Number of shop lights over a 20g long?
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:01 AM   #1
CELACANTHr
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Number of shop lights over a 20g long?


Hey y'all!

I am planning on building a hood with shop lights for my first FW planted tank (I have 2 saltwater planted tanks). I wanted to know how many shop lights I should get (I did a search first, and couldn't find much on answering thsi specific question). I don't want to over do it, and have so many that my tank overheats. I also don't wanna undershoot and only have enough for algae to grow. I am plannign on leaving the back of the hood open to allow for extra ventilation since my house already stays fairly warm, and we live in a very hot part of the US. How many light strips will I need for a 20 gallon tank? Any specific brands that y'all really like, or really hate?

Your help is MUCH appreciated

Thanks,
CELA
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:31 AM   #2
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Have you checked out http://www.ahsupply.com? A 55w kit w/ reflector would be a great choice for a 20 gallon tank. I've never used shop lights over a tank, how long and how many watts are each of the bulbs?
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:55 AM   #3
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A 55 watt bright light kit with bulb and enclosure from AH Supply will run you less than $100 plus shipping. How much are the shop lights going to cost you? If the shop lights are free I would say they are a better deal....DC
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:47 PM   #4
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For a total of 60 watts, they'll run me approximately ~30-40 dollars. So I wanna go with these and just try em, because if they don't work then, I am out only ~30 dollars.

They are 24" 20watt ones, or the 24" 40 watt ones (which have two lightstripes on one unit, but these cost 24.99 per unit, whereas the other cost's 9.99 a unit)

Thanx for all y'alls help!

CELA
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Old 05-28-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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I hear ya, I have tried a lot of things to see if they worked. What is the Kelvin rating of the bulbs?.....DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by CELACANTHr
For a total of 60 watts, they'll run me approximately ~30-40 dollars. So I wanna go with these and just try em, because if they don't work then, I am out only ~30 dollars.

They are 24" 20watt ones, or the 24" 40 watt ones (which have two lightstripes on one unit, but these cost 24.99 per unit, whereas the other cost's 9.99 a unit)

Thanx for all y'alls help!

CELA
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:14 AM   #6
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I am not sure.
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:19 AM   #7
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Not sure how DIY savvy you are, but most shoplights look butt-ugly and building a nice wood canopy isn't that big of an issue.

You could get a 4x ballast and use two bulbs and overdrive them a little, that should get you to 60 Watts. Ballasts are less than $20 at your local big hardware place. Add the endcaps, some paint to paint the canopy nice white from inside, and you should be set.

However, with the AHS kit you would probably get more light into the tank. Higher startup cost, and more heat are the trade-offs.
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:32 PM   #8
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when i started the hobby a few months ago, i am using shoplights over my 60 gallon and the plants did pretty well. The only plant that struggle is the Rotala Macrandra where i do not get the full redness of the plants.

i used a total of 3 shoplights - i got 2 free fixtures and bought one for $6.99 at Home Depot. Each shoplight i put in x 2 qty of 6700K T12 40 watts (also from Home Depot $5.99 for 2). So, for less than $30, i got 240 watts over my 60 gallon. I am sure that Home Depot will have the 6700K for your 20 gallon requirements and you only need to get x 2 of the 40 watts.

Had just upgraded my lighting to a 4 x 55 watts AH Supply Bright kit and definitely no regrets on this lighting upgrade.
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:18 PM   #9
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The shoplights at my home depot only has the shoplights with each strip being 20 watts, so for a whole shoplight fixture (two bulbs) I only get 40 watts. SO I want 2 of these fixtures, right?

Thank you SO much!
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:58 PM   #10
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The shop light trick works much better with 4' tanks. You might find the 2' bulb/fixture harder to find.
*So shoplight = even illumination of area vs concentrated spot with AH reflector.
*18W of T8 will be brighter than 20W of T12 do not let WPG be the only guide.
*Shoplights run ~ 8" wide so you might get 3 bulbs over your 12" tank.
*Consider AHSupply and the 55W kit (best reflector).
*Consider ODNO for one the cheap light (suggested by WasserPest).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CELACANTHr
The shoplights at my home depot only has the shoplights with each strip being 20 watts, so for a whole shoplight fixture (two bulbs) I only get 40 watts. SO I want 2 of these fixtures, right?

Thank you SO much!
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:50 PM   #11
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I too when stated off went with the lights from HD. I still have that tank up and running and must say that it is ok. Not great but also not poor. Next to that tank i have my 55g with a light kit from AH supply. It cost a little more money then the HD lights but over all the difference to me is like night and day when comparing the two. If i could i would have got the AH supply kit right away other then being stuck with the DIY hood and HD lights that i have. Jus too lazy to take them down and replace them. Yet what ever you feel comfortable with is the way to go..
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:22 AM   #12
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I agree that t-5's look great, and so do power compacts, because I have seen the t-5's, and have power compacts over my lagoon tank.

Unfortunately I just do not have the cash for buying any lighting besides HD lighting.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:48 AM   #13
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I would just go to homedepot and buy the 4 foot shop light for $9. It comes in a whitebox and is pretty basic. This ballast is a sunspark electonic ballast and can run lots of stuff... such as one 55 watt cf bulb...etc. If you are planning on building a hood you can just strip out the ballast, wires and endcaps(light sockets) and install them in your hood or set it up with a remote ballast. You could also just cut down the metal shoplight and reflector... of course you have to take the light appart for this. I just go to my local Bulb supply house and buy some cheap 6700k bulbs that are 18 or 20 watt bulbs. I get them for like $5 a piece. figure out how long the cut down hood needs to be for your bulbs and use a pair of tinsnips and cut it in half or where the relocated bulb sockets will go. slid the socket into the new slot you cut and put it all back together and now You are over driving your t-8 or t12 bulbs too. Pretty easy to do and really cheap. I guess I should take pictures and post this some time... not the greatest lights just cheap. and on a 20 long it has plenty of light to grown most plants. not bad for $20 and about an half hour of your time!

Cheers, Whitepine
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:43 AM   #14
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I am not quite sure what you mean. Some pictures of this would be GREAT.
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:04 PM   #15
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did someone say that ahs lights are concentrated in one spot?

I am in the same boat, as far as choosing lights. if ahs are concentrated in one spot vs. spread with shop lights, that may make a difference.
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