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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I did some searching but i couldnt find many good suggestiong, so i thought id ask. im planning a 20 long, i would like it to be low light for easy maintenance. I want to spend as little on this as possible! i want to buy a fixture, i dont have time for DIY and i want it to look nice and sleek, and not be bulky and ugly.

does anyone have suggestions of actual fixtures to purchase? i found two that i think would work, but i really am open to all other suggestions!

here are the two i found ( a 20 long is 30" long by the way)

http://www.kensfish.com/moreinfo/deep-blue-pro-t-5-single-strip-light-24.html (im almost positive it has extendable legs)

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aqualight-t5-fluorescent-fixture.html (the bulb on this one is 30". would bulbs prove difficult to find down the road?)


thanks in advance!
 

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I have a 20g L also & just use a cheap single T8.

I've been thinking of upgrading - not for higher light - I don't want to do CO2 - but something sleeker & nicer - just better.

I don't think a single light shows off the fish very well either & my tank is in a rather dark location (basement).

I like what you've done Knox but where my tank is I don't have space to do that.

I kind of like the one from Kens fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Coralife T5NO 30" fixture. Two bulbs.

You can use window screen under the fixture to cut lighting down if you find that necessary.
do you think the second fixture i linked would be okay? i think its the same as a coralife, because its listed with a Colormax bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You're right, those two fixtures are the same. It is a Coralife Aqualight.
cool!

so then do you guys think a 1 bulb would be a good choice? i really dont want to mess with co2
 

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You can check Hoppy's charts to confirm, but the Coralife T5NO is not a particularly bright light and the reflectors are pretty poor. I believe you'll be in low light...I actually plan on buying it for my 20L where I intend on growing low light plants and moss. Like somewhatshocked said, if it does end up being a tad too bright, there are very easy ways to reduce the amount of light coming through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm trying to keep it as cheap as possible. And now that I think of it, the room it's in will have a good amount of ambient light. It will be in my orchid room so it will get some from the orchid lights. Not enough to cause algae but enough to notice. I think I'll go with the 1 bulb
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
any more imput? i found a great deal on the solarmaxHE and im about to pull the trigger! im gonna make another thread with a question about the fixture having legs or not, but tonight i would like to order.. and last input?
 

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Though I like the Coralife/Aqueon T5NO fixture, the 30 in bulbs can be a pain. I don't like to shop online which means it may take me a few stops to get a replacement bulb. Now that Petsmart carries them, it is a bit easier. Nobody besides Aqueon makes these bulbs (you may find Coarilife which is exactly the same if they have old stock) so you are basically limited to their bulbs.

Not the worst thing but you only have 3 color choices for fresh water. I don't like the look of the Colormax bulb at all, personally. The 6500k bulb is a bit too yellow. The 10,000k is fine. I use a 6500k and 10,000k in mine.

Secondly, I have had some bulbs only last for 6 months. Many more have only lasted about a year. I have had 3 of these fixtures for about 6 years so I feel that my experience wasn't one fluke bulb or anything.

On the plus side, they do look very sleek and are very small. That's part of the reason they work well on low tech, they are not designed well in terms of reflectors and bulb placement. That is good for lower tech, and makes them more appealing to the eye.

I don't think it's a bad way to go, but you may want to consider a fixture with 24 inch bulbs so you can dial in your color better, as well as having choices of different brands. I wouldn't discourage you from this light however, though I personally recommend replacing the Colormax bulb with a 10,000k to give you a 6500k/10,000k combo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Though I like the Coralife/Aqueon T5NO fixture, the 30 in bulbs can be a pain. I don't like to shop online which means it may take me a few stops to get a replacement bulb. Now that Petsmart carries them, it is a bit easier. Nobody besides Aqueon makes these bulbs (you may find Coarilife which is exactly the same if they have old stock) so you are basically limited to their bulbs.

Not the worst thing but you only have 3 color choices for fresh water. I don't like the look of the Colormax bulb at all, personally. The 6500k bulb is a bit too yellow. The 10,000k is fine. I use a 6500k and 10,000k in mine.

Secondly, I have had some bulbs only last for 6 months. Many more have only lasted about a year. I have had 3 of these fixtures for about 6 years so I feel that my experience wasn't one fluke bulb or anything.

On the plus side, they do look very sleek and are very small. That's part of the reason they work well on low tech, they are not designed well in terms of reflectors and bulb placement. That is good for lower tech, and makes them more appealing to the eye.

I don't think it's a bad way to go, but you may want to consider a fixture with 24 inch bulbs so you can dial in your color better, as well as having choices of different brands. I wouldn't discourage you from this light however, though I personally recommend replacing the Colormax bulb with a 10,000k to give you a 6500k/10,000k combo.

id probably end up getting a 24" fixture anyways. because the bulbs are easier to find (not that 30" are that difficult to find online)

i decided not to get the solarmax, epople have jsut been saying its not worth getting. so its either a coralife (if i can find one,aquariumguys doesnt have them listed anymore) or an oddyssea...and im thinking a 1 bulb would be enough? what are your thoughts?
 

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id probably end up getting a 24" fixture anyways. because the bulbs are easier to find (not that 30" are that difficult to find online)

i decided not to get the solarmax, epople have jsut been saying its not worth getting. so its either a coralife (if i can find one,aquariumguys doesnt have them listed anymore) or an oddyssea...and im thinking a 1 bulb would be enough? what are your thoughts?
Does Odyssea make a T5NO fixture? I thought they were just T5HO.

I think it's going to be about the same otherwise. Coarlife/Aqueon (same fixture) have bad refectors and quality control issues. I have had 3 and only now I am starting to have an issue with one, 5 years later. Odyssea seems to have similar issues but not as bad. The Coarlife fixture isn't as low light as you would think though, so I would be hesitant to recommend the Odyssea.


One thing to consider. You could easily go with a standard T-8 fixture as well. Though they aren't really that cheap new, you can probably get it dirt cheap used. The bulb is a standard sized bulb on the 30in so that takes away some issues of this size tank. I haven't used one on a 20 long but many people recommend it. It's one of the few standard sized tanks where the "stock" lighting isn't going to prevent you from growing plants. I know I would just give you mine if I didn't hack it up into a DIY project. I am sure many would feel the same.
 
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