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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all -

I've been contemplating setting up a high tech Mr. Aqua 12 gallon long, and am thinking about lighting options. I want to be able to grow HC for sure, and red plants, and ideally anything else I want to try. I've got a few different lights I've considered. What would you recommend?

Option A:
2x 17" Archaea 45cm LED
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=72_74&products_id=667
These fixtures have been described as weak, but I thought maybe 2x on a shallow tank like this could work? I really like the slim profile.

Option B:
2x Archaea 27W PC
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=72_74&products_id=450
Two of these seem like they would provide ample wattage...but they are only 11" across and I'm wondering if the light would be evenly spread across all 36".

Option C:
36" Coralife T5 2x21W
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/209627/product.web?gdftrk=gdfV2226_a_7c268_a_7c6967_a_7c209627
This seems like the safe bet, and the cheapest, but it's not quite as sleek as the clip-on lights (I have no way to hang a fixture right now). I would replace the actinic bulb of course.

Thoughts? Any better options?
 

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Any lamp with less than 1w LEDs I would avoid. The first fixture is only 4.7 watts. Even being LED you would need more than that for good lighting. That fixture might work only because the tank is so shallow.

The second fixture will leave a lot of dark areas, IMO

I think the coralife will do the best job, power and coverage, but you cant easily adjust the height with the stock mounts. They are just wimpy metal brackets. You likely want the fixture quite high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. When I can't have both, I will always pick function over form, so I will likely end up with the T5s. I was hoping to not have to buy a hanging kit. I also saw the Marineland Doublebright fixture being used to nice effect although I'm not sure I like the color temp as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You could build a enclosure yourself and steal the guts from the Coralife.
That's something I'll have to look into. I don't know much about DIY lighting.

Here's a question: is there any commonly used method to employ light-hanging arms on a tank that doesn't have a stand? I was planning on having this tank on a table but it seems all the hanging kits I'm seeing are meant to be screwed onto stands.
 

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That's something I'll have to look into. I don't know much about DIY lighting.

Here's a question: is there any commonly used method to employ light-hanging arms on a tank that doesn't have a stand? I was planning on having this tank on a table but it seems all the hanging kits I'm seeing are meant to be screwed onto stands.
Someone had inverted a set of shelf brackets on the wall and used those to support the light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks a lot for the link. I certainly have a lot to learn regarding PAR, etc.

The chart shown doesn't have an option for a tank the height of the 12 long (a mere 8 inches), but since a single PC bulb 4" above a 12" tall tank is classified as medium, I think I should be ok...
 

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I'm currently using a 36" Corallife for my 12 long. I use only 1 of the 2 bulbs and it's hung about a foot above the tank. I'm treating it as "low light", if you want high I'd run both at 12 inches above the tank. If you can't hang the light up that high you can run one blub directly over the tank and consider it medium - high light IMO.
 
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