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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to figure which lighting would be best in my DIY canopy. The tank is 60 inches long which I know is an unusual size. When the canopy is complete, the light fixture is going to be about 2-3 inches from the top of the tank. The tank is 20 inches deep.

I am not sure what the best set up would be given the odd tank length. Which would be better,

2 54W T5HO staggered so that at least one bulb reaches each end
OR
2 54W T5HO centered across the tank
OR
4 55W HO compact with a space between them
OR
4 55W HO compact staggered

I am planning to use CO2 which I understand will be necessary with this much light.

I was planning to order the kits from AH Supply. Either these http://www.ahsupply.com/54watt.htm or these http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm.

I have not yet decided on what plants I will be using, but I am pretty certain that I want some floaters of some sort. So while I want bright enough light for the tank (med - high), I want to be sure not to fry the floating plants.

Your help is much appreciated!

~Lis
 

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What is the front to back dimension of the tank? If it is over 12 inches you would need two rows of bulbs widely separated, to get good uniform lighting. For example, you could use 4 two foot long T5HO bulbs, in two rows, with a 4 inch gap between the two bulbs in each row, and a 4 inch gap at each end, with the rows 6-8 inches apart. That would give you plenty of light to grow anything, as long as you use good CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Hoppy. I was originally thinking the 54s which are 48" long, but then when I started thinking about it, the shorter bulbs seemed to make more sense with small gaps at the end and in the middle, as you suggest.

The tank is 18" front to back and I was planning on two rows.

The 55W compact kits are 22" long so it sounds like 4 of those will work out perfectly.

With all that space in between the rows, I believe I will add a strip of blue LEDs for moonlighting effects at night. :)

Now, one more question: the canopy is open in the back but completely enclosed around the front and sides. Will I need some kind of fan set-up inside the canopy for cooling? The bulbs will be sitting approx 2-3 inches from the acrylic top of the tank.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great! Thanks a bunch! I ordered a simple LED strip and I will order the AH Supply lights tomorrow. Their web site was broken today. :(

Thanks again!
 
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