Lighting

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ryanr

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If you already own the fixture, you should be able to change tubes to make it more suitable for plants. e.g. actinic are pretty much useless for plant growth.

If you're thinking of purchasing one, I would say save your money and go with T5HO.
 

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With lighting, it is more about the spectrum of light produced rather than the temperature (K rating). That said, the K rating can be a good guide to what part of the spectrum will be produced.

I know that as a general rule, the lower the K rating, the more red/pink the light will be, and the higher you go, the more purple/blue light you get.

I'm not sure how it translates to MH, but I use T5HO at 6700k and 18000k.

I'm pretty sure I've got this right when I say the 6700k produces the spectrum for plants, and the 18000k provides the brightness in the tank but doesn't do much for the plants.
 

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Yes your lights should be ok for a planted aquarium but you could do better. Are they double ended or single ended bulbs? If they are single ended do you know if they are a medium or a wide base? What size is the tank? (dimensions rather than gallons)
 
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Goldwing_Don

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the tank is 182.88 x 45.72 x 58.42...473.13L or (72x18x23) 125 gal. its a pfo72 hood MH are American Single Mogel Bulbs
 
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Nutter

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Something like this might serve you pretty well:

Replace the actinic tubes with either 6,700k or 18,000k tubes (or both) so that there is some balance to the lighting.

Given the depth of the tank, you might need to hang the fixture a bit of a way over the tank to stop over heating becoming a problem.That's an awful lot of light for a small non-reef tank. A pressurised co2 system will be a must have.
 
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Goldwing_Don

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Thank you for your help Nutter. i was hoping i wouldn't have to change the lighting to much to do a planted tank. this is going to take a little more thought.
 

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Your Welcome.

You can grow plants with the MH lights you have now but you could definitley make some big improvements with the right bulb & tube choices. At the very least I would replace the fluoro tubes with some 10,000k - 18,000k tubes. That wil help alot. The co2 system is going to be mandatory, no matter what bulb/tubes you choose to use.
 
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Goldwing_Don

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Yeah I knew the C02 was a must. Thats another post and lot of ?'s for you I'm sure. I took a shot at live plants before but hair and beard algae kicked me out of the game.
 

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I don't have much experience with the output of VHO lights. Without me knowing what they would be equivelnt to in T8 or T5HO, I really couldn't tell you if they would be enough for plants on thier own. I imagine they would be but I'm not at all certain about that. I think you would be better of asking Mathas about that one. He's really good with lights. You could send him a PM asking for him to look at this thread.
 

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I don't have much experience with the output of VHO lights.
I really don't either, but a standard 72" T12 VHO bulb is 160W... if that's what we're talking about here, two of those (if the actinic bulbs are replaced) over a 125g tank should be quite sufficient to grow plants. Whether it's enough for "red plants" or not may depend on which specific red plants are in question.

Don, are the bulbs about an inch in diameter? I want to make sure what you have is what I think you do.
 

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the light bulbs say " FR59T12/VHO" on them they are 5 foot light bulbs so thats 140 watts each. they are 1 1/2 inch
That should still be sufficient to grow many kinds of plants, provided the current actinic bulbs are replaced with alternatives that have a spectral output more geared towards freshwater plants.
 
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