Center Brace Issues with Lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Center Brace Issues with Lighting

Hi,
I am in the process of narrowing down lighting choices for a 55Gallon, low light set-up with no CO2. The tank has a center brace that is just shy of 2". My question is, how much of an issue is that brace with a 48" light and casting shadows and how does it affect PAR? Would it be better to buy separate fixtures to illuminate both halfs of the tank?

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 12:38 AM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 02:54 PM
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I don't think there would be any difference if you have two light fixtures or one, except that the two fixtures will probably cost you more. Almost every large tank has a brace or two somewhere on top. I don't notice it on my 150 unless I specifically look up at the surface and see the shadow. Water refracts and bends the light as soon as it hits the surface, especially if there is surface turbulence.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 03:00 PM
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i don't notice any shadows on my aquarium with center brace. Dwarf Baby Tears and Glosso growing underneath it just fine.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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ggsteve,
Thanks! That is good to hear.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 12:39 AM. Reason: typo
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 03:06 PM
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I cut out a sheet of plastics glass and silicone it under the brace just in case it break.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
ggsteve,
Thanks! That is good to hear. Been going crazy trying to figure out lighting and don't want to get something and then grrr..didn't think of that.

I actually found this in searching for a single T5HO ballast...@$31.95..
http://www.htgsupply.com/Product-Gro...p-T5-Light.asp

100% BRAND NEW PREMIUM SYSTEM!
1 Lamp 4 Foot T5 High Output Fluorescent Fixture
Specialty 6400K "GROW" High Output T5 Horticultural Bulb Included
High Output 5,000 lumens!
6' Grounded Power Cord - plugs into a standard household outlet and operates on standard household current
Electronic Ballast ensures energy efficiency and reliable performance.
Highly Reflective Aluminum Reflector INCLUDED! No extra cost for this premium upgrade feature! Note: Can be used with or without reflector.
COMPACT and POWERFUL! Measures 46.5" Long x 3.5" Wide and 1.75" Deep
Mounting Hardware Included

Anybody see what is wrong with this? Just seems like a great price. I didn't even think about looking into hydroponic lighting. Big duh, since I use to do that back in the late 80's out in Los Angelos.
Seems to say all the right things and the price is pretty darn good since it looks like it has a wrap-around reflector. Single strip T5 shop-lights at the box stores cost $25 and they come with a 3000K bulb that you would have to replace and add a reflector. I didn't look at the shipping costs. Honestly though, if you're not put off by the white barebones fixture, you can actually do better with a 2-bulb T5 shop light. I think they sell for about $15 and the white wing reflectors aren't horrible compared to the wrap-arounds for the money. I use a bunch of 'em. Just bear in mind that the 6500K bulb will be a little yellow.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bushkill,
I'm looking for low tech set up. From what I have read on this site it seems like two T5's would be too much without CO2.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-14-2013 at 01:00 PM. Reason: typo
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In.a.Box View Post
I cut out a sheet of plastics glass and silicone it under the brace just in case it break.
That is a great idea. In a few years, if that piece starts to get brittle, I shall follow your lead. Thanks!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
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Hi Bushkill,
I'm looking for low tech set up. From what I have read on this site it seems like two T5's would be too much without CO2. I have focused in on "Hoppy" and "Byron" posts mainly to come to this conclusion and in all my research across the net, IMO, lighting authorities/gurus.

Thanks for the feedback. That light shipped would be $46 or a hour and a half drive to pick it up....I think the reflector, being for hydro setups would be more than adequate to get the light where it needs to be! I would hang it and just build a nice enclosure for it.
Forgot to add that the second tube in the shop-lights I use have blue actinic bulbs in them. They do absolutely nothing for plants, but they do balance out the yellow appearance of 6500K bulbs if that's an issue for you. Coming back to this from a long time on the SW side, I still have trouble coming around to 6500K lighting.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Bushkill,
The *feel* of the lighting is the only limiting factor with going with the 1 54W- T-5 that I saw an issue with. Being able to mix it up with the 2 -T8 bulbs and balance definitely an advantage with the two T8s.

I hear you with the SW, did that route when I was out in Los Angelos. Being in the sticks in NH these days, with no generator for backup when I lose power...is why I went to FW. I have my 55 & 26G insulated on 3 sides and cover at night with heavy wool blanket...so as not to be heating the room with the tanks all night.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
Bushkill,
The *feel* of the lighting is the only limiting factor with going with the 1 54W- T-5 that I saw an issue with. Being able to mix it up with the 2 -T8 bulbs and balance definitely an advantage with the two T8s.

I hear you with the SW, did that route when I was out in Los Angelos. Being in the sticks in NH these days, with no generator for backup when I lose power...is why I went to FW. I have my 55 & 26G insulated on 3 sides and cover at night with heavy wool blanket...so as not to be heating the room with the tanks all night.
Those shop-lights come in T5 as well I think. But Zoomed sells T8 bulbs that are priced more "economically", and I've had great luck with them over the years. With the cost of a home depot shop light and two Zoomed bulbs You'd be out about $50.

Oh my friend, the power outages coupled with multiple flooding incidents made me see it as a HUGE money pit after 13 years. FW is no less physical work if you do it correctly. The basics haven't changed in decades. But your not a slave to the latest lighting or filtration fad/trend. I won't even get into the "funky-named coral of the month" that everybody needs a square inch of.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
Bushkill,
The *feel* of the lighting is the only limiting factor with going with the 1 54W- T-5 that I saw an issue with. Being able to mix it up with the 2 -T8 bulbs and balance definitely an advantage with the two T8s.

I hear you with the SW, did that route when I was out in Los Angelos. Being in the sticks in NH these days, with no generator for backup when I lose power...is why I went to FW. I have my 55 & 26G insulated on 3 sides and cover at night with heavy wool blanket...so as not to be heating the room with the tanks all night.
Take it from one who's lived in the sticks for 23 years now. Buy a small generator. Best investment you can make. Rest assured, once you buy it, you won't need it for years. That's just the way life works (for me at least), but when the time finally comes, it's just a great feeling to be prepared.
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