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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank is 30l x 18h x 12w in inches. I am having trouble finding the perfect light, which isn't extremely expensive, to light the whole tank. Saw a light by Nova, which was reasonably price, that is 30 in but the bulbs are only 24 in. Had 3 24 in lights over and noticed only 6in in the middle was getting the max light.

Anybody got any suggestions for 1 that would work for a planted tank and be under $100?
 

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what about the coralife 30" T5NO fixture. i just made a 36" T5NO fixture and was really surprised by bright it is. the 30" t5 fixture is probably going to give you your most even lighting. you didn't mention if this was a high light tank or low light. i would imagine you'd be able to grow just about anything with 2 of those fixtures.
 

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what about the coralife 30" T5NO fixture. i just made a 36" T5NO fixture and was really surprised by bright it is. the 30" t5 fixture is probably going to give you your most even lighting. you didn't mention if this was a high light tank or low light. i would imagine you'd be able to grow just about anything with 2 of those fixtures.
Hellolights has them for pretty cheap, although they're selling the saltwater model, so you'd have to replace the actinic bulbs. If you had a couple of those bulbs laying around, two would bring you around $100 including shipping, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am keeping this a low tech tank for I don't want to inject Co2 just Excell.
 

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The bulbs are only 24in. I will have to many dark spots. For waterfaller1 had 24" fixture over 20 long and had dark corners.
i suppose you've already figured it out, but the bulbs go all the way to the end of that fixture. it's only the T5HO bulbs that you can only get in 24" - 36" - 48" ect.
 

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My 29 gallon has the 2x24W nova fixture. It works fine, the corners aren't noticeably darker. A 20 gallon is only 12 inches tall though, so the light doesn't spread out as much before reaching the substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i suppose you've already figured it out, but the bulbs go all the way to the end of that fixture. it's only the T5HO bulbs that you can only get in 24" - 36" - 48" ect.
Here I see T5 HO fixture where the lights go to the end. I doens't have a fan though. Don't the T5 HO get hot?
 

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Here I see T5 HO fixture where the lights go to the end. I doens't have a fan though. Don't the T5 HO get hot?
what you see in that picture is either a 24" or 36" fixture. they can get warm but i think most wouldn't need a fan. my retro doesn't get hot at all. i don't think that the catalinas have fans, just vents on the top and they are great fixtures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
what you see in that picture is either a 24" or 36" fixture.
Reading the review for the bulb I found:
The pic of this product appears to have bulbs that run from end to end. The housing is around 28". They do not go end to end on my 20L, and the bulbs are about 3.0" shorter than the housing so the ends of the tank don't get good lighting.
 

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Reading the review for the bulb I found:
The pic of this product appears to have bulbs that run from end to end. The housing is around 28". They do not go end to end on my 20L, and the bulbs are about 3.0" shorter than the housing so the ends of the tank don't get good lighting.

It seems the best light system would be a T5HO 36in and they are too expensive. Thus I will stick with 24 in bulbs and just change my scape. I am planning to build some high hills. I will just put 2 in the corners.
I have the Coralife T5NO over a 20L, the bulbs do go end to end and there are no dark spots in the tank, it's a good light, more than adequate lighting. Only Coralife and Current make a T5 fixture that has special bulbs to go end to end on a 30" tank, the Current is junk even thought it is T5HO, Coralife is the way to go. A 36" fixture on a 30" tank will look silly no doubt about it. :proud:

If interested I have an extra, barely used, Coralife 30" T5NO light that I'll let go for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone for your responses.

I have decided to combine a few lights that I have, even though they are shorter than the tank. For I am unemployed at present and thus shouldn't spend my savings on a light fixture. That will have to wait until I find a job.

I have Current USA Satellite fixture 24in that I bought used on EBay and a diy light fixture with 24in undercounter light strips.

I put a piece of metal across the tank long ways for the legs of the satellite, which are on the outside, to sit on. Got 1 piece of glass cut at hardware store to fit from back to the brace. Then 2 pieces of glass cut for the front. To lift a front glass up using hooks with suction cups. To help bring out the colors of Neon Rainbow fish put Life-glo bulb under the satellite fixture where the actinic bulb is.

When I can I am going to get a Nova light fixture from marinedepot. For even though the bulbs are not 30in long it the T5HO lights are brighter than the T5 lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Believe the Nova T5HO fixture is best for a 30 in long tank.

Seems more pros for Nova with T5HO lights for:
1. They are they are brighter than the T5.
2. The life span, 16-24 months, is longer than the T5s
3. The T5HOs can be bought at a local store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
T5HO, Current USA, there aren't any fans.
Here is a T5HO, Current USA fixture and as you see it has fans. Which 1 does not fans? Couldn't find 1 at Dr. Fosters site. Thinking may be able to get 1 get 1 for my birthday.
 
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