3000K, 5000K, 6500K, 6700K, 8000K, 10K. What plants need to grow well is sufficient light intensity in the usable spectrum which is actually quite broad. There is nothing magical about any of those numbers as far as plant growth is concerned - as long as it is bright enough and of sufficient duration (photoperiod). The spectrum you use will make a difference to you, some will look better to your eyes than others, but no difference to the plants. Keep in mind that fluorescent lamps loose light intensity as they are used, over a 1 year period my fluorescent lamps would lose 20%- 40% of their light intensity (measured with a PAR meter) although my eyes could not see a difference. That is why it is important to change fluorescent lamps every 12 months. LED fixtures are becoming more popular because you don't have the expense of replacing the lamps, the light intensity does not diminish (much) over time, they generate less heat, and they use less electricity. If you can tell me the wattage of the lamps in your fixture I can determine if they are T5 or T5HO and give you an approximate PAR level at the substrate for your tank (assuming relatively new lamps).