light options for 10 gallon tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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light options for 10 gallon tank

Hey there. So right now i'm running two 15 watt CFL spiral bulbs over a 10 gallon tank. They function relatively well, but there is very poor light distribution. It is incredibly focused in two areas (right below the two bulbs). This is leading to very uneven growth. All the plants grow well but there is an obvious symmetry in the tank, with plants growing to the left or right. the bulbs are directed like this:

< = > (I know you love my technical schematics.)

SOooo long story short. I want to find a new light fixture. I was interested in the Dual Current Satellite fixture--sadly, it has been discontinued. I need a 20" light fixture (you just base it off how long ur tank is right?) Any suggestions? My searches have been pretty frustrating thus far. Oh i should add that i'd like to keep my WPG between 3 and 5. I've found alot of 80 watt fixtures that would just be overkill.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 11:22 PM
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How are you reflecting the light from the hood?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 11:35 PM
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There are some 24" options that would work because of the adjustable legs, but they would look weird. I'm interested to see what responses you get since I have a similar tank/light situation in my emmersed tank.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 12:12 AM
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I have heard some good things about Coralife Aqualight T5NO fixtures. I am pretty sure they sell them in 20." T5 lights, dont necisarily complie to the "WTG" rule. Also, is are you doing a lowtech or high tech setup?

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 05:14 AM
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I am debating a 36W Bright kit from AHSupply for my 10G. Have to build your own enclosure though...
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 05:31 AM
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Nobody has anything but praise for Catalina:

Here is one of their fixtures that would work out for you, I think. The light output is in the right range, but I don't really know what price you're going for.

Feeling adventurous? Maybe check out my current
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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yah. i was leaning to the 36 watt from ah supply as well. i'll check out some of the suggestsions and get back to yall.. its late.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 03:26 PM
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I have the same problem, but i was just going to cut a beer can in half to make reflectors and put aluminum foil all over the top of the hood, will this solve this problem?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexXx View Post
I have the same problem, but i was just going to cut a beer can in half to make reflectors and put aluminum foil all over the top of the hood, will this solve this problem?
I've found aluminum foil to not be that great of a reflector. I would suggest using an emergency blanket instead(the kind you find in first aid and camping sets). The material can be cut to fit and it's extremely cost effective.

As for a 10 gallon light this is how I solved that exact same problem.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...tml#post964974

I've since moved the lights out towards the ends and this gave good light distribution at the substrate.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 11:50 PM
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I have a 10 gallon tank, and I use a 24" T5 HO fixture. It does hang off of the tank a bit, but I don't mind

Here's another T5 HO fixture that is much more expensive, but it's AFA's brand of light and has many good reviews. The legs can actually slide upon the fixture so you can get it to fit a 10 gallon tank.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 04:04 AM
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Wow that is way to intense for me, im not electrically savvy what so ever haha. Hopefully the walmart will have a cheap emergency blanket lol.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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another brief update (i hate research papers). I've read that there exists an aluminum tape that is perfect for enhancing the reflectivity of your lighting. I am currently using aluminum foil, but the crinkling you get whilst trying to install the foil causes massive light dispersion. flat pieces of aluminum tape would help resolve this issue (a parabolic reflector would be best).

krith: that is awesome stuff. i have an identical (or near identical hood) and im using two 15 watt spiral CFL bulbs right now. so i don't know jack about electricity, but i'd imagine its not wise to use the 2 ballasts from these 15 watt spiral bulbs on new 18 watt bulbs? what kind of tools would i need to accomplish what you did? a friend of mine has a soldering kit and i believe i have spare molex connectors around. i have more questions about how you did that, but i'm out of time. mor elater.

Last edited by sewingalot; 10-18-2010 at 05:04 PM. Reason: language
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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so i opted for the 20" lighthouse fixture from Catalina aquariums. It runs at 36 watt single CFL bulb and his a nice shiny reflector to boot. I'm pretty stoked. hopefully i'll see more even/stable growth with this setup.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
so i opted for the 20" lighthouse fixture from Catalina aquariums. It runs at 36 watt single CFL bulb and his a nice shiny reflector to boot. I'm pretty stoked. hopefully i'll see more even/stable growth with this setup.
that is the fixture that dr. acula posted right? did it come with a bulb? i wasn't sure by reading it, but i'm looking to change the lighting on my 10 gallon also and the price seemed right for this fixture..

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 09:38 PM
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If you used the 15 watt ballasts you would be alright it would just under power ur bulbs. I used 19 Watt ones(didn't do any studies but i'm sure the extra watt was lost in the wiring so don't really have to worry about over driving the bulbs). As far as tools you really only need a pair of wire strippers and a soldering gun. Glad to see you found a good fit as far as a fixture. I prefer to build it myself to occupy my time and teach me a little something new. If you ever decide to build one just shoot me a pm and i'll happily answer with any info I have.
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