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Will this DiY lighting be sufficient?

1183 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  zackish
So I read some posts about the jebo odyssea lighting and the general consensus seems to be they'll burn your house down so ive turned back to my DiY plans. So im wondering if 4 NO 4 ft bulbs will be good enough or if i should 2x overdrive them to better cross the lighting threshold. I went to college for electricity and ive wired my fair share of ballasts so theres no fire hazard at least ;p

About my tank:
I have a 55 gallon
ill be picking up a bag of soilmaster select when i can make the hour drive to get it
Im not completely sure what kind of plants i would like to have but i would like a carpet of micro chain sword some tall plants in the back corners that go to the surface of the water, maybe ornamental grass or lilly pad looking plants and a few easy plants like java fern amazon swords to fill in the spaces.

As far as co2 i have a emperor 400 biowheel so im not so sure any co2 would be more than wasted effort.

Any advice on my lighting would be great and feel free to throw something in about the rest!
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You'll be at about 1.5wpg (due to bad reflectors, etc) so that's a decent amount of light. If there isn't enough, you can always overdrive them later.

Dosing CO2 using yeast bottles or Excel would be easy to do with that light level.

Stuff like your Java Ferns, Amazon Swords, etc will do just fine under that type of lighting.
I've used 4 T8 bulbs on my 75G (well actually 3 T8 and 1 T6 bulb). Plenty for the lesser demanding plants. Later I overdrove them all 2X and it does great now. Its a jungle that pearls pretty good. But I havent tried any highly demanding plants. I just have my canopy painted white on the inside.
Hahah wow, I have almost the exact same setup. 55 gallons, SMS, Emperor 400. I'm planning on pulling the biowheels from the emperor (maybe, some people tell me that if you turn it down and keep the tank topped off the biowheels can stay), and I think I'm going to get a coralife t5 to go with my 55 PC
I would wait until later to try overdriving. 4x32w t8 is easy to manage starting out.

I have a 125 lit with 8x32w t8 x2OD and it's brighter than 4wpg. on a smaller tank.

Overdriven ballasts run quite hot so keep heat in mind while designing your setup if you might want to later.
ive got the mechanics worked out allmost to an extreme. Moonlights from two 4 inch coldcathodes * white not blue * , fan, three switches * one cord atm can be changed later *, Hinged w/ air springs and a latch to raise the hood for cleaning and feeding. It will measure about 48" x 12" x 8 ish" high. I found an electronic ballast at home depot to push 4 tubes NO untill i learn more then ill get a second ballast and ODNO x2.

Im going to check the price on some mylar or tin sheeting to use as a reflector but ill probably just use white paint. Im not sure what kinds of sheeting will polish up nicely and what will rust.

any and all comments are more than welcome, i like to know when im heading for trouble. I have background in mechanical/architectural drafting and some electricity but aquariums is my hobby and i dont know much about planting. I've kept a oscar untill recently and they dont tolerate plants.
If you look at the absolute cheapest 48" twin light they have, it is maybe $8, it has an electronic ballast that runs t8's, just a heads up, you are probably spending 5 times that for the 4x ballast... and you could run them in pairs that way.
To answer your question DIY CO2 would be a waste with a HOB filter. You need to think about a canister. I am ordering a rena filstar XP2 this weekend for my 29 and that will be more than enough. I have heard good reviews about the filstars and they are on the cheaper end. Bigalsonline had them the cheapest at like $75 for the XP2 which can handle up to 75g.
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