How to light a 30 inch deep 220g tank
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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How to light a 30 inch deep 220g tank

So I have this 220 in my living room that has plants in it. They look like crap due to algae and angelfish snacking on them. I know I need new light bulbs on my fixture but instead i was thinking of replacing the entire fixture to something that would penetrate all the way to the bottom. I was reading that the only light that would do the job was metal halide due to the depth of the tank being I think 30 inches. I would like to read about folks experience with lighting deep tanks and what I need to do to have the beautiful planted tank that I want people to look at instead of the eyesore of disappointment!
I don't think my discus and angels are going to be staying in this tank anymore so light intensity will not be concern. I would like to keep scores of small fish in it. The other option is to tear it down and move it to the basement for grow out purposes but that would be a huge chore since it weighs more then I do and took 4 people to move it in.
The present lighting is:
Aquasun T5-HO Double Light Linear Fluorescent Hoods with the day time bulbs and some for plants. It has been over a year since I bought these so I am due a bulb change and my plants are telling on me. Plants that are in there now are narrow leaf java and some hygro that the angels have kindly stripped of there plant goodness. They don't seem to enjoy eating the val. And one giant hygro that has decided to grow out of the tank and through the lid. So all you can see in the tank is a winding bare ugly stem. With these easy plants I have never dosed any ferts, just regular water changes and fish poo. Substrate is gravel and eco complete for blackwater conditions. No CO2 just what the fish produce. It is stocked with 9 angelfish, 4 discus adults, a dozen rummy nose tetras, one big ole bala shark, a dozen cardinal tetras, 5 black neon tetras, a couple of platys, 10 cory cats, 5 bristle nose adult plecos, and one lonely clown loach.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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I have a 25" deep tank and I use a 3 bulb works great
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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For my 125g, I went to a electrical supply and bought a 6 bulb high bay fixture and mounted it inside my canopy. I loaded it with T5HO 6500k bulbs and its probably more light than I need. Most have 2 ballasts so in theory you can have 2,4,or 6 bulbs on.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
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Leds would do the trick as well and use less energy than MH.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:04 AM   #5
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30 inches of water doesn't absorb very much light. It does absorb more at the red end of the spectrum than at the blue end, but still not very much. The lower light intensity is primarily due to the greater distance from the bulbs, since light intensity drops proportional to one over the square of the distance. (However, for linear bulbs, or strings of LEDs that are longer than the tank is deep, the drop is closer to being proportional to one over the distance, because more of the light from the ends of the bulb adds to the total intensity, the farther away the light is.)
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:21 AM   #6
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What is your budget? There are LED fixtures that penetrate 48" of water and sit 8" off the water and grow corals at the bottom. But they're $600+ a pop and you'd need 3-4 of them for a 220.

More T5HO's might do the trick. Or try stepping up to T5VHO.

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