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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Question :)

Hello everyone,

I am about to start up a tank again. I am going to set up a 55 gal (48") most likely. I want to have a planted tank with plants that require good lighting. I've been looking at hoods and light fixtures and can't seem to find a good way to get enough watts. Anyone know what kind of set-up I can do to get enought watts without spending tons of money? I'm not sure exactly how much is really necessary, do I need 165 watts min, or is that just myth? Most hoods I saw for sale had only space for 1 48" 40 watt light. I did, however, see a hood with room for 3 lights, but that would still only be 120watts.... is that enough?

Thanks for your time
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:14 PM
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Is a 55 your only option? Do you already have the tank?

jB
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 03:50 PM
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 04:17 PM
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Yes, as the owner of a 55, I would say if you don't already have it to avoid this size. The narrowness (front to back is 13") is an exercise in frustration when attempting to actually do any aquascaping. A 75 is the same width (48") but is deeper front to back at 18".

I opted for the AHSupply 4x55 in a homemade hood for my 55, and it's really a bit much. I think that it would be better over a 75.

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— 2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 04:30 PM
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As a prior owner of a 55, I'm going to agree with JB, and RoseHawke.

Trying to get a feel of depth in 13" is a major PITA.

OK, that being said, there are a couple of options (repeating already stated advice).
1) AH supply for the lights, build your own hood.
2) same as 1 but, buy their enclosure if you aren't handy (or don't have the toos) for woodwork.
3) take a look at glass tops, and either the coralife, or Current USA PC (Power Compact) fixtures.

When I had my 55, the I used 2 X 65 Current USA for 10 hours, and the other 2 bulbs for 3 hours a day.

Walter

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have the tank yet. I'm not sure if i have room for a 75 gal tho. If not, what would be the best option, 40 gal maybe?

Thanks
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 07:58 PM
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A 2x65 fixture should be able to grow anything. I do recommend the 75 if you can afford it or have the space.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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I was looking at AH supply and USA current, and it looked like it would cost around $200 for lighting. This is kinda expensive for me considering I still have to buy all other components of a tank. Is that the cheapest I will be able to set up adequate lighting?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 10:50 PM
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I would slightly disagree with not getting a 55. If this is what you can afford and you are eager to start then I think you should get it. A 55 is difficult to scape, I can imagine so because my 30g is a PITA to scape as well and its 12" deep by 36" long. The bad thing about the 55 is like what was said, how narrow. But that doesnt meen it cant be scaped, you just have a limit on how you scape it. With a 55 you can create long foreground scapes with just a few stem plants in the corner for keeping algae in check. You wont be able to create a deep looking dimensional scape, but you can scape a jungle look with no problem. Search jungle in the search link and you will find beautifull jungle scapes that took no effort to create. You still have plenty of room to hardscape some nice rocks with excellent textures that contrast a medium amount of red and green plants. You have many options of how you can scape though the options are far less then a deep tank. There are many beautiful nano tanks here and their depth is practically nill. Scaping takes practice and a skilled scaper will turn any size tank into a piece of art.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 12:30 AM
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Scaping takes practice and a skilled scaper will turn any size tank into a piece of art.
I agree.

But,

I also have a 55gal. and even though I am happy with it--its only because its here. I would trade it for a 75-90 with +18" width in a Heartbeat. Wouldn't think twice.

A 55gal. is cool for fish, but the narrowness just really limits the possiblities for plants...

Just my Thoughts....


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 12:34 AM
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Planted tanks are not cheap.

If you buy a kit from most any store it's going to come with poor lighting. But the key is to use the plastic housing and place the AH supply kits into that housing.

3' tanks, 30B, 40B, 50, & 65 gallon tanks are best lit with AH Supply 96 watt kits.

4' tanks, 55, 75, 90, 120 are best lit with 55 watt kits.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks Rex. Will one 96 watt kit be enough for a 40B for decent plant growth?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 12:57 AM
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It will give great plant growth. The only problem is the front to back coverage.
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