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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
long story short; tank is a 40g breeder- 36" by 18" by 16"- which will be a goldfish tank- bare bottom, low light, low tech.

I am planning to include a large piece of driftwood from my 29g which is loaded with java ferns.

now, I have a spare 24" 2 bulb T5HO light which I was thinking I might use; it would be mounted right over the driftwood with java ferns, right on top of the tank.

alternatively, I could get a cheap 36" fixture from home depot.

would it work, though? the java ferns would be the only plants unless I got a more suitable light fixture.
 

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You might try it. If it is 12" over the tank it is medium light and that light will be spread nice and wide at the height. Can always go to HD and get that 36" fixture if this one doesn't suit.
 

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I would start off with the 24" fixture and bulb. You already have it, so there is no added investment. If it doesn't work out, it's easy enough to upgrade it.

It's true the ends will be comparatively dim, but you can sometimes use that to effect in you aquascapeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
what would be a way of elevating the fixture above the tank? as of now, I am planning to put it on eggcrate right on top of the tank with the driftwood with java ferns right below it.

also: there wont really be any aquascaping- its going to be a bare bottom tank with two filters, a bubble wand, and the driftwood/java ferns with some plastic plants at the end. minimalistic for ease of cleaning, since the goldfish will be super messy.
 

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I have been very fortunate. I put 2 hooks in the ceiling 11 years ago and have been able to hang my lights from that over 3 different tanks. I screwed screw eyes on a stick of wood and hang the lights from that stick. I was looking to hang them from a shelf this time but it would have needed to be 15" deep and I decided it would be too overwhelming. Got the idea from this very nice set up. My lights came with hanging kits, not sure where or how to DIY but there are threads in the DIY forum on this. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/tank-journals-photo-album/120702-new-house-new-office-new-aquarium.html

Or even cleaner, bend metal conduit or other not very heavy piping so it attaches to the stand and the light hangs over the center of the tank. See the DIY forum, there are a number of threads there. Still have to come up with some way to hang the lights from it though.

Or you could simply make a canopy to fit the top of the tank that would suspend the lights high enough. If you painted the inside white or lined it with reflective material I bet the ends of the tank wouldn't be as dark as you fear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
unfortunately, hanging from the ceiling isnt really an option; I dont trust the ceiling to hold it up (had an accident a few years ago where the plaster detached from the ceiling and came crashing down around us).

I think I may make a PVC light rack and attach the light to that, or maybe a canopy type thing, since I think I want to make the tank a full planted tank after all.
 

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well i hung my 24 inch tek fixture from my ceiling. 4 bulbs it weighs 18 pounds with bulbs and wires.
its hung by two eye bolts that are screwed into plastic anchors. held by 50 lb test fishing wire

works great and i have an OLD OLD home with plaster ceiling and wall

EDIT: if u do that. get a long plastic anchor and long eye bolts.. more area to disperse weight also. plaster has a metal mesh inside of it.. grab that and its definitely not going anywhere
 
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