55 gal plant tank lighting help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question 55 gal plant tank lighting help

Hi Guys and gals,

New here and did a search already for DIY lighting options and found the sponsored artical about lighting for HO(like I'm looking to obtain).

Problem was it seems really outdated as the artical writers prospective was that HomeDepot and such had everything I needed with his opinion of best solution using T12.

After about 10 differents stops to all the different Depots, Lowes, OSH, lighting Wholesalers in my area, they all stated! T12 is being phased out and obsolete except for sign companies.

So, on to the advice being requested.....

55gal tank newb with established substrate, looking for DIY lighting for strong growth and a Co2 setup. Co2 already covered.

where to get supplies?(92708 zip)
what lighting will be enough and lowes cost over time?(T5 or T8?----- Pro's vs. Con's?) I want 3W per gallon...
what type of fixture will be needed?(prefer already made/no wiring needed)

problems with the hood for mounting is split lifting lid.(back half fixed/front half lifts)

inside dinensions of lid are....

10" width(lifting section) x 48" lingth x 4-1/2 tall(to surface of water)

5-1/2" width(fixed) x48 x4-1/2"

so again, if you were me and wanted to keep cost to min, never have to re-do, and wanted a heavy planted tank with a Co2 setup, what whould you do for DIY???

Thanks so much in advance!....Please keep it simple on the replys....like you were talking to a 2yr old...no abreveations please...I dont know them.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:30 PM
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First and most important: forget about 3 watts per gallon. That is just a number, and a meaningless one at that. You can light a 55 gallon tank very well with one 54 watt T5HO light, if it has a good reflector, like Tek reflectors. Finding such a light isn't easy, but AH Supply has retrofit kits that should work very well: http://www.ahsupply.com/54watt.htm

Hoppy
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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thanks Hoppy for the advice...I am a complete rookie when it comes to lighting and for some reason have a hard time grasping the important things(Par,Lumens,Watts per gallon I thought was so important vs reflectors, types of bulbs, ect.ect...) even though I've been in salt water for over 3 yrs...


I was not really looking to do any wiring like involved with a retro-fit though. I'm assuming since your link took me to T5 that that is the way to go vs T8???

is retro-fit the only way to save $$$ vs buying a fixture somewhere else already made than in my LFS(cost there $250-$350)

I'm trying to find a happy medium from paying that and having to do a full wiring job....
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 01:10 AM
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http://www.bigalsonline.com/Fish_Lig...2.html?tc=fish is a $100 2 bulb T8 light. That will give you low light, which with CO2, will allow you to grow a lot of different plants.

The single bulb T5HO light will give considerably more light, and with CO2 you could grow any plant you wanted to grow.

Hoppy
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
http://www.bigalsonline.com/Fish_Lig...2.html?tc=fish is a $100 2 bulb T8 light. That will give you low light, which with CO2, will allow you to grow a lot of different plants.

The single bulb T5HO light will give considerably more light, and with CO2 you could grow any plant you wanted to grow.

lol.....direct and to the point.

thanks.... T5 w/ good reflector it is considering the mounting space issue.

Thanks for the help Hoppy....
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