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Old 02-21-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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beautifully lit for under $200?

I have two, single, tube light strips on my 55 gallon tank and I just feel the lighting could be much better. I really appreciate the look of recessed lighting and also the security of a covered top.
The plastic canopies I have had the HOB filter openings punched out by the previous owner and now that I'm using a canister filter my fish are vulnerable to my cat (got my catfish last night... RIP)
DIY not an option. I don't have the energy or time, ATM, for another big project so I'm looking to drop $200... done. AWESOM! lol
Any suggestions?
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:51 PM   #2
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glass tops? probably about $40. A 2x54w T5HO from fishneedit.com for right at about $100 shipped.... get 1 actinic, 1 daylight, unless you're planning on planting it. The actinic will really bring out the colors in the fish. It will also keep you from having terrible algae problems with so much light.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516
glass tops? probably about $40. A 2x54w T5HO from fishneedit.com for right at about $100 shipped.... get 1 actinic, 1 daylight, unless you're planning on planting it. The actinic will really bring out the colors in the fish. It will also keep you from having terrible algae problems with so much light.
Thanks rookie. I was thinking along those lines but I couldn't figure out how the glass top works. Is it that it only covers the front of the tank and the light fixture covers the back?
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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No, the glass tops will cover all but about 2-3" of the top.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516
glass tops? probably about $40. A 2x54w T5HO from fishneedit.com for right at about $100 shipped.... get 1 actinic, 1 daylight, unless you're planning on planting it. The actinic will really bring out the colors in the fish. It will also keep you from having terrible algae problems with so much light.
Color temp for the white bulb?
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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Your choice... I'd stick with something between 6500k and 10,000k just in case you decide to plant later on. Then you'll only need to buy 1 bulb.

Definitely look around some more though, that's just a suggestion. I wouldn't spend any money just based off one persons suggestion.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:03 PM   #7
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Here's my strip. Single 10,000k bulb.

SolarMax 48" T5 Aquarium Tank Strip Light Fixture - eBay (item 300416233941 end time Mar-05-11 18:08:13 PST)
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516
Your choice... I'd stick with something between 6500k and 10,000k just in case you decide to plant later on. Then you'll only need to buy 1 bulb.

Definitely look around some more though, that's just a suggestion. I wouldn't spend any money just based off one persons suggestion.
Na but its looking like that's the ticket. Two bulb fixture. I couldn't sport that without a canopy though. The fixtures are too industrial. Thanks though you were really helpful.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:17 AM   #9
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My tank has a plastic support running from front to back in the center of my tank. Will 2 T5 bulbs hovering close over this plastic cause the plastic to melt or release gases?
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #10
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no, they're far enough away that you shouldn't see any issues with heat
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