20 gallon high lighting
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Old 02-16-2003, 02:10 AM   #1
williamrick
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I am beginning the process of going with live plants for the first time. The light hood I have only accepts the one 18 inch 15 watt fluorescent bulb. Everything I read indicates I probably need more wattage. Any guidance?
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Old 02-17-2003, 03:04 PM   #2
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I've also got a 20 gallon high, although I'm using it for a Reef tank. I tried retrofitting the original canopy with Power Compacts, but even if you can get a 24" 55 watt bulb to fit, it will most likely overheat the plastic housing and melt it. A 36 watt would fit easily, though, and shouldn't be difficult to cool with a few venting slots cut into the housing. But a single 36w light would still only provide marginally adequate lighting to grow plants with low to medium lighting demands.

I eventually bult a wood canopy and stuck four 18" tubes run by a single 4-F32T8 ballast for a total of 60 watts (3 wpg) and am very pleased. If you're fairly competent with a set of wire strippers and interested in wiring up one of these, shoot me an email at sponjican@oreck.com and I'll walk you through it.

My instinct is always to do it yourself and jury-rig it, hehe, so if you want a straightforward canopy with adequate lighting, just buy one of these:

23" Plastic Lighthouse Compact Aquarium Light, 1 bulb 55 Watt $55.00
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Old 02-17-2003, 04:46 PM   #3
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Looks like I am going to do a DIY with a power compact kit from ahsupply. Looks like the light kit will sit on a glass top. Are these available or is it cheaper to go cut my own. Of course if anyone has any other suggestions about my intentions please let me know. Thanks
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Old 02-17-2003, 04:51 PM   #4
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The AHsupply kit needs a custom built wood canopy, or an adequately sized housing to mount the bulb, ballast and reflector to.

The $55 strip light on the pet liquidators link I posted is complete and ready to go, including your choice of bulb. They even have a Plant Growth bulb with half red and half white tubes.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:56 PM   #5
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Explain the specs on the light. 10,000K seems high from what I have read. Just curious.
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:18 PM   #6
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Normally, a single 10,000K bulb would be too "blue" for a planted tank since plants also need strong "red" output and a 10,000K bulb has very little red output.
These bulbs are half 10,000K and half red. So you are getting the best of both worlds.
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