Plants Light and acrylic Hex tank.
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:30 PM   #1
pairustwo
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Plants Light and acrylic Hex tank.


I'm trying to scrounge materials - the goal is a $0.00 aquarium (+plus cost of fish).
So I have a 20-gallon acrylic hexagon tank.
I've found a light stand and I'm wondering if it will work out.
It is basically large wooden rectangular base with a 1" post fixed vertically to one side. On he post is a clamp with two adjustable arms fixed to it. The arms end in light fixtures. The wiring runs through the clamp. The arms are very flexible but are oriented horizontally.

So I'm wondering: If I set the tank on the wooden base and the light arms wrapped around the perimeter of the Hex tank and the lights shined in THROUGH the plexiglass would that inhibit plant growth? Or do the lights NEED to shine through an opening on the top - DIRECTLY on to the water.

These are standard screw-in fixtures so I was thinking about these lights
42 Watt Compact Fluorescents Light Bulb a 42 Watt, compact fluorescent Spiral Lamp, 6500K.

So what do you think?

Pairustwo
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:57 PM   #2
Mangala
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welllllll... your plants will grow towards the light, meaning, they'll grow horizontally rather than vertically, which most will tell you is not very attractive. It won't make them NOT grow, but they'll definatly grow funny.

your compact flourescents will grow plants. it'll be fine. I used to grow water wisteria, ludwigia and java moss with those. But I think you'll be more satisfied with your results if you place them over the tank somehow rather than on the side. even if you have to scrounge some eyescrews and tie them to the ceiling with shoestrings.

(my 0.00$ aquariums always end up costing me 300 bucks or so. good luck!)
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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Hi pairustwo, welcome to the Planted Tank!

There is nothing wrong with light going through acrylic before hitting the plants. Many use glass or acrylic covers on their tanks.

Things to keep in mind -- Plants grow towards the light source, so if the lamps are located to the sides, plants will grow sidewards, and possibly look "funny".

Also, consider blocking the light from the viewer. If the light blinds your eyes, the tank isn't as enjoyable.

Actually I am not quite sure how your setup would look like, I am just guessing Maybe you could post a picture for further advise?
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:03 PM   #4
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Oh! one thing to think of, if you're just looking for a light fixture to hold the screw in type bulbs so that they like... y'know... can go on top of the tank? Goodwill (like, the one on Boren & Lake down by all the vietnamese restaurants in the eastern part of the International district) has lots and lots of choices... I find desk lamps perfect for recycling for this purpose... just get a couple and put the bulbs in. It may cost you 6 bucks.

oya, and don't lay those lights directly on top of acrylic - it'll burn it! (or melt it) when I used it, I had a reptile screen top I was using to lay the lights on top of. 'twas very ugly! but it worked!
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:48 PM   #5
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Wow. Thanks for the quick responses.
I have messed with it and it looks like the lights can go high enough so that each light shines down on the tank at about an 80 degree angle. Which provides pretty good coverage from above. It still has to go through the plexi top which was my main question (does plexi inhibit any vital spectrum).

What about those lights? They seem like such a bargan compared to other compact fluorescent setups.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:25 PM   #6
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My only complaint with them is that they make the tank look a little ugly since they're so yellow. I used to use them (as I stated) and I eventually saved up and got a 65w coralife 32" light strip and the fish look much better - tank doesn't look like it's filled up with tannins anymore.

Oh! word of advice - the rocks and driftwood in Elliot bay park (if you live downtown like I do, this is very convenient) have YET to poison my fishes. Just boil them or whatever, and then you've got free decorations! (I spent a bit of time unemployed, lots of time on my hands but no cash = very inventive ways to get what you want) All the little rocks and stuff against the shoreline are rather nice black slate. just pick up a few smaller ones that you like and you're good to go.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:59 PM   #7
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Here is an image.
The lights currently in there are regular off the shelf bulbs.

I am disappointed to hear that the 6500K lights are still yellow.
I currently have a tank with mix of 6500K and 5000K and it doesn't look great. I guess I had hoped that CF would be a little brighter.
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