44 Gal MH lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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44 Gal MH lighting

Tank:l/w/h=24/24/17.5" + pressurized CO2 (rex grigg reactor), ADA amazonia & ferts
How much lighting do I need considering height is 17.5"? Hoping to grow HC, hairgrass, and stems. Will a 75W be enough or will I need 150W?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 02:54 AM
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if he doesnt reply to this thread soon enough, i would shoot hoppy a pm. he'll tell you what you need.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 02:57 AM
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I would go with a 150 although it is a TON of light. Have a good distance between the water and the lamp, probably more than one and a half feet. It takes some confidence to play around with this much light, you'll probably have enough spill to grow some tomatoes next to the tank!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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One important consideration, is that this tank is in the living room, and has a couch right next to it...so people should be able to sit near it without being blinded!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:21 AM
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To get a spread of light that will fill a 24x24" footprint, you'll need the light around 6-8" above the top of the tank which will throw some errant light into the room.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:38 AM
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The fishneedit doesn't look strange with a glare guard on it though. In fact it originally came with one. There is a groove on the side used to attach it to the T5 lights. I made up a guard just today using a whittled down disposable chopstick that fits in the groove to hold the fiberglass screen that covers aluminum foil. Hoping they will sell me a real one sometime but it works and the color and theme go together okay.

I just bought 2 150s for my 23" deep 100 gallon tank and you definitely don't need 150 watts. If you choose MH go with 70 watts.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking of having a steel box around it like this (saw it on aquariumlife)




Will people still be able to sit next to the tank? will a 75W be enough?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Will T5 HO's be enough for this tank? If so how many watts?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
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Will T5 HO's be enough for this tank? If so how many watts?
T5HO will be plenty, MH will have to be hung quite high to be manageable and will blind people sitting that close. I think you would be better off going with 2- 2 bulb T5NO fixtures. Once you figure substrate dephth you don't really have that much to light. With having 2 fixtures the can be spaced to get even light through the whole tank.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sweet, how many watts will I need? 120W going by the 3WPG rule?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 06:07 PM
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Sweet, how many watts will I need? 120W going by the 3WPG rule?
WPG is null and void with T5 lighting options. There is some good reading in the lighting forum about efficiency of different bulbs so you should go read. The more you understand the easier it will be.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 06:41 PM
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Those boxes look great! They definitely wouldn't work in your situation though. Ideally the bottom of the shade would be at eye level of the person on the sofa and that cannot happen. To me it looks like the shade will need to come all the way to the top of the tank to work. You might want to cobble up a worklight and some cardboard to see how much shading needs to happen. Can make it for MH and T5 sized fixtures. Might help your planning.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 06:57 PM
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The unfortunate thing about MH is that like others have said, it'll blind anyone sitting by it and the only 'real' way to avoid it is to put a big canopy over the tank that really takes the look away from rimless tank you're getting. T5's give out plenty of light, avoid the blinding problem, use less electricity, and put out much less heat. I see you are in Australia so heat may be a real issue for you as it is for me here in Florida. Cranking on the MH light means increasing the A/C in the house and running a chiller on my tank to keep the temp down...yes, they are that hot.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 04:12 AM
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I have mH lighting over my tank and frequently have problems with too much light as far as red plants turning green and algae control.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 01:35 PM
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4x24W would work well, but you would need to suspend it up pretty high to get the whole tank evenly illuminated. Two separate fixtures would work better, but cost more.


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