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Old 08-11-2004, 01:17 AM   #1
CarolC
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lighting question


I have a 29gallon tank that I want to put low to medium plants in. Could someone tell me what lights and supplies I would need. My husband is a electrician so he would be able to put it together for me. I just don't know what all I need or the size. Another question is can this be done in the light strip that came with the hood, are would it be better to make a canopy for it?
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:51 AM   #2
Rikko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolC
I have a 29gallon tank that I want to put low to medium plants in. Could someone tell me what lights and supplies I would need. My husband is a electrician so he would be able to put it together for me. I just don't know what all I need or the size. Another question is can this be done in the light strip that came with the hood, are would it be better to make a canopy for it?
If your husband will also be the one building a canopy and not just wiring it, go ahead and make him retrofit the hood!
If you have to do it, or you're kindly, just go for a whole canopy. If you can raise the lights a couple inches off the water surface, you can easily pass on a glass/acrylic cover over the tank and increase the light penetrating into the tank substantially (especially with dust, dirt, and mineral buildup over time).
You can buy complete light strips in just about any flavour, but first you might want to decide what lighting type suits you best. I'm a big T5 fluorescent fan and will go to my grave swearing by them. If you like their form factor, you can't go wrong with high quality reflectors and T5 tubes (HO is great, NO is honestly good enough for practically any plants).
You can look at somewhere like reefgeek.com for T5 supplies. You can get entire retrofit kits that are actually a decent bargain for what you get. I skipped on that and only bought the reflectors because I have a local supplier for tubes and ballasts that's a little cheaper for me. Greg is also a great guy to deal with.

You can also go PC (power compact), which is ultimately very similar to T5, albeit with shorter lamp life and higher bulb cost.
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:00 PM   #3
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A PC bulb is just a folded T-5 bulb. The lifespan is the same for both if you keep them both in the same environmental conditions.

The cost of a T-5 retrofit is much higher than that of a PC retrofit from a source like AH Supply. Case in point. reefgeek.com has a 216 watt 48" kit for $329. Add another $48 for four bulbs and you are at $377 not including shipping. Now at ahsupply.com I can get a 220 watt kit for $125 and four bulbs for $76 for a total cost of $201. Now considering the bulbs have the same lifespan I will never be able to justify the much higher cost of the T-5 bulbs. And even if I have to replace the PC bulbs every 24 months and the T-5 bulbs every 48 months it's six years before the TCO evens out.
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:02 PM   #4
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BTW CarolC, take a look at the 55 watt kits from AH Supply. We have discussed 29 gallon lighting here many times and the general consensus is they are a PITA tank to light due to the 30" length. You could go with ODNO lights (see the lighting forum for info on this method). But remember that good reflectors make a huge difference.
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:56 PM   #5
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Actually the 48" T5 retrofit from reefgeek is $329 with 4 bulbs. I think the advantage with T5's is the small diameter of the bulb. Using good reflectors for the T5's, I think they are more efficent than PC's. Ahsupply reflectors are great (probably the best for PC's) but the design of the PC's will have some light that is lost.

With that being said I currently have 4 55W PC's on my 55 gallon and it is doing very well. I used to have a 29 gallon tank and what I did was stagger the lights in the canopy so they overlap in the middle. I think it worked pretty well.
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Old 08-27-2004, 03:53 PM   #6
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i just bought a 2x55 watt JBJ formosa light fixture for 50 bucks brand new never been opened still has the acrylic on the plastic cover
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