Cheap lighting for 55 gallon?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
littlebittyfish
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Cheap lighting for 55 gallon?


I have recently acquired a free 55 gallon with filter, No lights. I plan on planting it with MTS and having this tank be low tech, no added co2. It will be housing my false julii corydoras (they keep having babies and are now overstocking my 20L ). I will be mostly growing rotala, crypts, hygro, val,maybe some swords. What is the cheapest way I can light my tank?I have a few things laying around in my garage..not sure if they would work though... In my garage I have an extra shop light, it's not fancy but it looks something like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_313520-58659...ght&facetInfo=

I can pick up two 48" 32 watt daylights for around 8-12 dollars. for the shop light.

I also have a few (4) of these clamp lights laying around in my garage.:
http://hardwaredistributors.com/lamp...-2-6-apos.html

Which one of these would work best at lighting my tank, at least until I can save up for better lighting?
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebittyfish View Post
I have recently acquired a free 55 gallon with filter, No lights. I plan on planting it with MTS and having this tank be low tech, no added co2. It will be housing my false julii corydoras (they keep having babies and are now overstocking my 20L ). I will be mostly growing rotala, crypts, hygro, val,maybe some swords. What is the cheapest way I can light my tank?I have a few things laying around in my garage..not sure if they would work though... In my garage I have an extra shop light, it's not fancy but it looks something like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_313520-58659...ght&facetInfo=

I can pick up two 48" 32 watt daylights for around 8-12 dollars. for the shop light.

I also have a few (4) of these clamp lights laying around in my garage.:
http://hardwaredistributors.com/lamp...-2-6-apos.html

Which one of these would work best at lighting my tank, at least until I can save up for better lighting?
Why "daylight"?? "grow lights" are not too expensive (well less than double if you can shop right) w/ better spectrum..

then again maybe you are better off w/ 2 of these:
Amazon.com: Hydrofarm FLC32D 32-Watt Dayspot Spiral Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Bulb: Patio, Lawn & Garden Amazon.com: Hydrofarm FLC32D 32-Watt Dayspot Spiral Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Bulb: Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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I use two fixtures like that on my 65gal with GE 6500k T8 bulbs, so yeah they are daylight bulbs. I have marimo balls, java moss & ferns, aponogetons, amazon swords, hydrocotyle japan, hornwort, pennywort, water wisteria, and crypts. I am low tech too. The plants that are doing well are everything except the hydrocotyle, amazon swords, and water wisteria which show little to no growth so far. I think you should be fine with that setup.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #4
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Get a shot light. I got one for a shop tank for 25$ with daylight bulbs from walmart....... grows good... i think its like 60 something watts
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:27 AM   #5
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This home depot light is known to have good reflectors.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-...9#.UcEI5vnrz3Q
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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The clip on lights + CFL's are cheap and easy too.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...=319850&page=3
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majorwoo View Post
The clip on lights + CFL's are cheap and easy too.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...=319850&page=3
I love the canopy build around the clamp lights. That is such a great idea, and it looks nice too. I think the clamp lights are what I am going to go with, for now at least. I may switch up to the Diamond Plate shop light later. How many clamp lights do you think I will need on my 55 and what wattage of daylight bulbs will work best?
Do you think 2 of these will be sufficient light?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2032521...N#.UcME7fmG2So


Thanks so much for your help everyone. I will take lots of photos once I get this tank up and running.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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I haven't seen any testing done on the 42/200 watt CFL's you linked, but based on extrapolation I think that would be way too much light for a non co2 tank.

Take a look at Hoppy's work here:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368
Specifically:

With a normal 55 gallon tank that is 21" high this means you are already 50+ PAR which may be too much light already unless you add some co2 supplementation or raise the lights some. (edit to add: and I mean physically raise them higher off the tank to lower the amount of light getting to the bottom of the tank. Without a PAR meter of our own all we can do is make educated guesses based on other peoples work and our own observations)


I would look at these:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-E...1#.UcMNR_nHJ8E

I used 6 on my 6 foot long tank, I would think you might want 4
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bayco-75-...3#.UcMNo_nHJ8F
It's important to spread the light across the tank - otherwise you end up with bright/dark spots.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for your help. I will go check out hoppy's post.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
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Good luck, and post pictures of what you do
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