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T5-HO tubes for nepenthes tank

Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
102
I will be getting one of the Exo-Terra Extra Wide/Extra Tall tanks (36" length, 18" width, 36" height) and I was wondering how many T5-High Output fluorescent tubes I should use for lighting. I've been looking at a 2 foot long, 4-tube fixture from a local hydroponics supply place. The fixture comes with 4 6000k bulbs, but I am going to swap out 2 for 3000k to get a more natural spectrum.

Due to the height of the tank, my plants will be between 1 and 2 feet from the lights (depending on plant height). With the set-up I am describing, is this too much/too little light for Nepenthes? I have the option of getting a 6-tube or 8-tube unit, but I feel that would be overkill.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
318
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Northern VA, USA
To light a 30x22x32" tank I'm using 4 24" T5HO tubes. I would say 4 tubes is the minimum for good growth, while 6 tubes would be the maximum. And of course you'll be battling high temperatures under those lights, so 4 tubes might make your life easier.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
439
Location
Utah
My Sun Blaze T5HO 2' 4 lamp fixture for my indoor Herb garden doesn't put off all that much heat....but it is an open space and my fixture is louvered to help the heat dissipate above the bulbs and not below them where the plants are.
http://www.horticulturesource.com/s...orescent-lighting-fixture-2-4-lamp-23--p2655/

I like HO fluorescent bulbs BECAUSE they don't put off crazy heat and can be closer to the plants. So I am not so sure you will be battling high temperatures really. But who knows with your specific fixture.

On the note of how many bulbs, if you can afford it, go for 6. I was wishing 3 days after I got mine that I had gone for the 8 lamp fixture. But if 6 is the suggested max, get yourself the 6 if you can price it. Perhaps I am wrong depending on your specific situation and plants, but I think 6 is better than 4. IMHO

Good luck! :D
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
102
I just found out that the same local place that carries the T5-HO lights also has grow tents, so I will be getting one of those instead of the exo-terra because I can get a much larger growing space for less money. I'm not sure what size I will get (probably at least 4' long by 4' deep, not sure about height) so I will use either a total of 8 or 12 bulbs, depending on how large I decide to go.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
439
Location
Utah
That's nice.

I only became familiar with grow tents when I started researching HID light fixtures that put of insane heat. What kind of humidity can be maintained in a grow tent? Anyone know?
 

Tower

Jake
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
125
Location
Panhandle, Texas
I have a grow tent, and I maintain mine @ 80% and thats with 4 4ft t5s and 2 300 watt led set ups. Its also 8ft by 8ft. However, any humidity level is achievable.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
318
Location
Northern VA, USA
My 4x4x8' grow tent doesn't maintain ideal humidity on its own, so I have one of those pond foggers sitting at the intake of one of the fans. As long as I keep the reservoir full my humidity stays at 70-85%. And this is with the vents almost entirely closed. If I did extensive watering I probably wouldn't have to worry about it, but condensation that rolls down the walls leaks out of the tent bottom, otherwise I'd just use a misting system.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2012
Messages
406
Location
Gulf coast, Texas
I have that same tank. It's hard to find a light that will fit cleanly over it. What I use is a 4 tube, 48" t5HO from 6-10" above my plants depending on where in the tank they are. There is some overhang off the sides but honestly I don't view that as a problem. Just means the fixture parts are outside the area of the tank so plants put up against the glass will still get adequate lighting. I wish it was wider though, it does not reach all the way across.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
439
Location
Utah
Tower and Carbon,

That is good info to know about these tents. I kinda figured you may need to put in a fogger but that sounds pretty easy to get a good humidity level from.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with them, I may never get one because the wife is adverse to them and barely handles my tanks as it is, but someday I bet I get something like that.
 

vraev

Carnivorous plant enthusiast
Admin
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
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2,815
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hello,

Having had a 3' tall tank (2 of them intact), what you are thinking for nepenthes and in-fact for any plants IMO is very very low light. I used to use 4' - 4 tube T5HO + 4' 2 tube T8...but then I got greedy and upgraded it to a 8 tube T5ho. That was enough to get good light all the way to the bottom where my plants were located (10" from the bottom). I personally would try to look to 4' 4 tube T5HO fixtures at least. And I would recommend a daylight spectrum (sun blaster or philips or GE T5HO 6500K) with some extra for colour (I used a coral-life colormax). Intensity drops quickly so...that was one thing I learnt about tall tanks. Very very hard to get enough light to get "red" colour on plants at the bottom.
cheers,
V

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