90 gallon lighting?
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
TheGiantDwarfShrimp
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90 gallon lighting?


How much light would a 90 gallon heavily planted need?
I would like to have as much light as I can without the necessity of Co2 or ferts.
The tank will have MTS soil.

I am also trying to keep it cheap- don't need anything fancy and could try DIY if it would really lower the cost (if it can be done with a handsaw and drill then its simple enough for me )

Any suggestions would be great, thanks
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
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You could do something like this for pretty cheap.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...-solution.html

For a bit more you could go with something like this.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...watt-shop.html

Not sure if either will get you the maximum amount of light you can have with out needing Co2, but they will grow plants. Alternatively you might just want to spend some money up front and get a proper light like this...

http://www.marinedepot.com/Coralife_...FIT54U-vi.html

But that isn't the best light out there either. These are just some ideas...on a 48 inch tank you can spend anywhere from $50 to $500 on a light setup. The choice is yours. I'm running two of the Home Depot Shoplights. They work very well, but they are shoplights and perhaps not as visually appealing as other lights. Sometimes I wish I had just gotten a fancy fixture, but only because the overall setup might look a little cleaner.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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$120 is a bit much....
If the cheap shoplights work well and are cheaper then I will just go with those.
The tank is a personal tank and is going to be in the basement so it doesn't need much to be the centerpiece of the room lol.

So would those specific shoplights be the best?

Thanks for the suggestions
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGiantDwarfShrimp View Post
$120 is a bit much....
If the cheap shoplights work well and are cheaper then I will just go with those.
The tank is a personal tank and is going to be in the basement so it doesn't need much to be the centerpiece of the room lol.

So would those specific shoplights be the best?

Thanks for the suggestions
In my opinion yes. The issue is that it's a 90 gallon tank, penetrating all the water is the task at hand. Whereas a normal $15 shoplight from Wal-Mart would suffice on a shallower tank, I think the reflectors on those Home Depot ones are what makes them decent. If you can find a cheaper shoplight with reflective qualities go for it.

That's also why I linked those CFL solutions. Believe it or not those dome reflectors work pretty well...might need 4 of them over a 90, but they are incredible cheap.

I know your not looking to spend $120, but keep in mind, those shoplights are like $35 a pop, then you need $16 (~$4 a piece) in bulbs. At that rate your getting close to the price of a proper light. I'm in no way trying to discourage you from the shoplights, they work awesome, and the bulbs are stupid cheap. Just want you to be informed. My plants are going absolutely insane with those lights...although I do add a smidge of Co2 to help out.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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I will probably use some DIY Co2 but don't want the plants depending on it.
Are there any disadvantages to the dome lights? Or are they just less powerful?
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGiantDwarfShrimp View Post
I will probably use some DIY Co2 but don't want the plants depending on it.
Are there any disadvantages to the dome lights? Or are they just less powerful?
I think they are probably less efficient, but not so much that you would really notice. The biggest issue I can see with the CFLs is getting them set up so you have good, even tank coverage. I've considered going that route...but I haven't figured out how I would hang them yet. THey look good to me when they are painted black. Read through that CFL thread, those cats know more about them than I do.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:48 AM   #7
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I just went to home depot but was in such a hurry I bought the wrong fixture. They don't have the mirror-like reflections the diamond plated lights do.
I am going to try to return them tomorrow but I also saw lights there that didn't have reflectors and were very cheap. Could I make my own light cover and just use mirrors or something very reflective?
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:40 AM   #8
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If I were to make a box out of wood and paint it white on the inside and have 4 32 watt t8s in it would that work well at reflecting the light? I read somewhere that white can be better than some metal reflectors
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:31 AM   #9
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90 gallons probably won't see any good or benefits from DIY co2. I'm currently setting up a 90 gallon tank as well. Have been looking at lighting. I'm shooting for medium high light. But to get it I'm going to order a custom-built light from Catalina. 4 bulb T5HO with roughly 8 inch separation between the pairs. (thanks for the recommendation hoppy)

The issues with bigger tanks like the 90 gallon is they are deep with decent width. So to get coverage of light throughout the tank to the bottom.

If your looking for cheap but still get low to medium light, you could look at an Odyssea fixture 4 bulb T5HO set up for just shy of $100.00. It will be lower light.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:05 AM   #10
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well got the diamond plated fixtures and some lights for them. As long as they are around 6000k and32 watt should they be fine or do I need the lights specifically for plants?
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:33 AM   #11
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This is a pretty low light tank then?
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:36 AM   #12
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How is it possible to do a heavily planted tank without co2 or ferts...its either going to be an algae farm or just have awful growth because of the lack of nutrients.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:14 PM   #13
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Going to have Mineralized top soil and may use some ferts if needed although it will be mostly easy to grow/ low light plants
Would this be medium or low light you think?
Thanks for all the suggestions by the way
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:48 AM   #14
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Imo it will be a low light set up. 90 gallon tanks are pretty tall need a fair amount of power to penetrate to the bottom.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:54 AM   #15
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Would I be spending a lot more for medium light?
If so then I am fine with dwarf sag, jungle val, crypts, anubias, and that weed they call wisteria. You can have heavily planted without a large variety anyway.
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