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Old 02-28-2013, 05:08 PM   #1
MikeyMizz
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40B Lighting Advice for a Newbie


Thanks for reading...I'm in the process of starting my first tank: 40 gal breeder. I'm going low-tech because that's what my wallet says I can do. I've been scouring this forum for what lights to use and have gone back and forth. Finally found a thread that convinced me to suspend some lights (can't argue with grandmaster Hoppy), so I started thinking again about these 30" AquaSun T5-HO Double Light Linear Fluorescents down out my local used aquarium store. They only hold 22" T5HO, but if I suspend them above the tank, I was thinking that they'll throw the light around, no? They're only $55, so that's pretty enticing...
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #2
BruceF
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I would think that would be fine. Do they come with bulbs? I just bought a 36 inch aquaticlife fixture for my 40b because I am adding co2 to it. Right now I am using a 24 inch fixture with the same two 24 watt bulbs. it is plenty of light though it is a bit brighter in the center than on the sides. Without co2 it seems to do fine.

Just for the record the 36 inch light cost me 107 with new bulbs.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BruceF View Post
I would think that would be fine. Do they come with bulbs? I just bought a 36 inch aquaticlife fixture for my 40b because I am adding co2 to it. Right now I am using a 24 inch fixture with the same two 24 watt bulbs. it is plenty of light though it is a bit brighter in the center than on the sides. Without co2 it seems to do fine.

Just for the record the 36 inch light cost me 107 with new bulbs.
Yeah, they do come with bulbs...only one left when I called just now. Decisions decisions.

Thanks for replying, BruceF.

p.s. the bulbs were blues...

Last edited by MikeyMizz; 02-28-2013 at 09:42 PM.. Reason: For thanks
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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Hi and welcome!

I'm working on starting up my first planted tank, too, which also happens to be a no-c02/lowtech 40b. I ended up getting a 36" Finnex Fugeray (LED) for my set-up. It's about twice as much ($109 w/ free shipping), but the LED means you won't have to replace bulbs so I figured it'd save money over time (plus is energy efficient). I don't have my tank filled and running yet, but it's a pretty sexy fixture (so much slimmer than photos lead on!) and I've heard nothing but good things about it. You could easily suspend these, too: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=194313

I'm expecting to get about low-medium light without suspension. I know suspension or even adding a fiberglass window screen will cut down on PAR, so I think it'd do well for you as low light.

Just throwing it out there as another option.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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That will work well for you. I have four 40b tanks set up all with 2bulb t5ho and no co2. the only thing I dont like with a 2 bulb fixture is that the light dosent spread front to back very well in a 40b unless you raise it up pretty far, and then the intensity drops off... if I could do it again, Id look for 2 fixtures with lower output so the bulbs arnt so clustered up.
Im using the 2x39w t5ho from aquatraders if you want to take a look at that one too.
I wonder if someone asked nicely, if aquatraders would put 2 bulbs and the 2 bulb ballest on there wider 4 bulb frame, or whichever frame they have that is widest...
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lullafishi View Post
Hi and welcome!

I'm working on starting up my first planted tank, too, which also happens to be a no-c02/lowtech 40b. I ended up getting a 36" Finnex Fugeray (LED) for my set-up. It's about twice as much ($109 w/ free shipping), but the LED means you won't have to replace bulbs so I figured it'd save money over time (plus is energy efficient). I don't have my tank filled and running yet, but it's a pretty sexy fixture (so much slimmer than photos lead on!) and I've heard nothing but good things about it. You could easily suspend these, too: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=194313

I'm expecting to get about low-medium light without suspension. I know suspension or even adding a fiberglass window screen will cut down on PAR, so I think it'd do well for you as low light.

Just throwing it out there as another option.
I have the exact setup. I really love the FugeRay for low/med light plants. I have excellent growth with lots of different kinds. Mine is dirted, which helps out too. I use the feet that came with the light so it's not suspended and I don't have a top on the tank. Good luck with your build! Following along. Oh! No algae issues either.

Last edited by Amy9; 02-28-2013 at 09:38 PM.. Reason: add info
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
That will work well for you. I have four 40b tanks set up all with 2bulb t5ho and no co2. the only thing I dont like with a 2 bulb fixture is that the light dosent spread front to back very well in a 40b unless you raise it up pretty far, and then the intensity drops off... if I could do it again, Id look for 2 fixtures with lower output so the bulbs arnt so clustered up.
Im using the 2x39w t5ho from aquatraders if you want to take a look at that one too.
I wonder if someone asked nicely, if aquatraders would put 2 bulbs and the 2 bulb ballest on there wider 4 bulb frame, or whichever frame they have that is widest...
yeah! that poor spread from front to back is exactly what I was concerned about...
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:46 PM   #8
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this LED option hasn't really been an option in my mind...guess i haven't come across the threads suggesting them before. simply uninformed. i will do some research on this...

one thing i have read about them is their potential to be spot-lightish, but that this issue would be solved by raising their height. either of you notice any issues with this? my other thought is that such spottiness might add some interest to the tank...

also, how is the spread from front to back since the 40b is so deep?
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:52 PM   #9
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Hi, all!

I have a 55 gallon tank I wish to plant. I read so many things online about it then I get side-tracked and end up way off course. So, I decided to join this forum to get all the answers in one place as I have never planted a tank before, but have been reading on it for several months now.

As I'd mentioned, I want to plant my 55gal. Have decided on my layout and have a few plants in mind. So, my questions will revolve around proper substrate and appropriate plants (and, of course, the types of fish that can peacefully co-habit with one another, including the plants).

I will be using Miracle Gro organic potting mix, (need clay? CO2 system?), also, I don't expect to ever have to change the potting mix, but would like clarification. How much mix would I need to effectively dirt a 55g? I would hate to buy several bags to find that I only needed 1, I am on too fixed a budget to purchase un-needed materials.

Wisteria, anubias and HC for starter plants, plan to throw a few shrimp in there as well. I would like to know if there is a complex process that had been proven to work as far as dirting, shall I simply lay down a layer of potting mix and then apply the gravel, position the plants and then fill the tank, cycle and then add fish? Can it truly be as simple as that?

Any info regarding this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:52 PM   #10
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oh yeah...and thanks for all the comments! this is...AWESOME!
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy9 View Post
I have the exact setup. I really love the FugeRay for low/med light plants. I have excellent growth with lots of different kinds. Mine is dirted, which helps out too. I use the feet that came with the light so it's not suspended and I don't have a top on the tank. Good luck with your build! Following along. Oh! No algae issues either.
do you have a glass aquarium cover on yours? i was reading in another thread that someone suggested the ray2 over the fugeray if you have a cover...guess i'm not sure if i should keep a cover or not.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:46 PM   #12
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well, after doing some research, i'm feeling the fugeray. i'll sleep on it, but i think this has been the best option that i've seen so far.

anyone know if aquavibrant is the best source for these?
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:24 AM   #13
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Yes, I'd recommend aqua vibrant because Finnex has full control over the shipping. Amazon was having some issues with packaging them safely, but that may have just been for the ray2. Either way I got mine earlier this month from aqua vibrant and it arrived fast and safe.

The spread is supposed to be 120 degrees from what I had read and it seems good to me, but I've only tested it on an empty tank so far. Hardscape and tall plants could block out some but I imagine that's true with any light.

Again, I've only tested on an empty tank since I'm waiting on a stand to be finished before filling, but I didn't notice any spot light effects with my fugeray.

Last edited by lullafishi; 03-01-2013 at 12:25 AM.. Reason: Silly auto correct
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lullafishi View Post
Yes, I'd recommend aqua vibrant because Finnex has full control over the shipping. Amazon was having some issues with packaging them safely, but that may have just been for the ray2. Either way I got mine earlier this month from aqua vibrant and it arrived fast and safe.

The spread is supposed to be 120 degrees from what I had read and it seems good to me, but I've only tested it on an empty tank so far. Hardscape and tall plants could block out some but I imagine that's true with any light.

Again, I've only tested on an empty tank since I'm waiting on a stand to be finished before filling, but I didn't notice any spot light effects with my fugeray.
yeah! sweet. i'm feeling pretty good about this light as i read about it. do you plan on using an aquarium cover? thanks!
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyMizz View Post
yeah! sweet. i'm feeling pretty good about this light as i read about it. do you plan on using an aquarium cover? thanks!
I've been debating on a cover but I think I'll end up getting one to cut down on evaporation and avoid accidental fishy suicides. Not sure if I'll end up with any stock that's prone to jumping, but there's always a chance from what I've read.

And also because I have cats. I can just see one of them jumping to the top without realizing that there is no top.
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