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Old 04-05-2004, 06:54 PM   #1
SCMurphy
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The Thought

Well, I've been rolling this one around for a bit, and I thought I'd toss it out to see what everyone else thought.

My Questions

The questions I ask are:
A) 160, 200, combo thereof, forget it you need 220 minimum?
B) Simple or WOW?
C) Are you thinking "What are you waiting for dude, go for 'WOW', it is a good plan!"

Yes or No answers are permitted for C.

The Block

I'm getting ready to set up my 'new' 75 gallon tank and the lighting system is holding me back.

The Options

I don't want to use the two 96 watt PC's that are over the 30 gallon tanks I'm displacing, because of the expected uneven distribution of the light they would produce in a 75 gallon tank.

So I was looking at getting four 55 watt PC's but I don't want to sink $200 into the lights at this moment.

Then I was thinking: I have the spectral aluminum reflector material that I got from HelloLights on clearance (not íthe bestí but pretty good.) I have enough reflector material (both long and wide enough) to fit two 48 inch NO fixtures giving me 160 watts over the tank, with daylight bulbs for a grand total outlay needed of $50.00. If I wanted I could get a third fixture with one bulb and jump it up to 200 watts for another $20.

Going to Grainger, or the like, and getting the hardware and bulbs for a T-5 set up would be as much as the 4x55 watt PC option.

The 'WOW' Factor

SO, I was thinking I could put the fixtures on three separate timers. I'd put the two bulb fixtures on each for 9 hours starting 2 hours apart,(one on at 8 the other on at 10) with the center single bulb unit on for 3 hours in the middle of the day. It'd be 80 watts for 2 hours, 160 watts for 2 hours, 200 watts for 3, 160 watts for 2, and 80 watts for 2 hours. I doubt there is a biological benefit to this but the 'WOW' factor is fun sometimes.

Add another $30 to do the fancy wiring and timers.

The K.I.S.S. Factor

I am just having fun at this point with the idea. The wiring would be much simpler to just set up for one set of lights going to a single timer, and less costly.

But, DIY is not just for simple it is also for making what you can't buy for a reasonable cost. Right?

Extra Information

Answers to questions you might pose:
soil substrate under, chick grit in the back and moon sand in the front
crypts that are too tall for my 30's and anubius on drift wood, lots of drift wood
possibly stem plants but only if they like this light level
CO2: Yes, will be injected.
Fish: Whatever I get, I'm gonna have them for the next 5 or 6 years, as my fish just don't seem to die much once they settle in.

SO:

The Fitchfamily Amano-culator says 168 watts for a 75.

You know this will be the typical Sean set up, only laid out nicely to start with so it can grow into a jungle.

Side benefit, by keeping the 96 watt PC out of this mix I can rack up the 30's and have 'high light' grow out tanks. Wife even ok'ed this one.
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Old 04-07-2004, 04:42 AM   #2
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Sounds good to me :P
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Old 04-07-2004, 02:31 PM   #3
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I like the KISS option. First of all - use what you got - a nice reflector. Then go with the most readily available bulb - four foot F40T12. Power it with an efficient ballast (a pair of WH5's for $25 a piece). Talk about versatility. With two outputs from the Workhorse 5 to each F40T12 bulb, you'll be ODing 2x, for about the same output as a 55w PC bulb. You've got your 220 watts and for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:30 PM   #4
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Wow I get a razz and a good response, I'm glad I don't ask alot of questions.

Sam, I like your suggestion, I was going to buy a couple new fixtures to use in this project, but I have several shoplights that I'm not using at the moment. I can pick up the electronic ballasts at Grainger for about $40 to OD the lights, I'll just have to invest in a little wire, the timers, and the one midday fixture, and I will have no further reason to delay setting up the 75.

Looks like I can have the "WOW" factor and my cake too.
:twisted:
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Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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Old 04-13-2004, 06:15 PM   #5
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Did you get a chance to throw this setup together? How did it work?
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Old 04-13-2004, 06:23 PM   #6
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I haven't had the chance to swing over to the Graingers yet. Easter weekend being family time and all. However, my flex day is Friday and I can go then. I'm looking for timers that I can hardwire in. The one I found at Lowes last night, for a wall switchbox, said it shouldn't be used with electronic ballasts. :? So the search continues for the components to my "WOW" system. I'd really like to avoid the plugs and just have one wire coming from the canopy with a wall switch installed for a shutoff.

Wow, am I having my first 'pipe dream'?
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Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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