Low-tech lighting plus wood canopy for 55 gallon
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:59 PM   #1
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Low-tech lighting plus wood canopy for 55 gallon

How can this be accomplished? I'd like to run a low-tech planted 55 gallon aquarium with a wooden furniture canopy over the top, like this, but it seems as though I wouldn't get enough light to my plants if I used the florescent bulbs that come with a normal all-glass 48 in. hood(which only support T8/10). According to this, at a 20 in. tank height, I should be using a T5 bulb, but the T5 fixtures I find on Drs. F&S say they shouldn't be placed within a wooden canopy.

What has everyone else done?
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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There are two different types of T5 bulbs available. You would want to use one or two T5NO bulbs for low light.

T5HO would be too much light for a low light tank using a canopy since you wouldn't be able to raise the bulbs high enough above the substrate to sufficiently reduce the intensity.

The problem with T5NO is that selection is limited. Coralife may be the only manufacturer that sells T5NO fixtures and bulbs.

In general I don't think it is a good idea to enclose any fixture in a canopy. For a canopy get a retrofit kit install it in the canopy and add a fan or fans if needed.

There is no reason that you could not use T8 bulbs in the canopy to achieve your goal. Four bulbs would probably work well for you if you can fit them in the canopy. The chart you linked to doesn't cover every possible scenario. Pretty sure Hoppy only included bulb/tank height combos that he tested with a PAR meter.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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You can also buy T5NO retrofit kits at Home Depot, etc if you want to go that direction.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:46 AM   #4
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Use a T5 retro fit kit with a fan or fans for ventilation to keep the heat down.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
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