Let's talk lights...

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Let's talk lights...

Post by Norm66 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:07 pm

Almost the only technical piece I'm still missing from my new 125 is lighting. I've never been happy with standard aquarium lights like normally come with the plastic hoods. My two current tanks (20 and 29 gallons) both have Marineland's double Bright LEDs and I really like them. Unfortunately they don't make them long enough for a 6 foot tank and they'd be cost prohibitive anyway. Plus I think I want to have at least a few easy plants in the new tank. The lights will just sit on top of the glass top as I don't plan a canopy on this tank.

All this leads me to fluorescents, either T8 or T5. T5 seem to be more popular in the hobby, but I can buy a double bulb 4' T8 fixture at Home Depot for less than $30. It would leave a 1' area at either end but I don't think that would be a big deal. I could also go two 3 foot fixtures though I would probably have to stagger them somewhat to get them to fit. That would be more expensive both in two fixtures but double the bulbs. Four foot bulbs seem to be the best value.

So what is everybody using on their bigger tanks? Do you have any plants?

Norm66

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Re: Let's talk lights...

Post by addicted2cichlid on Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:58 am

Hey Norm,

i use, almost exclusively, T5 High Output lighting for my planted tanks. if you got yourself 2 3ft dual bulb fixtures you could do alot of the lower light plants like anubias, java fern, crypt...

these lights are nothing high end or anything like that, but they have done well for me so far, and they are a price you cant argue: couple of these would do the trick

http://www.aquatraders.com/36-inch-2x39W-T5-Aquarium-Light-Fixture-p/52122.htm

the 4 bulb versions would allow you to do even more plants as well. they also have a 6ft fixture as well.

replacement bulbs aren't too expensive, right around $15-$20 for each lamp. for easy plants you could keep the actinics it comes with in there for that touch of blue and keep the 10k bulbs in there or switch them out for 6500k's and get a bit more growth out of plants.


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Re: Let's talk lights...

Post by poolmako on Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:16 am

check out ebay i have bought t5 lights there and the price was pretty cheap i think the 36 inch light i have was like 35 bucks and its 78 watts and i have grown plants under this light.
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Re: Let's talk lights...

Post by Norm66 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:05 pm

Zombie thread. LOL.

I wound up going with a home depot T5 48" fixture mounted in a black painted rain gutter. I like that it's not super bright. As of now I'm still using the stock bulbs, but they're rather yellow for my taste. I have a 10,000K and a 6500K ordered and should be here this week. I'm going to do an experiment and see which I like better.

I'm not going to mess with plants so it's really just about lighting the tank for me to observe the fish and I don't need a whole ton of light for that.

Thanks for the input though, it might come in handy for future projects. cheers

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