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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm in the process of building my own aquarium to fit the space I have. So at the end, it will most probably be 78"Wx28"Dx36"H. (36" of water. I have an additionnal 4" of substrat)

My concern is regarding the lighting. I will have a lot of plants in the aquarium since I really like plants. I already have a 33G just for plants. I want to have very small plants in the front, like Staurogyne repens, so I need the light to really reach the bottom of the aquarium.

I looked at the options for the lights and seems that 36" can really be an issue exepct for Metal Halide, which I look like to avoid because of the heat.

Initially, I planned to use 3 feets T5HO lights and fill the top with that. But I read everywhere that T5HO are not good enought past 24".

If I put them tight, I can put 12 T5HO each side, for a total of 24.

I also found this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

I did the math, for a 3' section, and I got 12*0,8*10=96PAR! Which finally is a lot!

So I'm a little confused now. At the T5HO good enought for my application? Or should I really go to another technilogie, like the LEDs?

Thanks,

JM
 

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T5HO lights are just fine for a 36 inch high tank. You need two closely spaced bulbs at that distance to get about 50 micromols of PAR, which is plenty of light. Of course, with a 28 inch front to back depth tank, one light cannot give you good lighting over the whole substrate, but 2 lights spaced about 8-10 inches apart should work fine - 4 bulbs total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hoppy did a build for a 36" deep tank with LEDs, it might be something that you would like to look at.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/136733-led-light-36-high-tank.html
I read almost all the thread! I think it's a bit to much for me ;) I know how to solder LEDs, but I don't have engouth knowledge when it's time to choose the right one... But still, thanks for the link. I will continue to read to maybe, in the futur, try it.

T5HO lights are just fine for a 36 inch high tank. You need two closely spaced bulbs at that distance to get about 50 micromols of PAR, which is plenty of light. Of course, with a 28 inch front to back depth tank, one light cannot give you good lighting over the whole substrate, but 2 lights spaced about 8-10 inches apart should work fine - 4 bulbs total.
Hi Hoppy, thanks for this information.

When you are saying 2 bulbs total, do you mean 4 bulbs per side? Or just 4 bulbs for the entire tank?

Should it look like that?



The front is in the bottom. The scale of the tank is correct, and the position too. The scale of the bulbs is not.

As I read in another thread here, I'm planning to use AH Supply 96 Watts Bright Kit. It's one kit, and it can use one bulb, but this bulb has 2 tubes... So should I put 2 kits like this one side by side, and another 2 at about 10" from it? Or simple one kit, and the other one at 10"?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Hi,

I'm in the process of building my own aquarium to fit the space I have. So at the end, it will most probably be 78"Wx28"Dx36"H. (36" of water. I have an additionnal 4" of substrat)

My concern is regarding the lighting. I will have a lot of plants in the aquarium since I really like plants. I already have a 33G just for plants. I want to have very small plants in the front, like Staurogyne repens, so I need the light to really reach the bottom of the aquarium.

I looked at the options for the lights and seems that 36" can really be an issue exepct for Metal Halide, which I look like to avoid because of the heat.

Initially, I planned to use 3 feets T5HO lights and fill the top with that. But I read everywhere that T5HO are not good enought past 24".

If I put them tight, I can put 12 T5HO each side, for a total of 24.

I also found this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

I did the math, for a 3' section, and I got 12*0,8*10=96PAR! Which finally is a lot!

So I'm a little confused now. At the T5HO good enought for my application? Or should I really go to another technilogie, like the LEDs?

Thanks,

JM
In salt water 250W MH are good to 24" and top of the line T5HO are good 30". So as Hoppy stated T5HO are sufficient for a 36" fresh water tank.
 

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I read almost all the thread! I think it's a bit to much for me ;) I know how to solder LEDs, but I don't have engouth knowledge when it's time to choose the right one... But still, thanks for the link. I will continue to read to maybe, in the futur, try it.



Hi Hoppy, thanks for this information.

When you are saying 2 bulbs total, do you mean 4 bulbs per side? Or just 4 bulbs for the entire tank?

Should it look like that?



The front is in the bottom. The scale of the tank is correct, and the position too. The scale of the bulbs is not.

As I read in another thread here, I'm planning to use AH Supply 96 Watts Bright Kit. It's one kit, and it can use one bulb, but this bulb has 2 tubes... So should I put 2 kits like this one side by side, and another 2 at about 10" from it? Or simple one kit, and the other one at 10"?

Thanks for your help.
Your light diagram is what Hoppy meant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oups... With AH Supply I tought I choosed the right one, look like I'm wrong.

Do you have some names for good quality reflectors/ballasts/bulbs?

2in10, thanks for the confirmation for the diagram.

Thanks all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The T5 at AH Supply are 4 feet long. So It's not working for me. And they don't seems to have 3 feet or 72" either.

At Cataline Aquariums, regarding the 4x39W, I'm not able to find that with 72". I think it's more 80W for 72". And it seems they don't have just the parts for DIY. Like the reflectors, the ballasts, etc.

Because I don,t want the ballast to be on the same room as the tank. That's why the initial AH Supply idea was nice.

One of the options I have for now it to put 4 times [Ebay Link Removed] light ramp[/URL]. The ballast is not fixed into the ramp so I can extend the wires to have it somewhere else.

But I'm not 100% sure of the quality...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@londonloco: No, I did not get a chance to call them. A bit difficult for me english over the phone ;) I will try to drop them an email.

@2in10: Nice site! I will add it to my options! Thanks!

@Hoppy: You often talk about putting the lights higher than close to the water level. Here, I planned to have them very close because I don't have to much place on the top for that. To adress that, can I "simply" spread the bulbs evenly on the top?

 

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This, I believe, will work better - come closer to giving you the light intensity you need:


But, I haven't tried experimenting to see the effect of various configurations like that. It is a lot of work to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Hoppy,

Thanks for the feedback.

I will most probably buy PAR reader and do some test.

What's a good PAR value I should reach? I want to have a fully planted aquarium with CO2, but still with few fishs ;)
 

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40-50 micromols per square meter per second is a good PAR value. With that light, and CO2 you can grow almost anything. Much more light and you will constantly battle algae, and have to prune very often, plus have a very narrow range of acceptable CO2 concentrations. Much less that that and you get very slow growth, and some plants just won't work out well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Perfect, thanks. I will target that. And if I understood it correctly, if I have to much PAR, I just have to space the buls a bit to reduce the value. Is that correct?
 
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