How much light is good? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 112
How much light is good and what kind of bulbs should I be using for my new 55g plant tank (with fish). Right now I have 2 20 watts (that came with the tank) do I need more watts? And if I do ...... do I have to buy them for the LFS or can I get them from Home Depot???
corey is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 01:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Rex Grigg's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
You need a lot more watts. 40 watts on a 55 gallon tank is not going to grow much of anything. At a minimum what you want to do is dump the canopies you have on the 55 and get a standard glass canopy. Then get at least one good shop light and put some 5000k-6500k bulbs in it. You can get the shop light and bulbs at Home Depot. You might even want to get two shop lights. Or if you really want some good light at a higher cost go to and get a 2 x 55 watt upgrade kit and a couple of bulbs.
Rex Grigg is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 112
I plan on building the DIY canapoy any good sites out there with a good easy way to build it? I checked out that site looks great but I live in Canada so Its a little to much for me to spend right now but thanks a million anyway.!!
corey is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2003, 08:23 PM
Planted Tank VIP
GDominy's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Victoria,British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,420
There are a couple of ways you can do this. A "standard" 55 is 4 feet long by 12" wide. You can fit a pair of 2 x 40 watt strip lights above the tank (giving you a total of 4 x 40 watts = 160 watts) . This would be the cheapeast way to go. Usually those fixtures cost between $20-$30 Canadian (from Canadian Tire or Home Depot). The disadvantage being weight and size though.

You can also buy your ballast(s) and end clips from Home Depot and make your own lighting solution to fit inside your canopy. This is probably even cheaper then buying striplights, but it is more difficult and you will have to do the wiring yourself.

Building the canopy is fairly simple, there are many many designs floating around on the net that you can use. You can assemble it from plywood (I use cabinetry grade plywood for most of my own stuff), pine planks, anything really.

I actually have a design for a canopy and stand for a 45 gallon tank on my website that I did up. It should work just fine for a 55 gallon.
GDominy is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Here's a great how to lorax Riparium/Terrarium/Vivarium 3 06-09-2009 01:24 AM
Would this be a good light for my planted tank? DocRay Equipment 2 09-20-2004 03:30 AM
Is this light fixture a good deal? link included tarantulaguy Lighting 6 05-06-2004 05:17 PM
The Potential Importance of Tank Depth on Light Attenuation Splash Lighting 25 03-26-2004 08:41 PM
Planted Tank Chat Transcripts! KyleT General Planted Tank Discussion 0 02-26-2004 10:20 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome