To DIY or not? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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To DIY or not?

Hi Everyone,

I'm not happy with the light my current fixture puts out and I'll either end up buying a light or modify my current one.

My tank is a standard 15 gallon, 24" long, 12' wide. & 12" high. The light was made by Perfecto and its a single tube flourescent 18" long and 15 watts.

The tank is 1/2 to 2/3rds planted and I have 12 Red Cherry Shrimp, 6 Neon Tetras and two CPD's.

I have thought about rebuilding the light fixture to increase the light output and use two T8 or the smaller T5's.

There's a company (A&H) who sells lighting kits but the wattage (54 watt) IMO is to high for my intended use. I would like to increae it to 2-3 watts per gallon or 30 to 45 watts total. I want to grow medium to high light plants, and show off the fish better.

If I can get an increase to where I can at least grow medium light plants w/o problems I'd be happy

Can anyone suggest a company to buy lighting parts from so I can use twin bulbs. The T5's are probably the easiest because of the smaller diameter and available room.

The other way would be to modify the guts I have already so it might be able to use a longer T8 tube , however the output would be lower than what I'm looking for.



I'm open to any suggestions and ideas for DIY, OR ideas about buying a light already made up. I have looked at Coralife and SolarMax HE lights.

BTW, which company makes SOLARMAX Lights?



Thanks,

Martin
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 04:49 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
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You will get much better results by using CO2 than by increasing the light intensity. A single T8 bulb should give you enough light to grow most plants. Higher light will almost certainly lead to algae problems, unless you use CO2, and probably even then. So, if you have to use CO2, you might as well try it first with the light you have.

AH Supply light kits will be much too much for that size tank. One option is to remove the guts of the light and install a pair of incandescent bulb sockets, then use two screw-in CFL bulbs. With those you can adjust the intensity by using different wattage bulbs. And, you can get 6500K bulbs, which look very good on an aquarium.

Hoppy
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