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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am setting up my 10-g right now. The length of the tank is approximately 18". I haven't seen a lot of fixtures within that range, mostly either 12" or 20". Would prefer to go with CF, but I can deal with T5. Here are a couple of options I am looking at:

1. CF: Current USA Satellite Dual Compact Fluorescent

Looks like I have individual control over the two bulbs (swapping out the actinic). So that means I can set them on timer to have one come on at any one time. If I go for a 10-hr photo-period, then each will be lit for 5 hours, for eg. But, I will have an inch of overhang on each side, which isn't too much of a big deal? The bulbs would probably be covering greater length of the tank the other option. But, is 4wpg too much light for plants?

2. T5: Current USA Nova Extreme T5 X2 Aquarium Lighting Fixture

Perfect-sized. Is T5 more energy efficient than CF? I am comfortable with this 3.6wpg wattage. Again, swapping out the Actinic. The bulbs is 16.5" long, so I will probably have some minimal dark spots, which could be visually attracted and may allow low-light plants to be included. Plus, it's 50% cheaper on their website.

Obviously I am going for mount-on-top-of-tank fixture. Thoughts? Suggestions? Better alternatives?


 

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Option 1. is made for reef tanks.
That's two 40 watt bulbs. Will you be installing an auto fill kit?

Option 2. makes a lot more sense and you won't be cooking off your water every third day.
 

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From that webpage: "The Current USA Nova Extreme T5 is for reef aquariums. Please visit our Lighting Chart page to identify the best light for your particular reef aquarium.

Features:

* One 18 Watt SlimPaq 10K and one 18 watt 460nm Actinic Blue T5 HO fluorescent lamp
* Dimensions: 18" x 5.5" x 2"
* 36 Watts
* Individually contoured reflectors"

The highlighted parts tells you why this isn't suitable for a planted tank. Reef tanks use far more light than a planted tank can tolerate. Even one of those two bulbs would be very high light intensity for a planted tank.
 

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I use a 20" fixture (likely from Wal-Mart, can't remember) that can use 2 x 25W compact fluoscent bulbs.

This style:
http://www.allproducts.com/light/yamao/compact_fluorescent_lamp-l.jpg

I use a pair of 10W bulbs and seem to have plenty of light and so far no algae problems at all. I can't keep my Wisteria trimmed back fast enough and the others seem to be growing well, also.

If you really want more than 20W like I have then you can move up to as much as 50W with that fixture. I think was around $15-$20.

Edit: I also have a 10G tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Devin, thanks for the link. Price is definitely more competitive. :)

I use a 20" fixture (likely from Wal-Mart, can't remember) that can use 2 x 25W compact fluoscent bulbs.

This style:
http://www.allproducts.com/light/yamao/compact_fluorescent_lamp-l.jpg

I use a pair of 10W bulbs and seem to have plenty of light and so far no algae problems at all. I can't keep my Wisteria trimmed back fast enough and the others seem to be growing well, also.

If you really want more than 20W like I have then you can move up to as much as 50W with that fixture. I think was around $15-$20.

Edit: I also have a 10G tank.
 

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Hey Devin, thanks for the link. Price is definitely more competitive. :)
No problem. I am really pleased with my cheap fixture. It is built into a full hood which kind of restricts some of the light (it has to pass through a semi-narrow window), so I may be removing my hood and just leaving the fixture over the open top if I can find a way to keep it from being bumped into the water.

Here is a better view of the type of bulb I use.
http://www.made-in-china.com/image/...ompact-Fluorescent-Light-NTYG-4UL-85-105-.jpg


Here is a fixture that seems to match what I have. About half way down you'll see the 20" 2x25 watt option listed fro $22, $19 online sale.
http://www.petco.com/product/7395/All-Glass-Aquarium-Incandescent-Strip-Lites.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All good sources. FC in my city dispenses more baby diapers than anything. And the fixtures on CL are usually over 36". Well, I can always trade my tank in for a higher gallonage. ;-)

For strip lights check out your local Craig's list, FreeCycle, thrift shop, and garage sales. Quite often you'll find strip light fixtures for $1.00 - $5.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
True. I just don't have the space for it however.

I was just commenting to someone that I could easily set up a series of OttLite, stagger the ons and offs of each to simulate the sun moving across the horizon. ;-)

A larger tank can be cheaper in the long run. It is certainly easier to maintain.
 

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2. T5: Current USA Nova Extreme T5 X2 Aquarium Lighting Fixture

Perfect-sized. Is T5 more energy efficient than CF? I am comfortable with this 3.6wpg wattage. Again, swapping out the Actinic. The bulbs is 16.5" long, so I will probably have some minimal dark spots, which could be visually attracted and may allow low-light plants to be included. Plus, it's 50% cheaper on their website.

Obviously I am going for mount-on-top-of-tank fixture. Thoughts? Suggestions? Better alternatives?
DO NOT GET OPTION 2(yet).


I got one, and the light bulbs supplied have 10,000kk rating (wich is great for growing algae.) I bought it for the same reasons ( dual t5's, looks good on a 10g). Unfortunately I have been unable to find t5ho with a lower kk rating. It's a nice fixture, but not being able to use it to grow plants:confused: is irritating to say the least. I've contacted current usa, and they did say in about 2 months they'll have a plant bulb out.

This is all very nice because I have a nice heavy paperweight now (like I needed 36 watts in a 10gallon just to see the fish:icon_roll

IF you have seen a 18 or 20"
(actuall length is 16-3/8") bulb with a kk rating of 4000-6500 , please please let me know about it.
 

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The devil is in the details. A decent 10 gallon fixture at a reasonable price and no freshwater bulbs. I find 10,000K labeled at daylight, but that may or may not be what most of us would call 'daylight'. I checked all my sources and BlankDisc is right correct about the missing bulbs.
 
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