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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! This is my first post here, but I have been lurking for many months. I have managed tanks 2-20 gallons (but with no difficult plants, fancy lights, co2, or fert) so this is my first real set up.

Either way I came across a 45 gallon (36 inches long, by 24 inches high) with a beautiful stand for $30 on craigslist. The seller included a Coralife square pin power compact 36inch fixture (2 96 watt bulbs). Unfortunately both bulbs are dead, not to mention there is a section of the acrylic splash guard that is warped badly at the end where the bulbs plug in.

Long story short I am planning on injecting CO2 (already have the set up), and doing a iwagumi style tank. This obviously includes a carpeting plant so I want to be sure on what lights I should buy. My budget is not extremely high, but is sort of flexible.

Right now I am wondering about 3 options.

1.) Replacing the bulbs in my coralife fixture (a 6700k and a combo 6700K/10000K) for about $60 shipped. Though the reflectors are pretty nonexistent so I am thinking this isn't the best choice.

2.) A relatively affordable t5HO fixture such as this ( http://www.aquatraders.com/36-inch-4x39W-T5-Aquarium-Light-Fixture-p/52304.htm ). I would replace the 2 bulbs with non actinic ones. Some posts I have read think this would be too high of light.

3.) Finally LED lighting is intriguing, but expensive. I do not know much about them, but I have my doubts that a fixture <$150 could grow a carpeting plant. I am assuming something like this won't work http://www.aquatraders.com/LED-Reef-Bright-p/56214.htm ??

Let me know, and I am open to any suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well if I am interpreting Hoppys amazing guide correctly, the odessa fixture will work out with a pretty legit PAR even though my tank is high.

http://www.aquatraders.com/36-inch-4x39W-T5-Aquarium-Light-Fixture-p/52304.htm

I plan on sitting it on top of the tank (apparently the fixture with legs is 37 inches not 36) which if the relationship is linear give me about 70 PAR. Nice bonus that it comes with moonlight LEDs, and is cheap. I do plan on replacing the bulbs though (at least the 2 Actinic Blue).
 

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I'm not sold on that odessea fixture. I think you'd be better off finding the cheapest bulbs you can for your PC, and adding some makeshift reflectors to it. The Odessea fixture has a rather inefficient reflector system so it will be no different than PC, except probably less wattage. You might only need to run one 96 watt bulb on that. You could also cut a piece of plexiglass to replace the splash guard.

I would encourage looking at all LED options though, and I think that is where you will have the best choice. Factor in the energy savings, and the savings on bulbs-as you know replacing 2x PC bulbs or 4X T5 HO bulbs is going to pile up.
 

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I'd read reviews on it, that aquatraders stuff is notorious for malfunctioning and being low quality (i.e. LED's burning out). Just from looking at it I would guess with over 3000 lumens it will give you enough par 24" deep to grow whatever. I'd compare that against the FInnex RAY II, which from what I understand is a quality fixture-there are threads that give you par value at depth for various LED fixtures (to figure out if it will grow a foreground carpet).
 

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Hello all! This is my first post here, but I have been lurking for many months. I have managed tanks 2-20 gallons (but with no difficult plants, fancy lights, co2, or fert) so this is my first real set up.

Either way I came across a 45 gallon (36 inches long, by 24 inches high) with a beautiful stand for $30 on craigslist. The seller included a Coralife square pin power compact 36inch fixture (2 96 watt bulbs). Unfortunately both bulbs are dead, not to mention there is a section of the acrylic splash guard that is warped badly at the end where the bulbs plug in.

Long story short I am planning on injecting CO2 (already have the set up), and doing a iwagumi style tank. This obviously includes a carpeting plant so I want to be sure on what lights I should buy. My budget is not extremely high, but is sort of flexible.

Right now I am wondering about 3 options.

1.) Replacing the bulbs in my coralife fixture (a 6700k and a combo 6700K/10000K) for about $60 shipped. Though the reflectors are pretty nonexistent so I am thinking this isn't the best choice.

2.) A relatively affordable t5HO fixture such as this ( http://www.aquatraders.com/36-inch-4x39W-T5-Aquarium-Light-Fixture-p/52304.htm ). I would replace the 2 bulbs with non actinic ones. Some posts I have read think this would be too high of light.

3.) Finally LED lighting is intriguing, but expensive. I do not know much about them, but I have my doubts that a fixture <$150 could grow a carpeting plant. I am assuming something like this won't work http://www.aquatraders.com/LED-Reef-Bright-p/56214.htm ??

Let me know, and I am open to any suggestions.
Hi Xiaf717,

I too have a 45 gallon tall (24") which I run with CO2. Before I set it up as a planted aquarium I did a lot of research and decided on a 1X96 watt AH Supply power compact kit. The AH Supply kit gives me a PAR = 105 at the substrate level which is 20 1/4" below the bulb positioned level with the top rim. I can grow just about any plant I want at the substrate level.

Not a great photo but it might give you and idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Great point. I didn't even consider that my substrate would effect the distance to the top and the par. Buying one 6700k bulb would definitely hold me over till prices drop more. That reflector seems a lot better than what I have on the coralife fixture though.
 
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