Which light for a 36" deep aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Which light for a 36" deep aquarium?

Hi,

I'm in the process of building my own aquarium to fit the space I have. So at the end, it will most probably be 78"Wx28"Dx36"H. (36" of water. I have an additionnal 4" of substrat)

My concern is regarding the lighting. I will have a lot of plants in the aquarium since I really like plants. I already have a 33G just for plants. I want to have very small plants in the front, like Staurogyne repens, so I need the light to really reach the bottom of the aquarium.

I looked at the options for the lights and seems that 36" can really be an issue exepct for Metal Halide, which I look like to avoid because of the heat.

Initially, I planned to use 3 feets T5HO lights and fill the top with that. But I read everywhere that T5HO are not good enought past 24".

If I put them tight, I can put 12 T5HO each side, for a total of 24.

I also found this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

I did the math, for a 3' section, and I got 12*0,8*10=96PAR! Which finally is a lot!

So I'm a little confused now. At the T5HO good enought for my application? Or should I really go to another technilogie, like the LEDs?

Thanks,

JM
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 04:30 PM
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Hoppy did a build for a 36" deep tank with LEDs, it might be something that you would like to look at.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...high-tank.html
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 05:38 PM
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T5HO lights are just fine for a 36 inch high tank. You need two closely spaced bulbs at that distance to get about 50 micromols of PAR, which is plenty of light. Of course, with a 28 inch front to back depth tank, one light cannot give you good lighting over the whole substrate, but 2 lights spaced about 8-10 inches apart should work fine - 4 bulbs total.

Hoppy
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reybie View Post
Hoppy did a build for a 36" deep tank with LEDs, it might be something that you would like to look at.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...high-tank.html
I read almost all the thread! I think it's a bit to much for me I know how to solder LEDs, but I don't have engouth knowledge when it's time to choose the right one... But still, thanks for the link. I will continue to read to maybe, in the futur, try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
T5HO lights are just fine for a 36 inch high tank. You need two closely spaced bulbs at that distance to get about 50 micromols of PAR, which is plenty of light. Of course, with a 28 inch front to back depth tank, one light cannot give you good lighting over the whole substrate, but 2 lights spaced about 8-10 inches apart should work fine - 4 bulbs total.
Hi Hoppy, thanks for this information.

When you are saying 2 bulbs total, do you mean 4 bulbs per side? Or just 4 bulbs for the entire tank?

Should it look like that?



The front is in the bottom. The scale of the tank is correct, and the position too. The scale of the bulbs is not.

As I read in another thread here, I'm planning to use AH Supply 96 Watts Bright Kit. It's one kit, and it can use one bulb, but this bulb has 2 tubes... So should I put 2 kits like this one side by side, and another 2 at about 10" from it? Or simple one kit, and the other one at 10"?

Thanks for your help.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmspaggi View Post
Hi,

I'm in the process of building my own aquarium to fit the space I have. So at the end, it will most probably be 78"Wx28"Dx36"H. (36" of water. I have an additionnal 4" of substrat)

My concern is regarding the lighting. I will have a lot of plants in the aquarium since I really like plants. I already have a 33G just for plants. I want to have very small plants in the front, like Staurogyne repens, so I need the light to really reach the bottom of the aquarium.

I looked at the options for the lights and seems that 36" can really be an issue exepct for Metal Halide, which I look like to avoid because of the heat.

Initially, I planned to use 3 feets T5HO lights and fill the top with that. But I read everywhere that T5HO are not good enought past 24".

If I put them tight, I can put 12 T5HO each side, for a total of 24.

I also found this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

I did the math, for a 3' section, and I got 12*0,8*10=96PAR! Which finally is a lot!

So I'm a little confused now. At the T5HO good enought for my application? Or should I really go to another technilogie, like the LEDs?

Thanks,

JM
In salt water 250W MH are good to 24" and top of the line T5HO are good 30". So as Hoppy stated T5HO are sufficient for a 36" fresh water tank.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmspaggi View Post
I read almost all the thread! I think it's a bit to much for me I know how to solder LEDs, but I don't have engouth knowledge when it's time to choose the right one... But still, thanks for the link. I will continue to read to maybe, in the futur, try it.



Hi Hoppy, thanks for this information.

When you are saying 2 bulbs total, do you mean 4 bulbs per side? Or just 4 bulbs for the entire tank?

Should it look like that?



The front is in the bottom. The scale of the tank is correct, and the position too. The scale of the bulbs is not.

As I read in another thread here, I'm planning to use AH Supply 96 Watts Bright Kit. It's one kit, and it can use one bulb, but this bulb has 2 tubes... So should I put 2 kits like this one side by side, and another 2 at about 10" from it? Or simple one kit, and the other one at 10"?

Thanks for your help.
Your light diagram is what Hoppy meant.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 07:26 PM
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That AH supply is a CF light. That won't do much in a 36" deep tank.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2in10 View Post
Your light diagram is what Hoppy meant.
Yes, and AH Supply bright kit lights would only give you around 15 micromols of PAR per bulb/reflector at 36 inches. That isn't nearly enough light.

Hoppy
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Oups... With AH Supply I tought I choosed the right one, look like I'm wrong.

Do you have some names for good quality reflectors/ballasts/bulbs?

2in10, thanks for the confirmation for the diagram.

Thanks all.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 09:16 PM
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AH Supply's T5HO should be good, Catalina Aquariums are decent and they will build to order. Other wise I suggest getting two 72" long 4x39W T5HO with individual reflectors or formed ones at the least.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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The T5 at AH Supply are 4 feet long. So It's not working for me. And they don't seems to have 3 feet or 72" either.

At Cataline Aquariums, regarding the 4x39W, I'm not able to find that with 72". I think it's more 80W for 72". And it seems they don't have just the parts for DIY. Like the reflectors, the ballasts, etc.

Because I don,t want the ballast to be on the same room as the tank. That's why the initial AH Supply idea was nice.

One of the options I have for now it to put 4 times [Ebay Link Removed] light ramp[/URL]. The ballast is not fixed into the ramp so I can extend the wires to have it somewhere else.

But I'm not 100% sure of the quality...
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 10:23 PM
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I didn't mention due to shipping but you could try www.hellolights.com if you are thinking retrofit/DIY.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 11:18 PM
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Catalinaaquarium.com customize, have you called them? There customer service has always been excellent (I own 4 of their fixtures) and their prices are fair.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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@londonloco: No, I did not get a chance to call them. A bit difficult for me english over the phone I will try to drop them an email.

@2in10: Nice site! I will add it to my options! Thanks!

@Hoppy: You often talk about putting the lights higher than close to the water level. Here, I planned to have them very close because I don't have to much place on the top for that. To adress that, can I "simply" spread the bulbs evenly on the top?

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:14 AM
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This, I believe, will work better - come closer to giving you the light intensity you need:


But, I haven't tried experimenting to see the effect of various configurations like that. It is a lot of work to do that.

Hoppy
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