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Planning lighting for my new 75G project, need help

1753 Views 17 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  fishykid1
Hey everyone,

Just a few thoughts on lighting a 75G. I'm planning on starting up a 75G with the demensions of a standard tank (48"X18"X20") I plan on having a canopy with this tank, so DIY retrofit is the way I want to go, but if i can't then I'll go open top.

I'm looking for high light, hi-tech setup right now. (I have a 20G high with 48 t5ho, which is high light and it's going well.)
I would like to keep it at t5ho as I've had pretty good luck with those.

Any one have suggestions on lighting? I can't afford the nice already made setups, being 17...

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I was able to get a workhorse 7 ballast from a local industrial lighting store and also the "tombstones" for the t5 bulbs. I am running only 2 of the 4 t5ho's that I could be running. And can grow almost anything in the tank with just 2 bulbs. The cost was about 120 bucks for all the stuff to retrofit my hood.
Do you have any pictures of this setup or tank? I wouldn't mind using off-brand items. I've had luck with them in the past. I just don't want to buy junk with hard-earned money.

Actually the fullham workhorse 7 ballast is used in industrial situations and can control numerous types of lamps... It is an industry standard... It can control 4 54watt 48" t5ho bulbs... Ill find some of my pics tommrow being I'm posting from my cell at the moment. I was also able to get a reflector and chop it up to my needs from the guys at the lighting store...
Alright thanks. This would be my first retrofit/DIY lighting project. So I don't want to take any chances. How long have you had this ballast up and running, any problems thus far?
Thanks again Hoppy. As far as this tank goes, I'm thinking about doing 4X54W and have 2 on one timer and the other 2 on another timer? Would this work OK or do you think it would give me too much light. I would be running no more than 3 bulbs at once, I just wanted to be able to change the lighting area everyonce in a while.

The only thing I'm wondering about the AHS supply t5's is that there is nothing holding the bulbs to the canopy? That's really confusing me on how they are holding the bulbs where they need to be with no standoffs.
AH Supply uses clips to hold the bulbs in place, as do many T5HO lights. If you keep the bulbs spread out across the top of the tank, you might be able to run all 4 bulbs without getting too much light. The AHS reflectors do give quite a bit of spread of light, and I have no data for their T5HO kits, so that is largely a guess. I think ideally you would want 2 or 3 bulbs maximum running at once, with them widely spread out over the top.

It is much easier to maintain a tank that has only low to low medium lighting, and you can still grow virtually all of the aquatic plants that are available, if you use good CO2, which you should do anyway. But, if you really want high light, that can be fun, too.
Thanks Hoppy. A friend of mine has the 3 bulb t5ho on the tank and has great results. I think I'm going to try to do the same as him, and as azfishkid. Were both starting our tanks near the same time. Thanks Hoppy for the help. I may look into the AHS lights and also the Catalina fixtures.
That is the light I'm looking at. It's going to be in the top of the canopy, I just can't see spending 130$ more just to have it inside the canopy. But that's me. Anyone have a thought on this fixture?

I would have 2 brackets on either end of the fixture to hold it in place. Otherwise I may just have to spend the extra 50$ and go with their standard 4X54W retrofit minus the moonlights.
If you plan to enclose that Catalina fixture inside a hood of some kind, that isn't a good idea. It will very likely get too hot, unless you use cooling fans. Also, it is much more light than you can use on that tank without lots of problems, or a very busy maintenance program for the tank.
I don't mind maintenance. Also I was planning on having the top not completely closed and also have cooling fans at either end of the fixture to push cool air through the vents. I've had a friend do that and it works quite well. The fixture isn't going to be completely closed into the canopy top so that should make things easier.
I have this light from Catalina, very happy with it. I use 2 x bulbs 10 hours and 1 hour with all 4, pressurized CO2 and PH controller.
Alright, I'll look over it some more. Do you have a tank set up with this tank on it? I don't think I'll run all 4 t5's on it constantly, that's enough to grow softies in saltwater. As for nighttime lighting, I think I found a solution on Ebay for 35$ (48" 24LED setup) versus the 8 moonlight on the catalina website for 35.
Awesome thanks very much. I'm leaning more to the Catalina fixture. It's UL listed. The Odyssea is not UL listed and my parents said they'd rather me spend more money, and that they'd pay for 40$ of it.
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