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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. All I need is lighting (the most important) and I will be ready to start cycling my tank. I've been researching for hours on-line and haven't come to any conclusions yet. My tank will be low-light and will need to be in the 1.5-2.0 wpg range. I'll have a glass top so I'll probably want to be closer to 2 unless the fixture has a good reflector. I'll be dosing excel.

So, I need both a fixture and a bulb that will put me into this wpg range and will fit my tank which is 24" long. I've been mainly looking at power compact fixtures and bulbs but they jump from 40w to 55w :icon_eek: which are both out of range for my tank(1.5wpg with the 40w is too low). I could combine 2 lights but these lights are much shorter. Can you use any compact light on a compact light fixture as long as the pin arrangement is correct or do they have to be the proper length too? If someone could point me to a particular arrangement that would be greatly appreciated! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey thanks for the input. Yes my tank is 26 gallons (don't know why I forgot to mention that). I'm going to plant the tank and do the fishless cycle afterwards so lighting is a must. I suppose I could start the cycle then add the plants when I get them though. We'll see how quickly I get the lighting.

Here comes a stupid question: Do 24" fixtures use 24" bulbs or are the bulbs shorter? I suppose with a twin-tube t5 fixture I could use two 24w bulbs (6000 and 10000k) and I will be good. Also, would a 2-tube retrofit kit work on a single tube hood?
 

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get a dual bulb 24" t5 fixture.

also, all you really need to do to get the cycle going is

a. run the filter
b. pretend you are feeding imaginary fish in there. sprinkle in a little bit of fish food every day or so. then syphon it out with about half the water every week. wait 3 weeks.

and it is ready, that's all.

if youre afraid: buy test strips that show nitrite and nitrate. after 3 weeks you should have no nitrite and a little bit of nitrate, this is when it's ready. it could take more or less time.

and, the bacteria colony only grows in proportion to the amount of waste in the tank before hitting some upper limit, meaning dont go doing a weak fishless cycle and expect to stick tons of fish in there all at once. that would be a mistake.

it makes no difference if there are plants or light in the tank. just plug it in and dump some fish food in there.
 
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