Need help with additional lighting for 125g tank.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #1
ruht roh
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Need help with additional lighting for 125g tank.


Hi, hoping for a little help

I'm resurrecting a tank from 5 years ago that previously only had fish.
I'm hoping to make a freshwater planted/fish tank with a mild/moderate amount of plants, at least enough for some ground cover. Also hoping to have a school of tetras and ~4 discus. (note: This is my first exploration into the planted tank world)

Tank dimensions are: 72" tall, 18" front to back, 20" high.
I have black quartz (Spectra) ground cover around 2" deep.
I have a DIY canopy with 2 105watt SHO bulbs currently.
The 2 bulbs are mounted on each side of the tank and I have mylar in the canopy, and my concern is the middle of the tank doesn't seem to have enough light.
Also it is hard for me to tell, but the light does not seem 'natural' enough.
Lastly, there is a center support on the top of the tank which precludes me just putting 1 additional light in the center.

I am thinking of adding 2 more SHO bulbs, though with this solution I will need to make some mount to attach the bulbs to the top of the canopy to have enough room to do maintenance. Also I'm not sure the light will feel 'natural' still.
I have also thought of using 2 small T5's which would be easier in terms of the DIY work.
I have also thought of using 2 small LED strips, but cost is an issue, I'm hoping not to spend more than $200usd on lighting

So I'm hoping someone has some good advice?

Thanks a ton!

ps I will try to attach some pics but im not sure I know how
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #2
bankruptjojo
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i would add 1 or 2 t5-ho bulbs in the middle. imo the pink bulbs give a more natural look and make everything pop. i have 2 6500k and 1 of the tahiti pink on my 75g. when the 2 6500k are the only bulbs on it looks very white but when i turn on the tahiti pink bulb it adds a nice shade of pink/red that looks great.

link..
http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/stor...IUM-LIGHT-BULB
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
Steve001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruht roh View Post
Hi, hoping for a little help



I have a DIY canopy with 2 105watt SHO bulbs currently.


I am thinking of adding 2 more SHO bulbs, though with this solution I will need to make some mount to attach the bulbs to the top of the canopy to have enough room to do maintenance. Also I'm not sure the light will feel 'natural' still.
I have also thought of using 2 small T5's which would be easier in terms of the DIY work.
I have also thought of using 2 small LED strips, but cost is an issue, I'm hoping not to spend more than $200usd on lighting

So I'm hoping someone has some good advice?

Thanks a ton!

ps I will try to attach some pics but im not sure I know how
You know of course replacing such high wattage SHO bulbs is costly. Before you know it you will have spent more money replacing bulbs than you would have with initial led installation.
There may be one option though over led and that option is fluorescent induction lighting bulbs. They have lifetimes comparable to led lighting.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
jfynyson
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I just switched over to LEDs for planted tanks a couple weeks ago and have been using these compact Coralife lights for plants with flawless results. These fit your tank perfectly by simply sitting on top. My tank has the same center brace and these lights are 36in each so they pentrate light across the front & back and have no shadowing anywhere. My tank is a 135gal (72x24x18). I paid $410 for them but am selling them along with extra lights. These lights will still grow plants as they are really bright still but should be replaced very soon as they're getting spent. These would yield medium to high light that you'd need to grow ground cover in that tank. These lights are about 5 yrs old but have zero issues and will be cheaper than any other option I've seen except if you do a DYI set up.

Let me know if you're interested and I'll get a shipping quote. I'll lower my $200 price to meet your max price with shipping included.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...9329&highlight=
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
ruht roh
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Thanks a ton for all the advice!

The SHO bulbs actually have about 8,000 hours of life supposedly so at $35 a piece they are pretty similar in cost.
Although I love the idea of LED lights, my financial situation isn't as stable as I'd hope, so paying a little more over the course of 5 years I think would be more manageable for me.

So I decided I will try some T5HO's, I think cost wise I'll be best off getting 2 single fixtures at home depot, they are about $30 each, and buying some $15 bulbs online.

If it helps anyone else, I'll try to keep this updated as my tank comes along!
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
ruht roh
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Sorry, need a lil more help.

I bought 2 of the 24 watt T5HO fixtures from hope depot online :
http://www.homedepot.com/p/ViaVolt-2...0#BVRRWidgetID
The specs say the bulb is 21.5" in length

I was gonna buy some bulbs from:
http://www.petmountain.com/category/...-ho-bulbs.html
But it says the bulbs are anywhere from 22"-22 1/8" in length. Are the differences just accounting for differences in prong length?
Are the bulb lengths standard? Cuz they all say they are 24 watt.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
ruht roh
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For anyone else's benefit that is wondering the same thing, yes the bulbs were all the same size
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