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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm completely new to the whole planted thing and I have a few questions for you experts out there.
I have a 225 gallon tank (6x2x2.5) with gravel substrate and I have a dozen assorted "low-light" plants arriving soon.
The light fixture holds 4 bulbs and I currently have 6 bulbs and am wondering which ones I should use.
I have:
(2) Coral Sun Actinic 420
(2) PowerGlo 30 watt
(2) Eclipse Natural Daylight F30/T8

Which 4 should I put in there?
How long should I leave them on each day?
Also, do I have to dose with fertilizer?
 

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First, the bulbs, from that list I would choose the PowerGlo and the Eclipse Natural Daylight... this is still not really enough light for even a low light 225g tank though... you really want to have at least 1wpg and right now with those 4 bulbs you are only going to have around .53wpg... so the plants may stay alive, but you wont see much if any growth and they will probably eventually die.

As for how long to leave them on... this has been debated many times on the plant forums, most people say 8, 10, or 12 hours a day... personally, mine are on for 15hrs a day because I like to enjoy my tanks when I wake up in the morning and at night when I get home and am watching tv... really you just have to find what works for you.

Finally... fertilizing, yes you need to. Whether you really want to or not is up to you, but if you want to get some growth out of your plants you are going to need to. Dippy's pinned topic on planted tanks goes over a lot of the fertilization information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info!
2 questions -

1) How do I find out how many watts the coral sun and eclipse bulbs put out?

2) What if I bought another light fixture so I could run all 6 bulbs. Do you think that would give me enough light for my "low-light" plants?
 

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Thanks for the info!
2 questions -

1) How do I find out how many watts the coral sun and eclipse bulbs put out?

2) What if I bought another light fixture so I could run all 6 bulbs. Do you think that would give me enough light for my "low-light" plants?
1. Assuming they are all 48" T8's, they all are 30 to 34 Watts.

2. Using all 6, puts you at about .8 watts per gallon. Its definetly better than just the 4, but its still a long way from 2 watts per gallon. the plants may live, but most likely they're not going to thrive/grow/live a long time unless you add a bit more light, or the tank gets indirect light from a window.
 

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Thanks,
One more question - What's a good all-around fertilizer to dose with?
That depends on your tanks needs. Usually there is not 1 majic bottle to dose with, but a few.
 

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At a minimum i'd start out with at least these 3: Flourish, Flourish Iron, Flourish Trace. Flourish and Flourish Iron for sure though. If you want to get more in depth you'll need to do some more specialized water tests, however for a low light setup, that should do pretty well.
 
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