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New 5.5 gallon: which lighting fixture?

1811 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Matthew_Machine
Hi all.

I'm putting together a 5.5 to replace a 1 gallon low-light setup that I retired. And am still beating my head against the wall about lighting this thing.

So far, tank vitals are:

5.5 gal
AC 150 (will upgrade to either a ZooMed 501 or Tom's mini cannister)
25w heater
Eco-Complete substrate
Tom's 13w "Perch Light" 6700k
assorted crypts, Anubius Barteri, Java Fern, Java Moss
DIY CO2, ceramic diffuser

I want to move from low-light into medium-light plants, nothing too crazy like Glosso or anything. I've not settled on what yet. I'm looking at having something like 26w of lighting total.

I also want to mount the lighting on the underside of a bookshelf that will be above the tank. Options so far are:

AHS 2x13w retro kit
2 Tom's Perch lights modded to be hung under the bookshelf
Something I didn't think of :)

I lean towards the Tom's because I already have one of them, and it seems like it would be very easy to mod them to hang like that. Giving me 2x18w 6700k on 5.5 gallons.

So I'm hoping for input on whether I'm crazy to use these perch lights like this, and if my lighting estimate of 26w will work.

I'll post pics when the setup is more finalized.
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I would do the AHS. Best reflectors you will ever find and should grow just about anything fairly well in a 5.5. I think you might be a little disappointed with the two toms but that's IMHO.
If you don't want to go the DIY route you can get an 18" 40w Current Nova fixture for about $50, its 20w-10k, 20w-Actinic but you can swap out the one bulb.
Well I've just stumbled upon this exact situation myself.

Currently my 5.5 has a hood with a screw-in 10w CF bulb. Like this one. DO NOT WANT.

Althought the solution Reeferton suggested would work, I'd like my fixture to look as clean as possible and mate right up to the 16" length of the tank.

AH looks like a sweet solution, however I'd rather not have to build my own hood for it as I can't retrofit this plastic hood. I thought Current had a possible solution, but I can't find it now, and it was a bit short.

I could get plastic cut to fit to top and use this fixture, but it's only 9" and 18 watts.

Hanging lights isn't a great option although it mightwork. I have a cat, so a hood or glass is mandatory on top.

Anyone have a "AIO" solution or am I better off just building a hood for the AH?
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I put the AHsupply 2x13w in my 5g and it ROCKS. I love it. It is much brighter then my 24w piece of crap aquatrader light. I am growing HC, HM, Downio, and rotala rotundifolia very easily. I also dose EI and have diy co2 at around 50ppm.
Ryzilla, good to hear. I'm leaning towards them.

How did you house them?
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