what lights would you get? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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what lights would you get?

I have a 120g tank that is going to be a planted discus tank. My tank is 60" long and its hard to find many brands in this length. I have found two power compacts and I cant make up my mind witch one I want. One is a orbit, it has 4 65 watt bulbs (260watts). The other is a odyssea with 2-65watt and 2-95watt bulbs (322watts). Do you guys think this will be enough watts for my tank? I will be running co2 also. If anybody knows of any better lights That will fit my tank let me know.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 01:05 AM
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Are you planning on high tech or low tech (CO2 and ferts?). That may help your decision as well as the type of plants you would like to keep.

kara
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 01:22 AM
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FYI Odyssea lights are often talked about here has pretty poor quality and many have melted/caught fire. I'd probably not consider that one myself.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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I am going to use a fully automated co2 system with a ph monitor. I already have one failed planted tank under my belt and I really dont want another one. So whatever lights I get I want to make sure my plants thrive. I really want to do it right this time.
About the odyssea lights, I have only heard bad things about the MH ballast burning up. I know they are cheaper lights but I cant find many fixtures in a 60". So I am kinda limited on what I can get.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 01:48 AM
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you will not be happy with the odyssa lights...

30 gallon pita...102watts..pressurized co2 ...jbj regulator...eco-complete substrate...xp-2... inline c-02 reactor...turbo twist uv
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 02:32 AM
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I used to have an odyssa 2007 fixture,,,,silent fan , it was alrite , but u can tell that it was made out of cheap materiala and the wires were really packed together and I dunno if thats gd. I would go for a current nova which i have now....very bright or a tek
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 02:46 AM
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nova doesnt use individual reflectors, so there not that good, novas are just as good as pc but pc's are cheaper. Go with TEK with individual reflectors or even better an ice-cap reflector and ballast (you overdrive bulbs with ice cap to get even more light from a bulb, lowers life of bulb though)

Orbit has a much better reputation than oddysea.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 07:35 AM
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i went with HTGsupply through ebay on my 75gal. http://cgi.ebay.com/4-lamp-T5-High-O...QQcmdZViewItem

the unit has a crackle like epoxy finish that is a deep grey that may or may not appeal to some tastes. what i like is the reflector is contoured to each bulb. t5's llast a lot longer then PC's. there are 4 discrete bulbs so i can vary the spectrum bulb to bulb for a nice visual effect. at 4ft it would be 6in short of each end though, but i do not think that would really be a deficit to plants if all grow bulbs were used.

shipping is expensive, but at $200 shipped it is still cheaper then most other solutions. it will have to be hung on cables too. mine is ~5in off the top and it is easy just to push it back to get in the tank.

TEK light arrays have a little better finish, but at a price.

http://direct.www.surreality.org/gal..._1526.JPG.html

http://direct.www.surreality.org/gal..._1522.JPG.html
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 08:51 AM
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if you are going to mount the light raised over the tank, the 4' tek or similar should easily light the tank. i personally would stay away from CF at that size more for the heat output (mini-heaters), and t5's are so much brighter with the right reflectors. they also last longer. i use a tek myself and love it.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 10:41 AM
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If your tank is of open top style, go for MH lights.

2 or 3 x 70W (2 x 150W if you prefer it really bright) will do just great for medium intensity and light coverage. Hang at least 12" from water surface. Now 140W of MH may sound so little, but actually it is all you need compared to twice the amount from traditional neon. The issue here is just the initial investment, a good MH set is comparatively expensive.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 12:22 PM
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use 1 mh per 2 feet of tank space is the common rule. Being on a budget i wouldnt think MH lights are right for him. T5's have been proven to be just as good as them but may not look as nice (shimmer effect)

Why does it have to be 12 inches above surface, you lose a lot of light that way, with good fans blowing on or out of the mh fixture you can go down to 6 inches and not waste that much light.

Last edited by musho3210; 07-05-2007 at 07:13 PM.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help everyone. I started looking into the t5's since everyone thinks they will be better for my tank and I found a Aquavim T5 HO fixture for a reasonable price. It comes with 3 x 80w white and 1 x 80w actinic blue. Here is the link to where I found them if anyone is intrested.
http://www.4fishtank.com/aquavim_mh_system.htm
Do you guys think this will do the trick?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 01:48 AM
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No, you do not lose lot of light that way, especially with nowadays special aquarium fixtures. Common rules on MH should be broken, because in my experience it is rather... misguiding (at least to me, someone with multiple MH setup). Hanging at 6 inches leads me to the wrong side, giving too much intensity to most of the plants in the tank, burning most of aerial/emmersed leaves (that most would avoid the light by growing to the sides). Hang them a bit higher (in some cases with a reduce in the bulb watt rating) effectiveness is excess of 2 feet of tank space and suddenly everything is allright.

I should have learned this from ADA pics/setups earlier than finding out myself the hard way.

You would want to replace the artinic bulb with something more useful, usually 6,500K-10,000K bulb.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 01:53 AM
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although i am not denying your judgement, you yourself say you raise it above the tank to lower its intensity which lowers the light lumens/par. But what you do say makes sense.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 04:21 AM
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Unless light is now shinning out in the room, the same wattage is going into the tank... its just spread out a little more by raising it. if its very close you'll have more of a spotlight effect with a greater intensity in the middle, and possibly not enough coverage to the sides. Raise it up a bit and get a less intense spot right under it but more spread out. Is that basically what your talking about MM? I'm still debating on MH for one of my tanks (my 4x2 150g).
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