CRappy 50g lights???
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:42 AM   #1
jojo4rmdabronx
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CRappy 50g lights???


i recently bought a 50g tank and it came with hoods and lights. The lights are two seperate 18" 15watt lights. That's crap and i want to change the lighting. Where should i start and i dont really want to spend that much money. I'm gonna do a planted tank so i was thinking at least 2.5 or more watts per gallon

any suggestions?
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:23 AM   #2
Rex Grigg
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Compact Fluorescent Lighting Kits

Spend the money once. Spend it right.
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Old 08-26-2006, 05:35 AM   #3
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ahsupply is good but you certainly don't have to buy that product to get good results with plants......AH Supply sells Compacts....You don't need to get compacts to grow good plants....Just check out 2006 AGA Aquascaping Contest
Lots of these tanks are just regular T-8, T-5 or T-12 tanks...Alot of them are just plain fixtures without any reflectors at all....

Personally I think its better to look at different sites like the one above and get an idea of what they are using for substrate, filters and lights...Everyone on forums will have different opinions on what works best...I'm just getting back into the hobby myself so i'm looking into the same kind of things
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:47 PM   #4
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Actually I think you will find very few of the AGA tanks lit exclusively with NO lights and no reflectors.

The trend for AGA entries lately has been for higher and higher light tanks. With many of the top tanks running in the range of 5-6 wpg. And those lighting levels are pretty much impossible for T8 or T12 bulbs.

The T5 bulbs they are using are high output. Pretty much the same thing as compact fluorescents. A HO T5 that is 48" long is a 54 watt light. A CF light that is folded/bent and is 22" long is 55 watts.
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Old 08-26-2006, 05:15 PM   #5
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how would i get the most wattage out of an 18 inch t-8? if thats not possible i might try something else.
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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If you have a fluorescent fixture you have to either play with the ballasts to overdrive the bulbs or you are stuck with the stock wattage bulbs. As Rex said, it is best to spend the money well from the beginning rather than keep trying to save money and end up spending even more later. I went through that sequence myself. To save buying AHS kits, I cobbled up my own light setup, spending just about the cost of an AHS kit. Then I found I didn't have enough light, so I ended up buying the AHS kits after all. So, all I did by trying to save money was double my cost.
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryeguy View Post
Lots of these tanks are just regular T-8, T-5 or T-12 tanks...Alot of them are just plain fixtures without any reflectors at all....
I entered a tank with NO T8 mainly because I did not have T5HO endcaps. The tank has turned into a plant farm with a half bucket of plants every 2 to 4 weeks. It is far from an award winning aquascape though.

Now 2.5 W of NO T8 on 90 gal is 7 bulbs. No way that this will fit and leave room for a decent reflector!

A 90 gal with 220 W PC:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...k-updated.html
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Old 08-26-2006, 11:15 PM   #8
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I'd agree that it would be best to spend the money up front (if you can) and do it right the first time. However, you don't HAVE to use AHSupply. Honestly, the most viable solutions I'd see at AH is 1x96 or 2x96, which is around 2 and 4 wpg respectively. If you're ok with the idea of 2wpg, then I'd go that route. Otherwise, you could look into a T5 HO solution, which could get you closer to your 2.5wpg goal, but would probably cost more than an AH kit. If I were you, I'd start with a 1x96w kit from AH, get your feet wet, and go from there.

Just my $0.02

P.S. and for comparison purposes, you'd need 8 24" T12 bulbs to get you there....that's a lot of bulbs, and even 2 4x20w shoplights aren't cheap...

edit: ok my math is off today, but close enough.
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:17 AM   #9
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Smile i finnally decided

i finnaly bought a fixture. This one to be exact 48" 4x65W Coralife FRESHWATER Aqualight, 4x 6,700K, -Straight Pin it looks really nice, reliable, and lotts of power. next thing i need is Co2. Thanks guys for all your input.
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:20 AM   #10
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Well if thats the light you bought it wont fit. If you have a 50 gallon tank it should be 36" long. Do you have a 55 gallon that is 48" long?
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:24 AM   #11
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yah i checked how many gallons i have and the calculator said 60g. it was wrongly labeled as a 50g. i measured all the dimensions. its 48" inches long.
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