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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6 foot 125 gallon tank (72" x 18" x 21") that is going to be a very low tech angelfish tank. It will only have a few swords and anubias. I am probably going to run a couple of 48" 2 bulb T8 fixtures in my hood (4 bulbs total). Probably 6500K bulbs.

I can't decide how to configure the lighting because I'm dealing with 4 foot fixtures on a 6 foot tank. I was thinking about using some 4' bulbs and some 2' bulbs, but I would like to keep it simple with just 4 bulbs instead of the 6-8 that I would end up with if I went with a couple 48" fixtures and a couple 24" fixtures.

I'm looking at 3 basic options.

1) 2 48” 2 bulb fixtures centered over tank
2) 2 48” 2 bulb fixtures staggered over tank
3) Take apart 2 48” 2 bulb fixtures and retrofit to stagger evenly over tank



All of these options will give higher light in the middle of the tank. Do you think that it will look off?

Am I on the right track with this much lighting? I like a fairly bright tank since I'm used to reef tanks, but I don't want to battle too much algae or deal with most of the issues that come with a high tech tank.
 

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option 2 looks good, however it will leave some darker areas on the ends of the tank. I am using 2 48" fixtures on 2-40breeder tanks that are close together on a 125 stand. I ended up buying a custom 4 bulb 24" fixture to cover the unlit 2 ft. section of the tank. Works very well. My 48" fixtures are 3 bulb that I bought at Home Depot for $34 a piece. LOTS of light!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
option 2 looks good, however it will leave some darker areas on the ends of the tank. I am using 2 48" fixtures on 2-40breeder tanks that are close together on a 125 stand. I ended up buying a custom 4 bulb 24" fixture to cover the unlit 2 ft. section of the tank. Works very well. My 48" fixtures are 3 bulb that I bought at Home Depot for $34 a piece. LOTS of light!!
How bad we're the dark areas? I'd like to stick with four bulbs to keep replacement cost down but I think another 24" fixture is the backup plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Depends on your scape really. If you want uniform lighting, go with option 3.

Or.. make a really cool center part and do option 2. Brighter in the middle darker on the outsides.

I'm running one 48" T8 shoplight in the center of my 125 and I'm getting pretty decent light considering I only have crypts dwarf sag and one sword. The ends are darker because my fish like the darker portions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Depends on your scape really. If you want uniform lighting, go with option 3.

Or.. make a really cool center part and do option 2. Brighter in the middle darker on the outsides.

I'm running one 48" T8 shoplight in the center of my 125 and I'm getting pretty decent light considering I only have crypts dwarf sag and one sword. The ends are darker because my fish like the darker portions.
Do you have a picture of how it looks? Are you running two or four bulbs?
 

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I like option 3 best for good coverage. If you're handy with electrical wiring (which I'm not LOL) then you might also consider putting the first two bulbs on a different switch from the 2nd 2 bulbs. This would give you LOTS of flexibility with your lighting/photoperiods- that flexibility can really help if you should run into algae issues and need to dial down lighting versus not want to lose viewing time.

Stick some decent reflectors behind them and you should have enough light to work with for a pretty nice low tech setup.

Have you considered the T5NOs rather than T8s? You can get those pretty cheap at either HD or Lowes, too.
 

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Heh, it's too bad you don't have the hardscape in my 75. I have rock formations in the front right and back left, so option 2 would be absolutely perfect for that.

I know that this gets into a lot of lights, but if you're looking to go with T8's for most of it you could put them at one end, and use a short LED light or two width wise on the other end to cover that end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know that this gets into a lot of lights, but if you're looking to go with T8's for most of it you could put them at one end, and use a short LED light or two width wise on the other end to cover that end.
You can put the two shop lights all the way to the left/right and use two 6 inch brooder light
I'd be worried about different color temps from different types of bulbs.

If anyone has any photos of a similar setup that would be awesome.
 

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You can put the two shop lights all the way to the left/right and use two 6 inch brooder light
I was going to say similar but use option one and put a CFL bulb.

I don't think the color differences would be that great so It wouldn't be a worry to me. You can also try it for cheap if you have some sort of fixture you can temporarily put there to test, but you may need an extra set of hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update:

I went ahead and tried 2 2 bulb T8 fixtures. One is to the right and one is slid to the left. The center of the tank has 4 tubes over it and each side has 2 but you really don't notice a difference. I thought I'd update this thread with some pictures for anyone who searches this in the future.

I still need to finish my hood and mount them in it so the lighting will probably get even more even once I have the fixtures raised off the water a bit. Right now they are just sitting on top the tank.



 
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