Lighting option for 48Lx24Wx18H tank
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:47 PM   #1
SlimChance
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Lighting option for 48Lx24Wx18H tank


I'm struggling trying figure out a good fit for the following scenario.

My tank is 48Lx24Wx18H, with CO2 coming on and off with the lights. I figure about 2-3 inches of substrate (not setup yet, still stand-building). I'd like a light that is suspended above the tank anywhere from 4+ inches over the tank. I have a hodgepodge of lights from previous setups that have been torn down for years (so all the bulbs need replacing).

I figure I have two options:

1-take apart some of the fixtures I have (2 CurrentUSA Nova extreme 2x39w t5ho, 1 hagen 2x54w t5ho), build a fixture myself, and put whatever bulbs in the homemade fixture. I'm comfortable doing this, and it would seem the benefit would be that I can space out the bulbs however I want to cover the tank. However, the expense of buying new bulbs would be around $100 which makes me think I might be better off using that money on ...

2-New stuff What I've had a hard time decide is a fixture(s) that give a good spread over the tank (48Lx24W footprint). The LED tech seems appealing, but I'm really looking for whatever is a good fit for the tank.

Any suggestions or ideas? I'm shooting for med/high light with lots of CO2 in the mix. I've been trying to absorb the information about PAR, and the lights would be 20 inches above the substrate (or higher).
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:14 PM   #2
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A quick calc tells me that for med-hi lights you'd be looking at 185Watt net.That is after losses due to reflection and reflectors.
4 x 54W T5's with each tube in its own reflector may do that job.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #3
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Once you go LED, you can't go back to T5HO.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mba View Post
Once you go LED, you can't go back to T5HO.
Unfortunately, ($$$$) you're correct.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimChance View Post
My tank is 48Lx24Wx18H
Are you sure the height is 18", it sounds like you have a standard 90g with the height being 24", and width of 18". If the height is only 18", you can get away with two T5HO bulbs, otherwise four would be better.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:23 AM   #6
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If you're looking at LEDs, check out www.aquatraders.com

They have LED lights for planted tanks, and at a price that is significantly less than any other lights I've seen. I have two lights from them, an 18" fixture on a 10 gallon and a 48" fixture on a 55 gallon, and am having great success with my planted tanks. In fact, I just ordered 2 more lights for some new tanks I'm setting up.

One thing about the brand name lights, like Finnex, Satellite, or Ecoxotic, that I don't like is how narrow they are, usually only a couple inches wide, with only a couple rows of LEDs...I'm not sure how they can effectively light up a tank from front to back, although I haven't used any of these lights.

When I found the lights on Aquatraders, and saw how wide they are, I decided to try them out. They have fixtures as wide as 9 inches and give good lighting from front to back. A wide light fixture may pose a problem getting into your aquarium, but I think it's worthwhile. I just take the lights off to do a water change. They're mush less expensive than anything else, so I wasn't sure if I could trust them to be as good as advertised, but they are good quality lights, very bright, excellent growth (though I don't have a PAR meter to test exact readings). They have the exact same housing as the Marineland "Single-Bright" and "Double-Bright" fixtures.

http://www.aquatraders.com/LED-Aquar...hting-s/22.htm
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlerGame View Post
Thanks for the link. I will poke around the forum to look for PAR info and people's experiences. I want to hang the lights, so the wide footprint wouldn't be a problem at all.

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Originally Posted by exv152 View Post
Are you sure the height is 18", it sounds like you have a standard 90g with the height being 24", and width of 18". If the height is only 18", you can get away with two T5HO bulbs, otherwise four would be better.
It is a custom tank which is why the height and width are swapped from a normal 90g. It is definitely 24W and 18H. This is the part that is making me a bit unsure of lighting. I figure the shallowness gives me some flexibility with raising the lights off the tank a bit, but I want to choose something that pretty evenly lights the 24 inch width. I kind of like the idea of 2 Finnex Ray II DS (Dual 7000k) hanging over the tank. The Canadian distributor only has the 24" fixtures at the moment though.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimChance View Post
It is a custom tank which is why the height and width are swapped from a normal 90g. It is definitely 24W and 18H. This is the part that is making me a bit unsure of lighting. I figure the shallowness gives me some flexibility with raising the lights off the tank a bit, but I want to choose something that pretty evenly lights the 24 inch width. I kind of like the idea of 2 Finnex Ray II DS (Dual 7000k) hanging over the tank. The Canadian distributor only has the 24" fixtures at the moment though.
Sometimes you can get the finnex cheaper on the Canadian amazon site, or you can always take a trip down to the US and have the American distributor shipped to a UPS store for you. Or you can buy some cheap sunblaster T5HO's used in hydroponics and attach them to a hood or suspend them. That way you can go with an odd number like three bulbs for better coverage.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:18 AM   #9
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How about this led light ? Seems great .http://www.ecosunlite.com/e_products...ht-bar-31.html
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:25 AM   #10
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Price?

2x Kessil A150WE would cover that front to back spread.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exv152 View Post
Sometimes you can get the finnex cheaper on the Canadian amazon site, or you can always take a trip down to the US and have the American distributor shipped to a UPS store for you. Or you can buy some cheap sunblaster T5HO's used in hydroponics and attach them to a hood or suspend them. That way you can go with an odd number like three bulbs for better coverage.
Thanks, I had no idea they were sold on amazon Canada. They are even on sale at the moment.

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Originally Posted by miles520 View Post
How about this led light ? Seems great .http://www.ecosunlite.com/e_products...ht-bar-31.html
It does seem interesting, but searching around I couldn't find anyone who has actually used one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Price?

2x Kessil A150WE would cover that front to back spread.
When I use the calculator on their website, they suggest 3-4 A150s.

I'm leaning towards 2 48" Ray2 DS, with maybe a 48" Monster Ray in between them to punch up the colour. If I put 2-3 inches of substrate in the tank, it would be 15-16 inches to the top of the tank, allowing a bit of flexibility to suspend them up a bit.
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