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Algae Grower
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i have a tank that measures 36L 15W 20H (about 46gallons - i think). i want to turn it into a low tech, low light tank for ferns, anubias, crypts, ect.

i could really use some suggestions on how to light it.

thanks for your help!
 

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i built a diy t5 light setup using 2 48" light fixtures from lowes i overdrove? (that doesn't sound right haha) 1 of the fixtures and have a 54w bulb in it and run 2 28w 10,000k bulbs in the other originaly for a 55g but now its over a 29g i think its 30" long and the over flow of light i use for house plants it sits about 5" of the surface of the water and i have very little algae i grow mellon swords banana plants moss and wysteria
 

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Algae Grower
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
thanks pualrw. i was kinda thinking more along the line of cutting down a 48" t-8 shop light that i have sitting around and putting in 2 25w bulbs. is that enough light?

would i be better off just buying a dedicated aquarium fixture?

my main concern really, is the fact that the tank is 20" deep.

edit - i think it would need like, 3 of the 25w t-8's huh? hmmm...

what about a single 39w t5ho bulb?

arrrr, stupid 46g, lol.
 

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Using T5HO for low light tanks isn't a great idea. The light intensity will be too high unless you raise the fixture several inches, even a single bulb. But, it would work if you made a hanging fixture that you could easily raise or lower, and had the front and back of the fixture "walls" deep enough to shield people's eyes from the glare of the bulb. That would be the most energy efficient setup, and by raising the bulb the intensity would be pretty uniform in the tank both front to back and top to bottom. (At least more uniform that usual.) I think, in your shoes, I would be looking at trying that.
 

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Algae Grower
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Using T5HO for low light tanks isn't a great idea. The light intensity will be too high unless you raise the fixture several inches, even a single bulb. But, it would work if you made a hanging fixture that you could easily raise or lower, and had the front and back of the fixture "walls" deep enough to shield people's eyes from the glare of the bulb. That would be the most energy efficient setup, and by raising the bulb the intensity would be pretty uniform in the tank both front to back and top to bottom. (At least more uniform that usual.) I think, in your shoes, I would be looking at trying that.
thanks for your response hoppy. i am definitely going to be hanging what ever i decide on.

can anyone recommend a good single bulb 36" t5ho fixture? (besides the glo)

I think this would suffice.
that was one of my first thoughts. i did want to try and find something else though. i'm pretty sure i would have to have that on sitting right on top of the tank. (something i wanted to get away from)
 

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Algae Grower
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nobody hardly ever seems to finish off one of these question posts, and it's irritating, lol - so i will.

here's what i decided on:

i'm making my own T5NO fixture. cutting down and gutting 4' T-8 shop light to be a 2x21w T5NO shop light. i know, i could of just bought the coralife fixture, but what fun would that have been?

here's where i'm at with it:



does anyone see why this won't work?
 

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Nice! Did you buy all the parts separately or a retrofit kit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
that's the body of a 48" t-8 shop light, (stolen from the garage and cut down to 36") and a 2x21w t5no 36" fixture fitted into it (from the home depot). i also added a reflector from a 96w pc bulb.

here's the part that came from the home depot -

 

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Hmm...i should do that...i have a 48" shop light that I modded to ODNO x2 per bulb, but I think the ballasts are burnt out(prolly overheated). Thanks for the details.
 
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