Need help to pick for plants. 100 Gallon Tank

  1. Thunder Member Member

    Okay, the tank is 100 gallon and it is 5 feet long (60") and I am having a very difficult time finding a 60" strip. I can either go 48" or 78", but obviously the 78" is too long.

    I am trying to achieve 2 to 3 wpg, enough for plants to survive with low to medium light without Co2 injection setup.

    I buy bulbs at PetSmart, but I think they are T-8 bulbs. Right now, I have 2 strips of 20w 24" 6,700k bulbs. I might not keep them, since I do not think the reflector are good on them.

    If I don't keep them, then I'm looking at a fixture that have 3 or 4 bulbs, but not too much wattage. If I keep them, then a fixture with 2 bulbs.

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+9662+9869&pcatid=9869

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+9662+13612&pcatid=13612

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=16770

    These kind of bulbs are better than compact double tubes?

    I don't know where else to find a good fixture, so if anyone can, direct me to good suggestions, please.

    Edit...

    Found one for 60" but extremely expensive.

    http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsU.../cl0/4x54wt5lightfixturewith4ledlunarlights60
     
  2. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    IMO either of the first two are a waste of money for a 100 gallon tank. The reflectors are nothing special and the normal output bulbs aren't going to be much help. The Aquatic Life fixture is nice, but very expensive. I'd suggest going with your 3rd option and seeing what you're able to keep. For less than the Aquatic Life fixture, you could add a second 108W T5 strip and have the same light output.

    The wattage seems low I know, but the HO T5 fixtures are VERY bright compared to normal outputs or power compacts of similar wattage. You can easily keep low light plants with just 108W IMO.
     

  3. mathas Well Known Member Member

    If you're looking for something specifically in the 60" length, Catalina has a couple of options for you, including one that would be significantly less expensive than the AquaticLife fixture you linked to: http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/product_info.php?cPath=71_136&products_id=1422

    As harpua said, T5HO is quite a bit brighter than other types of lighting you might be used to, and 160W would allow you to grow more than you'd probably expect.

    edit: I forgot to mention that Catalina ships their fixtures with actinic bulbs unless you specify otherwise when you order... if you do choose to go with something from them, make sure you note it's for a freshwater tank and would prefer their 6700K bulbs in place of the actinics.
     
  4. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    I'd agree that your option 3 is the best choice out of what you listed. You could look at staggering your fittings across the tank to so that the whole tank has light directly over it. You would have a bright area in the middle & a slighly dimmer area to each side but not so much that you or your plants will notice. Don't buy into this WPG stuff though. I had a 6x2x2ft tank set up with just 5 x 40w T8 tubes & a flat white reflector & got excellent growth out of lots of plants that I shouldn't. It goes against all the so called rules but I've begun thinking that spectrum is far more important than actual output when it comes to plant growth, within reason. I'm sure most will disagree with that & not so long ago I would have disagreed to but having had my GF buying high light plants for a low light set up & getting them to survive has gone along way to changing my mind. Sorry I never took any pics & I have just had to pull all the plants because of her unsuitable choice of fish.
     

  5. Thunder Member Member

    Okay, thanks for the help and suggestions. I'll save those and continue to look at others.
     
  6. couesfanatic Member Member

    Dont get the all glass tubes. I have two over my 20 long and I am buying a Coralife 2x31 watts now to replace them.