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Old 06-21-2004, 06:23 PM   #1
MuddyChevyGrl
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Another Rookie With A Question


Hi I've been searching the plantedtank forum for a few weeks now, trying to get all the info I need since I'm new to planted tanks.. I have a 55gal with a few live plants in it, Amazon swords etc.. I just purchased 2 coralife 15watt bulbs for my tank and I'm afraid it may not be enough light, but I'm not sure since my tank is not heavily planted. I know heavily planted tanks need 2-3 watt per gal, (or is it all tanks with plants)? Also if I need more light then I proably need more CO2 which can be easily taken care of since I've been reading much about it on the forum.

If I need more light is their an easy, cheap way to do it without changeing my brand new coralife bulbs? Or do I need to just suck it up and buy some bigger watt bulbs?? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:19 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board MCG!

Seems like you already have a grasp on what to do!

What type of fixture are you putting those bulbs into? Flourescent bulbs aren't like incandescent bulbs. You can't increase wattage on a flourescent fixture by swapping out bulbs.

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Old 06-21-2004, 10:19 PM   #3
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It sounds like you ahve one of those 55 gallon tanks with two short strip lights on them. You can't simply replace teh bulbs with higher watt ones as you suggested.. You actually will have to replace the hood/canopy or retrofit the existing setup with some Compact Flourescent bulbs.

You are really running in a fairly low light setup.. I would recomend either replacing your lid(s) with a canopy that can house a pair of 4 foot bulbs (40 watts each) at a minimum.. Its also a fairly inexpensive way to go. Or, go hog wild and get a retrofit kit that could but a pair of 55 watts bulbs into teh existing strip lights (The bulbs are 22" long or so, so measure your strips to see if they will fit)
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome Mike! And you are right Gdominy, I do have the 2 short strip lights. 18" lights LoL, this is going to be the 3 time I take back lights to this fishstore, they are gonna hate me! But I am going to do your suggestion with the 2 4 foot lights in a homemade canopy. Just one other question though, will this be ok for my angel's, and bala sharks that I have in the tank?

Thank you guys so much for the input, it's greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-22-2004, 01:21 AM   #5
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Hey MCG!


Welcome. Are you the same MCG from the angelfish forum?

I ran into the same problems with my 55 gall. The more interested I became in planted tanks the more times I had to upgrade the hood and the light fixture. since I'm not all that handy I finally settled on two versa top hoods and a 4 X 65 watt coralife light fixture on legs. The only problem I run into is that you can not lift the versa top easily b/c the legs are in the way. Maybe I should have stuck with the 2 X 65 watt coralife light.

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Old 06-22-2004, 01:33 AM   #6
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I have the 2 x 65 coralife strip on my 55g. I also have 2 cheap-o 24" T8 15w fixtures on the front of it. Works well, I have the 15w's come on first for an hr for a dusk effect so the fish can adapt their eyes to the light, then the 2 x 65 comes on, then it goes on and runs the 15w's for a dawn effect for an hr then I have my moonlight come on for a few hrs. Even the most high light plants grow in this setup. Of Course I have pressurized co2 on the setup as well.

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Old 06-22-2004, 01:59 AM   #7
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LoL, yep, thats me from the angelfish forum Shay A member of this forum seems to have a pretty good setup for his canopy and it looks fairly easy, if you wanna check it out his web page is

http://www.buckmanshome.com/DIYcanopy.html

What I like about it is the easy access into the tank. I think I also might do something like Mike with his 15watt's for my angel's to adjust to the light.
Thanks for the welcome Shay~!~
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:12 AM   #8
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Someday...when I'm really feeling ambitious I might fix this problem and build myself a canopy and arrange some moonlight. For now, I'm just trying to keep the algae at bay.

Good to have you aboard.

Shay
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Old 06-22-2004, 03:33 AM   #9
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Quote:

LoL, this is going to be the 3 time I take back lights to this fishstore, they are gonna hate me!
Ahhh! Who cares what the guys at the LFS think!

Take your time and do it the right way MCG!!

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Old 06-22-2004, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyChevyGrl
LoL, yep, thats me from the angelfish forum Shay A member of this forum seems to have a pretty good setup for his canopy and it looks fairly easy, if you wanna check it out his web page is

http://www.buckmanshome.com/DIYcanopy.html
WOW Buck is famous everywhere!
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Old 06-23-2004, 03:52 AM   #11
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LoL, I think I'll make my sister take back the lights so I dont feel stupid.. They told me those lights would be sufficient... They are really never helpful with my questions any other time I dont even know what i listen to them..

While I was searching the plantedtank forum I saw a post from Buck and checked out his web page.. The canopy he made was exactly what I was looking for!

This lighting will be ok for my fish though right??? 4 angel's 4 bala's and 2 albino pleco,s
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