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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am making progress on my 55 build out and have the cabinet almost complete. I threw it all together for a quick round of pics to update a related thread so now comes the lighting question(s)



Now here is my concept, the light or light rack would hang from these two mounting brackets made from some form of tubing whether it be aluminum or steel. I would attach it to the rear of the cabinet and I would be able to adjust the height that way as well.

As you can see from the FTS I have ample room for whatever. I want to keep it attached to the cabinet because the ceiling or wall is not an option. Inevitably I will go with a larger tank and this wall albeit 13" from end to end will not be where the tank ends up. I have an even longer wall for that, I just have to ninja it so my wife does not see it coming until it is too late.

I am not sure how to approach the light, what amount would I need etc. Although there is some light as you can see filtering in from the outside, the blinds would not be open for the most part and what little comes in from there would not factor in being it is across the room 25" away. This is not going to be high tech, it will be a dirt tank. If the gods so choose it and by some streak of luck I win that RAOK for the CO2 then the plan changes of course and my low tech would suddenly change. Taking that into account lets say it remains low tech, no CO2 because I am po' and cannot afford it. If I went with low light plants would a dual T8HO setup be sufficient for this?

Thanks for the help guys, much appreciated. I welcome all suggestions as I know there are a lot of you out there that know more than I can absorb in a small amount of time.

 

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I use a cheap T8NO dual bulb that I picked up at Lowes for around $20. The fixture is black so it really blends in with the tank. It puts out a good amount of light and all the plants I've tried so far seem to grow well. No real algae problems but that might be due to my BN pleco.
 

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I have a 55 dirt tank I've just set up, and I don't want to go the pressurized Co2 route either. I am too broke to get a light for the tank yet (I'm thinking I want to go with something from Catalina?). Anyhow, I had to get some kind of light since I had nothing, so I bought a shoplight fixture from Home Depot. It's a nice aluminum one, the most polished/reflecting one they had. I put two of their Phillips 6500 daylight bulbs in it, and it looked so yellow! Mine's got a large piece of local driftwood and MGOPS under the gravel cap. Those two things are leaching out a lot of tannins - which I like, btw. But the 6500s accentuated the tannins too much. I changed out one of the bulbs for an Aqueon 8000 full spectrum from Petsmart. At nearly $20.00, I could only afford one. It helped a little. I actually like the yellow cast the tank has now. But I don't think two T8s like I have will give you enough light when suspended. Mine sit right on top of the versa glass tops and you can see how dim the tank is, I'm deep in the low range I'm sure. I may be converting the tank to a riparuim, and when I do I'll suspend my lights like you're going to, and I'll go with one or two T5HOs - depending on how high I suspend them. I may have to use the shoplight in my studio and get a single T5HO for this tank anyhow - we'll see if the plants grow (it's only been set up 3-4 weeks, with a light for 2 weeks).
If I had your tank and was suspending lights above it like in your drawing (I love the design) I think I'd try the HOs. It's already nearly 20" from the substrate to the top of the tank - then add whatever height you want the lights to be at...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I was thinking due to the depth to the substrate plus being suspended above the tank I would need HO's else carpet would be out of the question. I don't want lighting to sit right on or just a couple of inches above the tank either so.
 
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