Freshwater Aquarium/Lighting setup



I'm looking at getting my aquarium back up and running. I used to work in a pet store when I was younger and be an expert on this site as well but haven't had an aquarium for about 5 years now. I'm looking at doing a planted tank in a 36 gallon bow front tank. Since i've been out of the game for awhile can you make some recommendations on lighting fixtures I should take a look at? I have a 55watt fixture now which I know isn't enough. I'm shooting for 3+ watts per gallon if possible for some sword plants.

I'm pretty open to anything. High output fluorescent, metal halide, anything!

Thanks Richard


Hi Nick

I don't have a bow front tank, but on another 36 gallon planted tank, I have 2 of the twin bulb Coralife T5NO fixtures with 2 daylight bulbs and 2 50/50 blue/white and my plants (mostly Amazon Swords) are thriving. You could also use the T5HO.

Hope this helps, good luck!


Freshwater Aquarium

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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with community tank fish, semi-aggressive fish (Barbs, Tetras, etc), Angels, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids.

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