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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

New to the forum and new to keeping a planted tank (so new that I haven't even had one yet)! Today I purchased a 20 gallon hex tank for the veterinary office I work at. I got a hood to go with it that fits the tank.

I really would love to plant the tank, but my concern is getting enough light for the plants. The guy at the store was doubtful I'd be able to get a bulb sufficient enough, especially since the tank is tall.

Do any of you have any ideas or suggestions on what to do? Thanks in advance. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I measured our tank and that hood doesn't look like it would fit, unfortunately. :\

Would I be able to keep the crappy 14W hood I have and supplement with CO2 and be okay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just an update! I set up the tank this week and planted a few amazon swords and another plant that I (and they) did not know the name of. The owner of the fish store wasn't there and some young kid was working the store. The place is usually very knowledgeable!

I put in some driftwood with some java moss, and some nice rocks and planted it up. Got a few pygmy corys and some guppies to start things cycling.

Maybe I'll start a journal and post some pictures later! Still looking for a better lighting solution. I've spent hours scouring the net for ideas but I can't find anything that looks good, as this is in the lobby of the animal clinic I work at.
 

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Is your tank 18" x 16" x 20 " high? Wouldn't a 16" long light fixture fit ok? I doubt that the standard hood 14 watt, presumably T8 light will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just measured it, and point to point it is 18.75", and from flat to flat it is actually 16.25". The current hood, is 15.25" long and 3.5' wide. With how a hexagon is shape, if the hood were to be any wider, the length would need to be shorter to prevent any overhang. Or if the hood were a bit skinnier, it could be a little bit longer.

For instance, if I could find a 12" long hood, the maximum width for it would be maybe 9.5" deep? Although then I'd need to nix the entire hood that I have and maybe get some glass/plexiglass cut to support a new hood.

Ugh! I just want beautiful, vibrant light for my plants and fish! Is that too much to ask? :tongue:

Edit: The hood you linked above is 16", which would be good, but it's so wide that there would be overhang! Unless I hung it over the back of the tank so it wouldn't be too noticeable from the front and not look too bad? :\

Edit #2: What about: http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1230
It's not a ton of light, but it's better than I currently have and would fit with room to spare in the space.
Or maybe http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1792 ?
 

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That first light should give you low light, good enough for sword plants, vals, anubias, and other low light plants. If you can hide a DIY CO2 setup and use that, a single 2L bottle should give you plenty of CO2, with new solution about every 2-3 weeks. That lets the plants grow faster and better with low light.

I don't think the second light you linked would be enough light. Neither of those lights has a good reflector, but at least the first one uses 2 bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I made a template to have some glass cut today for a cover for the tank, they said it'd only be about 40 bucks which I didn't think was that bad. I called Catalina aquarium and I have to take some measurements and give them a call back, but I think the guy can make me a hood with two bulbs that will fit, which I will then set on the glass! And if it turns out him making something just for me is too expensive, I'll go with the first option you linked, Hoppy. Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a quick update. Got the custom hood from catalina aquarium in the mail yesterday. It has three 13 watt bulbs, and ended up being 12" long and 7.25" wide. The tank is SO so bright now. It looks great! The hood only cost, shipping included, about $62? I'm very happy with it. Just gotta hope these plants stay beautiful! A few of the leaves were starting to very faintly yellow.
 

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What type of bulbs were in the custom fixture? Are they PC/CF or screw in compacts? How has it worked out over time?

I have a 20 hex with PC/CF but my retrofit kit burns through bulbs at an alarming rate and I'm ready to do something different on the lighting.
 
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