Lighting question

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Cody6511

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If anyone can offer advice i'd really appreciate it!
So i just bought 3 bunches of hygrophilia angustisfolia and I ordered some dwarf hairgrass. My lighting is currently 2 15W 8000k T8 bulbs and i am using Flourish brand fertalizer. I have only a plain gravel substrate, nothing with any additives. Is this sufficient or should i be heading to the store?

Thanks!!!
 

dvc_r

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Although there is more to it (ie watts per gal)
Most Hygrophilia need med to high light. I would say ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 watts per gal. If it's true, you have 30 watts in a 55 gal... that's about .5 watts per gal.

I have no experience with Dwarf hairgrass (although I would like to) but I believe they need the same light requirements.

... Drive safely...
 

Nutter

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Your definitely going to need more light to grow those plants in a 50gal. Minimum 1.5wpg for the Hygro & you should be looking at a minimum 3wpg for the Hairgrass. That's going to require ferts & supplementing co2. Hairgrass can be ok in gravel but it needs to be of a pretty fine diameter. If the gravel is much bigger than match head size it will have trouble spreading out & forming a thick carpet. Using substrate fertilisers is mandatory with Hairgrass in a gravel substrate.
 
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Cody6511

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Ok I have some fertalizer tablets on the way so ill use those definately! I also bought 2 new Power-glo 18000k lights today. I am having trouble finding high watt bulbs. any suggestions? I only have spots available for 2 18" bulbs.
 

Nate McFin

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You cannot up the wattage of your bulb past what the ballast can handle. (look at the ballast itself) You may find a new light fixture will be needed to accomplish your target needs. You will also find without Co2 and nutrients to match, algae will take over. Root tabs are a good start but co2 will be needed if you uograde the lighting enough to grow hairgrass.
 
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Cody6511

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Ok so it looks like i am going to need some new ballasts. Any suggestions for what I am going to need? I have a few fish that might jump so if everyone could keep in mind while answering. If can tell me where to get the appropriate ballast that would be great! Also maybe a cheap CO2 system?
 

Nate McFin

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If you are capable of easy wiring these are great kits.

If not and you just want to buy a light...
http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/
www.fishneedit.com

There are also lights on ebay that are decent and reasonable. 2x54 T5HO (High output) should do the trick.
For Co2 systems you can try DIY Co2 using yeast and sugar in 2 liter bottles but you tank may be a little to large to get the job done well. For a pressurized system you can build your own with parts from ebay etc for around $100 or so. If you want a complete package prebuilt, reasonable is not a word I would use but it makes like easier.
www.rexgrigg.com
www.greenleafaquariums.com
These are both decent places to get set ups and parts. I prefer greenleaf as Orlando(the owner) is very helpful and easy to deal with.
 

Nutter

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Unfortunately changing the ballast won't help either. Flourescent tubes come in standard wattages for thier length. EG: a 2ft tube will be 18w, a 4ft tube will be either 36w or 40w. You could change the ballast but the tubes to fit in the fixture will still be the same wattage. You will need to change the entire fixture. It's the only way I'm afraid. Do you have a hood on the tank & do you have glass lids? That will make a difference to what light fixture people recommend for you. I assume the tank is a standard 4ft long 55gal? If it is then your starting point is that you want the light fixture to be 4ft long as well so that the entire length of the tank is lit evenly rather than having a bright section in the middle & dark at either end.

The cheapest co2 system is a DIY co2 rig. You can use the search feature at the top of the page to search Fishlore for threads on co2 rigs or you can google "DIY aquarium CO2" & you will get literally thousands of hits for plans & instructions on how to make the rig. DIY co2 will only cost a few dollars to build & maybe $1 a week in running costs.

EDIT: I keep forgetting about those AH Supply kits. I havn't used them but from what I have read they are really good.
 
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Cody6511

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Also are there carpet plants that wouldnt need CO2? i honestly dont want to get into CO2 because it looks either too expensive, or too much work. What im going for is a nice softer bottom lol. If you cant tell im clueless about plants lol!

Thanks in advance
 
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Cody6511

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Thanks Nate and Nutter! Um for my tank yes it is a standard 55. I currently have no glass lids, just 2 aqueon hoods. What would be the perfect lighting fixture for a setup like this?
 
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