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Natalie 11-30-2012 12:52 AM

Lights for open air paludarium
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I am researching the equipment to put together a 4'x4'x5' open air paludarium.

I am hoping to get some advice on lighting. The lights will be 42" from the surface of the water, and 54" from the bottom of the tank.

I am a reef-girl at heart, so I tend to lean toward halides (and have several 150w and 250w fixtures already available), but I don't feel comfortable with halides in this application. I have two small children, and since this will open-air there won't be any water to block the view of the bulbs -- don't want my kiddos looking up into them.

I am leaning toward either LEDs or HO t5's.

Any thoughts on what will get the best penetration in this application?

I have attached a sketch of the scale of the setup, as well as the (sadly, empty) tank and the beginnings of my above-water hardscape.

lochaber 11-30-2012 09:36 PM

I just have to say that planning a setup like that, indoors, with children, is pretty brave. :)

Do you plan on having any critters on the terrestrial portion?

Depending on how you build your terrestrial portion, you may be able to build some lights into it, or use some on the rim of the tank, so you don't need quite so much power for the aquatic plants.

I would think that whatever you grow on land wouldn't need quite as much light.

Natalie 11-30-2012 11:46 PM

Haha. You may be right. Luckily it's in my office, and the girls don't have access unless we're with them.

I am considering a small chameleon for the terrestrial portion, but only if the conditions are correct for one once I get the misting system, etc running. I'll let the habitat dictate whether it's right for an inhabitant.

You have a really good idea, thanks. I may be able to plan a way to get some spotlights or similar to provide light to the water portion without burning up the terrestrial portion.

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