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What lighting to get for a 55 gal long tank?

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I just picked up a 55gallon long tank. The specifications are 48 1/4 "long x 12 3/4" deep x 21" high.
So, guessing I won't need 110 watts of light on the entire tank to grow UG, rotala, or HC. Not sure though.

I may have to get 2 smaller lights and put them next to each other on this tank because its pretty long. I could use some help. I'm also trying to stick to a budget.
http://www.ahsupply.com/index.html I found that this site looks like it has cheaper fixtures than some. Any one know if its good?

This will be my second planted tank, 1st with the good lights.
Thank you!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So that one rests on the tank itself? I can't get anything suspended right now. Looks like the price went up on it. Its $180 for the lights without any accessories (legs or moonlights or shipping).
What kind of plants are you growing? How are they turning out?
How do I know how many watts/gallon I need in this tank?
 

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No it has legs it sits on the lip of the tank which raise it up maybe 4 or 5 inches. Call them up and tell them you read that you can get it for $160 with legs & moonlights shipped they will do it. They only ask two questions. How you want the switches setup and what kinda bulbs you want. I know 2 other people who just bought them this past week and got the same deal I did.

I bought plants from the swap n shop on this site. I had a few others in my tank but havent had the light long enough to say for myself. If you read other replies about the lights though all have been positive.
 

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The important question is, do you have pressurized CO2 for this aquarium? If not, you can't successfully use high light, and will probably have problems with even medium light. I would use two AH Supply 55 watt kits, end to end on the tank if I didn't use CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hoppy, are you referring to this:

2 x 55 watt Bright Kit™

Item # 30552

$69.99

Includes: one 14 ounce, solid-state electronic ballast that will operate two bulbs; two 22 inch long multi-angle MIRO 4 enhanced, polished aluminum reflectors, two moisture-resistant endcaps with cords; four steel bulb holders; one grounding power cord; wirenuts, screws and other hardware needed for installation; optional-use pop-in vent covers, snap bushing, UV resistant cord clamp and nylon spacers; and ballast operation information and wiring diagram. Requires two 55 watt compact fluorescent bulbs (not included).
That seems like a great price. 2 bulbs would be about $35 more. Thats the cheapest overall I've found. I can choose a color temp.
 

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Well start slow. Or run only one bulb. Excel is great, but is not equal to co2 injection. Starting a planted tank is hard enough, starting high light, high demand is a risky move that usually ends being very frustrated. Take the time to go through each forum section and read the stickies. About low tech, high tech, fertilizer, co2, lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I've got everything down except the co2. I know the rule is usually 2 wpg, just wanted to double check on my size tank. I read all about the plants and substrate and I will get fertilizers when I get plants.
I looked at the sticky for co2 but its mostly just a chart. I guess I'll have to choose a way to get it into my tank and buy a test kit. Do you recommend the expensive way with the refillable co2 tank? This may take longer than expected :)
That's okay. I can wait.
 

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I personally recommend purchasing this light. You are better off having the extra light if you decide to upgrade your tank size or inject co2. I probably will be purchasing this light myself. More than likely you will want co2 before long, and this system will allow you to optimize your set-up better. You're better off spending your money right the first time then having to upgrade later. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I personally recommend purchasing this light. You are better off having the extra light if you decide to upgrade your tank size or inject co2. I probably will be purchasing this light myself. More than likely you will want co2 before long, and this system will allow you to optimize your set-up better. You're better off spending your money right the first time then having to upgrade later. Just my 2 cents.
Which light?? lol But I do agree your better off spending more money on the best light first if not you will regret it later.
 

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Hoppy, are you referring to this:

2 x 55 watt Bright Kit™

Item # 30552

$69.99

Includes: one 14 ounce, solid-state electronic ballast that will operate two bulbs; two 22 inch long multi-angle MIRO 4 enhanced, polished aluminum reflectors, two moisture-resistant endcaps with cords; four steel bulb holders; one grounding power cord; wirenuts, screws and other hardware needed for installation; optional-use pop-in vent covers, snap bushing, UV resistant cord clamp and nylon spacers; and ballast operation information and wiring diagram. Requires two 55 watt compact fluorescent bulbs (not included).
That seems like a great price. 2 bulbs would be about $35 more. Thats the cheapest overall I've found. I can choose a color temp.
Yes, that's the one. You will need to make or buy a simple box-like housing for the fixtures, and place them end to end, so there is no overlap. That should give you low light, but in the upper end of the range for low light. Excel would be very good with that much light, but it gets expensive for that size tank, unless you buy it by the gallon from BigAl's or Dr.s Foster and Smith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I can't tell if that means just 1 set of 2 bulbs for about $100 or 2 sets of 2 bulbs for 4 bulbs at $200. If its 2 sets of 2 bulbs wouldn't it be high light anyway?
Thank you for the advice. Do you think the higher end of low light that you mentioned would grow UG? That's the main plant I'm going for.
Thanks,
Clare
 

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Are you a good builder? You need something to put them lights in as well. Plus you need to buy bulbs and wire it all up.. Best of luck what you chose just hope you dont make the wrong choice like I did at first and had to pay twice for lights. Do you ever plan on using pressurized CO2?
 

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I'd like to use pressurized co2. I just don't know how to go about it and I think its probably a lot more expensive. Anyone know a cheap system?
If you ever think of using it then I would buy a better light cause if not you will be paying twice down the road for a new light. I use a CO2 system ment for a greenhouse cause I had one not being used and didnt see the point in paying for new one. I have that hooked up to a ph controller and it works flawless. Its really easy to use once you get into it. Just make sure you plan ahead and dont limit your self. I went with lights the first time that wouldnt cut it and I had to pay out twice.

Here is basically a complete system but if you buy piece by piece and shop around you can get it cheaper. For example I bought my 20lb tank for $20 off craigslist. It was old and beat up but my beer distributor took it and exchanged it for me.. Now when I go there I just pay I think its like 25 and they give me a brand new tank each time. You can buy alot of your parts right here on this site in the swap n shop as well.

Dont rush make sure you plan things out if not you will be paying twice down the road wasting money.
 
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