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Discussion Starter #1
My tank is a fully planted tank without C02 (use fertilizer regularly though). The tank is 5ft long, 2ft high and 1.8ft wide/front to back.

I currently have 2 lights both 48inch. One is a Life Glo 40w and the other is a Tri-Phosphorus 37w. They are in two seperate light covers which are a type of plastic. These sit under my tank's hood so you do not see them.

However, we have noticed that the lights are getting extremely hot. The Life Glo in particular is getting very hot and is burning the plastic on the cover. I can tell by the blackened patch where the little box of wires are in the cover.

They are also burning my plants. I have a very large amazon which is as high as the tank and it's top leaves are brown and burnt looking.

What I want to know is what I should do. I am not sure how many watts of light I need for my tank. Should I replace both bulbs with 35w so they don't get as hot or will I need more than 2 lights in this instance? Should I replace their covers as well? How many lights should I go for, what type and what wattage each?

Thanks guys.

P.S. I am mainly concerned about the lights. I am not using C02 as I have previously had a tank without it and it worked well. If it becomes necessary I will certainly add it, but for now I need to get these lights right.
 

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Children Boogie
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How many gallons does your tank hold?

Yeah, I'd replace the bulbs..
And how much wattage is calculated by the gallons in your tank, like 200watts/ 100 gallons or 2w/g.

I have a feeling your w/g is low like 1w/g.. But i'd keep that since it's working for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's 111 US gallons - 422 litres.:icon_smil
So, I guess it's very low.

In my other tank I never used C02 and the lights were 2x 18w for a 23 us gallon tank. The plants did well.

However this tank is considerably bigger. The tank has been going since the beginning of the year, the plants however have been in there for a bit over a month. They are doing well - the only sickly looking one is the scorched one from the light.

The lights I am using are not new, I don't know how old they are honestly. The tank when purchased was approx 4 years old, previously a salt water tank. I am not sure how long the previous owner had those lights on there.

I am thinking that if I replace the lights that perhaps I should replace the covers too. We opened up the particularly burnt one and there's a fair bit of salt inside it too.:icon_conf

We were looking at either the Hagen Glo T5 HO Twin Linear Light Unit 48" with two 57w lights or the Heto Steamlined Unit Double 48" - but I am not sure what lights come with this.

If you could help me that would be fantastic as honestly I have no clue.:icon_redf
Thank you
 

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Something ain't right if the light is burning the splash shield. And that is way too low of light for a 24" deep tank. You need something approaching 200 watts of power so I would consider putting in some T5 tubes and reflectors or a T5 fixture.


Since you want to go low tech (no CO2) definately keep it around 200 watts or 2 watts per gallon or just a little lower. So 4 of the 40 watt T12 (standard size flourscents) if you have room. And if its too hot, put some vents and possibly fans. You don't want to mess around with a possible fire. They do happen occasionally.

If it was me, I would try to find some T5s. They are the most efficient light out there now... They will save you money over the long haul on you elec. bill. Good luck.
 

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I would use five 2ft. t5 bulbs with tek reflectors mounted front to back. They are efficient and don't produce much heat. It will cost you up front.
 

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I would use five 2ft. t5 bulbs with tek reflectors mounted front to back. They are efficient and don't produce much heat. It will cost you up front.
Why the 2 feet T5 setup? Each 2 foot T5 is 24 watts, isn't it? 5 would give you 120 watts, or about 1.1WPG.

xxx ------ T5 ------
------ T5 ------ xxx
xxx ------ T5 ------
------ T5 ------ xxx

("xxx" denotes a space since your tank is 5 feet and the bulbs are only 4 feet long)

That staggerred arrangement of 4x54W T5HOs should work nicely for you.

My recommendation of 4x54W would yield close to 2WPG, which is a good amount of light over a tank that size.
 

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Might need CO2 with 4x54 watt if you have a parabolic reflector around each tube as is traditionally done with High output (HO) T5. Maybe just 3 would be plenty with reflectors. Two on one ballast and another on the second ballast. Maybe four if you want to save money and just paint the inside of the canopy white and don't use reflectors. If I run 4x54 watts on a Tek light on my 90 gallon, I definately need CO2. Personally I would recommend reflectors and one less light. Saves electricity. But put each ballast on its own on/off switch so you have more control.

One other possibility if you can find them down under. There is a 5' high output T5 which is ~ 80 watts. Two of those would probably do you nicely, if they had a parabolic reflector around each tube. You will probably want either a pair of 6500K bulbs or a mix of a 6500K and a 10000K bulb for best look. But selection is quite limited with 5' T5 tubes, so that may be a reason for going with 3 of the 4 footers. Lots of choices in the four foot tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So neither of those setups I mentioned are any good?

It's a bit tricky as to what I can fit under there. The hood that covers the tank is split in half, so half lifts with a hinge so I can feed the fish. Then at the back of the tank under the hood I have pipes going in for the filter and wires to the heater and bubble wall and they are secured in the tank. The are in as far as 10cm from the back. So my lights currently take up all that room. They sit in about 10cm from the back (as they cannot fit between the pipe/wire areas on each side) and come to just the front hinge. Both lights are in two seperate cases though. Thats why I need something compact and probably not something that needs to stick to the hood - especially since when removing the hood for tank maintenance they could get easily damaged.

Does that kind of make sense?
 

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The Hagen T5 unit might work fine, though I'm not sure it has enough brightness for a 110 gallon tank.

There are T5 components which are extremely thin. The bulb is 5/8 inch in diameter (where the T5 comes from - T for tube and 5/8 for its thickness). The old standard flourescents called T12s that I think you have in there are 12/8ths thick, or 1.5 inches in diameter. And T5s can be high output (HO) compared to the normal output (NO) T12s you have.

So, yes you should/may be able to put three highoutput T5s in there with their very thin wrap around parobolic reflectors. Reflectors are very important at putting the light where you want it, down into the tank. The really good brands use a parabolic wrap around reflector. Cheaper ones use a flat reflector.

Also, you will need the appropriate T5 ballasts, which are "programmed start" and very efficient. Maybe try doing some research on T5s from here and else where and you will be able to figure it out, hopefully.

http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5...High-Output_Retrofit_Kit_w!_Bulbs_by_ReefGeek

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/NavResults.cfm?N=2004+113175

http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5_Fluorescent/Sunlight_Supply/Tek_Reflectors/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Honestly guys I don't know much about lighting so most of this is a foreign language to me. I just wanted something simple and easy, don't want to have to go to the trouble of mounting lights and stuffing around.

Apparently the Hagen Unit doesn't come with lights, it's just the reflector basically. You buy the 54w lights to put in them.
http://www.aquaria.com.au/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/8883

But it works out pretty exxy that's all.

I really don't know what to do. Two lights plus the reflector is about $300. Is that good or bad?
 

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Sounds kind of spendy, but things can cost more in Australia, right? Get a 10000k and a 6500K or 6700K bulb. Personally I think you might need a little more light, but it might work out fine if they have a decent reflector for a real low light setup.

T5s are pretty darn bright. I'd go for it.

If it isn't enough, you can always try to add a third bulb with a new ballast to the back side. If required, the second ballast could be added below the tank.
 

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OK

Has anyone thought of why these leaves of the sword are actually turning brown? I doubt it has anything to do with the light burning them as water even at the surface will cool the heat from bulb burn before it gets to the plant. Only way to know for sure is to stick a thermometer into the water from under the surface where the plants leaves are closest to the light.

I would surmise that the brown is simply that you have to much phophates or nitrates in the water and you need to do more/larger water changes. Or perhaps there is a deficiency of a fert being used by the plants because you are not using CO2?

Check here for further info.

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/plant_problems.html

Doug
 

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Good point. Yet 77 watts of T12s over 110 gallons at a 24 inch depth ain't going to cut it.
 
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