My three lightning choices for my 90 gal... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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My three lightning choices for my 90 gal...

1. Go to home depot buy a ballast and install two of their aquarium and plant bulbs. 80 Watts Total costs about $30

2. Buy some VHO bulbs for my VHO ballast. 160 Watts. Total cost about $100

3. Buy some bulb for my 65W X2 PC. 130 Watts. Total cost about $80

I don't want explosive plant growth.

I don't want to go hi-tech or inject CO2.

What do you guys think???
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph50 View Post
1. Go to home depot buy a ballast and install two of their aquarium and plant bulbs. 80 Watts Total costs about $30

2. Buy some VHO bulbs for my VHO ballast. 160 Watts. Total cost about $100

3. Buy some bulb for my 65W X2 PC. 130 Watts. Total cost about $80

I don't want explosive plant growth.

I don't want to go hi-tech or inject CO2.

What do you guys think???
None of those options are going to give you "explosive" growth or require "hi-tech". The highest is less than 2wpg.

Re: #1 - no need to go with "aquarium and plant" bulbs. Generally a rip off. Personally, I would not be satisfied with 80W, even for a low-tech/maintenance setup.
Re: #3 - $80 that sounds a little pricey for 2 65W PC bulbs.

Personally, I'd go with whichever was easier and cheaper between #2 and #3.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 04:39 PM
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1. I have an 80W shoplight. Cost was around 16 bucks including bulbs. It's garbage, but that's ok because it's over my 2 low tech no dose 10 gals. That's 70 gallons less than what you have.

2. 2x65W should not cost 80. The way I understand it, 65 and 55 are pretty much the same thing. I got 2x55W 6500K for ~30.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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None of those options are going to give you "explosive" growth or require "hi-tech". The highest is less than 2wpg.
Thanks I was originally going to go with the VHO and the PCs which would have given me about 2.333 watts/gal. but decided against it.

Right now I am leaning towards the PCs alone since I don't have to run the electrical on the ballast.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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2x65W should not cost 80. The way I understand it, 65 and 55 are pretty much the same thing. I got 2x55W 6500K for ~30.
Was that an online price or a LFS price.

Things are expensive as hell (adjective) in Miami. I saw the 65W at Petco for around $30 something each.

I hope was mistaken. Petco is also very expensive.

Now I am really leaning towards the PCs.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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Whats wrong with seting up both and do a dusk-to-dawn effect? At only 2.3wpg, it won't even meet the standard of medium intensity anyway. I have found that my fish are less stressed when the lighting is more gradual and it has a cool effect. Kinda like it's own little world with it's own little sun. Not to mention that your at 24" (20" effective?) and your shorties will be fighting for light.

Everyone else is right. Those bulbs are a bit pricey. I shop for nearly everything online using bizrate, shopping, and ebay to find the best prices.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Whats wrong with seting up both and do a dusk-to-dawn effect? At only 2.3wpg, it won't even meet the standard of medium intensity anyway
.

Maybe in the near future.

I don't want to fertilize the water column and I don't really have that much time to prune.

I am just getting the hang of this and trying to avoid all the pitfalls.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 08:04 PM
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Looking at your options, I'd go with the PC setup. Regular T12 or T8 bulbs will be too dim for a tank of this size, unless you overdrive them.

The thing with 2x 55/65 is the coverage of your tank. If it is 18" or deeper, the light spread of one bank of PC lights is really too concentrated in one area. In other words, if you position the lights centered over your tank, the front and back will be underlit, especially in the upper areas.

I am more of a T5 person and would go with two 54W bulbs and good reflectors for a non-CO2, low tech tank. But that wasn't one of your choices.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try the PCs first then work on the VHO.

Went to the LFS yesterday. $35 each PC. Ouch!!!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 06:46 PM
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Don't buy bulbs from the LFS. For the record, those "plant and aquarium" bulbs from home depot are the wrong color temp.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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For the record, those "plant and aquarium" bulbs from home depot are the wrong color temp.
At $7.00 I figured out that they were not the proper wavelength.

I used one on a reef tank once but backed it up with a 40W Actinic.

It was marginal at best.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 07:45 PM
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Try hellolights.com and such for bulbs rather than your LFS.


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