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Old 05-12-2010, 10:41 PM   #1
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Need a new tank light

My 18watt strip light is extremely insufficient for for my planted tank. Can anyone direct me to a new light source? It's a 24" long tank.

http://www.amazon.com/Coralife-Aqual...3718557&sr=1-2 I saw this on amazon, it looked like a good deal for 130 watts, but how am I supposed to use it?

http://www.amazon.com/Coralife-Aqual...3718613&sr=1-1 or this.

Do I just gut my old hood and screw this thing in? Upon measurement, my hood is too small to fit this thing. Can I find clamps or something and clamp this over the aquarium canopy?
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:17 AM   #2
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What size is your tank? 20g?

130W is probably way too much light for a 24" tank anyway.

The 1x65W might work though if you're looking for a high-light setup, but you'll need to think about CO2 and ferts at this level too. Is that something you'd consider?
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:31 AM   #3
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how about retrofitting the hood so you can screw in a couple cfl bulbs?
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:34 AM   #4
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I looked up retrofit CFL's it looks like an easy project for an electrical engineering major haha. Okay CFL hook up it is then. Just need to gut my old ballast and stick in some conventional sockets and splice it to the switch. Anyways, I have a CO2 reactor and can mix up some PMDD in no time.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:04 PM   #5
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it seems to be easy i ahve a good link if you want. you could just buy a hood with the screw in sockets and put cfl bulbs in there. might cost a little more though.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:28 PM   #6
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65w Coralife here and very pleased. The pic in my sig is with the Coralife only (no flash or extra light added). It's the perfect size for my 20 gallon in that prior to going pressurized CO2 I used a 50/50 bulb to give about 30w which was more than adequate for lower-light plants. Once I got the tank I switched to a single daylight bulb which has been great for growing higher-light plant species.

IMO the retrofit is really good for a low budget on a large tank (using 4' strip lights). On smaller tanks the actual usable light is pretty poor as the screw-in CFL's waste a lot of light. A single large U-shaped CFL with a good reflector (like the Coralife or other purpose-built tank light) will be much more efficient.

But DIY projects are fun so don't let me stop you!
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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I have 18 watts over my 15gal 24" tank also (no co2 for now). Been looking at getting Aquarium Light Fixtures: Coralife Aqualight HO T-5 Dual Lamp Aquarium Light Fixture but dont know anyhting about lights or if these bulbs are good for plants.
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