enough light on 55
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Old 11-10-2002, 07:58 PM   #1
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I have a 20 long and a 55 gallon tank recently setup. (no plants yet) I know I want plants in the 20 long, so I need good light. I might want to try doing some plants in the 55 too (but maybe not "fully planted"). I have 2 x 55 watt PC lighting (ahsupply) and then the strip light for the 55 which has 2, 24" lights. Do you think this would work:

Pull the 24" fixtures out of the strip light of the 55 gallon and retrofit the strip light with two 55 watt PC lights
Then build a custom wood fixture for the two 24 inch lights for the 20 gallon long (30" long). Would that be enough, or should I maybe overdrive them? (if so what do I get, and how many watts would that be?) The 55 has a regular plastic hood and I am concerned that retrofitting the strip light with the PCs might provide so much light/heat intesity that it would melt the clear plastic that it shines through. I don't really want to buy a glass top for the 55.

Thanks for the help
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Old 11-11-2002, 12:54 PM   #2
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I don't know who makes your hood for the 55, but the clear shield the lights shine through is most likely glass, glued into the plastic hood. See if you can scratch it with a pin. Should be pretty easy to tell if it is glass or not.

The 55w PC lights do get hot, though. I added a fan to my CSL Brite Lite strip, and its housing is steel! If you add a fan, the plastic won't melt. If you don't, I can't be sure.

The two 24" F20T12 bulbs should provide pretty good light for a 20gal with plants with moderate lighting intensity requirements. But with a $25 ballast, you could overdrive those two bulbs in series and it would essentially be a ODNO 48" bulb, making well over 5000 lumens. That would be enough light to house ANY plant you wish. I say try them normally driven first, though. The 20gal long is a pretty shallow tank, and you might be happy with the growth without ODNO.
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Old 11-11-2002, 09:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, but do you think that the two 55 watts will be enough light on a 55 gallon tank to grow some plants?
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Old 11-12-2002, 11:10 AM   #4
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yes with 110watts of light that turns into 2wpg (watts per gallon) enough to "sustain" most plants and grow nicely some of the low light plants...on my 55 i have 160watts equaling just under 3wpg and all plants are doing great
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