Lighting An acrylic tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'm planning on purchasing 26 gallon long acrylic tank. The top is also enclosed in acrylic with holes to do simple maintenace and such. I'm interested in turning it into a planted tank and i'm aiming for 2.5-3 Watt per gallon. The hood fixture that comes with it just sits on top of the acrylic and only houses one bulb. I've never had an acrylic tank this size before. Here are my questions:

1) If I were to get the bulb or fixture that deliver the wattage I wanted, would that melt or affect the acrylic top? If so, then what can i do to avoid it?

2) Any suggestions on how I can get the wattage I needed cheapest/easiest way possible?

3) One other thing, is it safe to use flourescent bulbs with an incandescent fixture?

I'm still new at this, please excuse my general descriptions. :? Thanks so much in advance.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 09:01 AM
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If you go with flourescent or compact flourescent fixtures, the heat from 75 watts of light shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure the hood has some kind of venting to let the heat escape.

As for the cheapest/easiest way to get the wattage... Cheap and easy are quite often mutually exclusive! However, you can learn all about inexpensive lighting here:

For easy, go someplace like here:

Is it safe to use flourescent bulbs in an incandescent fixture? I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean the flourescent bulbs with the ballast in the base that screw in to a standard light socket?

Take care...


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Tim. I purchased my tank just the other day. Its a 26 gallon long acrylic tank (36L x 10W x 16D). I'm mainly planning on making it a planted tank. I'm considering on purchasing the Coralife Aqualights Fixture w/ 2x65W of lighting, it includes the fan to dissipate the heat. I'm also purchasing the legs to raise it 2'' above the tank so it wont be touching the top of the acrylic. Do you think that 130W of light is overkill? it would be 5W/gallon.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 09:50 PM
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They make a 30" 130 watt fixture, but not a 36" one, in 36" they have 96 and 192 watt fixtures. The 96 watt fixture would probably be just about perfect for your needs if you plan on using co2.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 12:59 AM
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With 5 wpg you would pretty much HAVE to have pressurized CO2 and a pH controller. Along with at least 2-4 hours a week to fertilizer, test, change water, and prune.
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