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Old 03-12-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Satellite Compact Fluorescents for 20 gallon reef?

Hi,

I am starting a 20 gallon long reef tank and would like to know your opinions on using the Dual Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixture? It is 130w and costs $134.29 (Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Dual Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures). Is it recommended to use a glass canopy with these lights?

I'd also be interesting in hearing other recommended lighting under $200.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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Glass tops promote low PH due to poor gas exchange at the surface. You might want to get a glass piece just big enough to protect the bulbs but not a whole glass top. JMO
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:58 PM   #3
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Those are good fixtures, they should come with a splash guard , the only thing is that you should was with vinegar and rinse every other day and replace . Nix the glass top and replace with egg crate ( light difuser panel found at most hard ware stores for under $15 bucks) If you are worried about jumpers , this also allows for proper gas exchang in your tank
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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Red face :)

I have been reading for months about my impending start up and I have not heard that about the glass top. What about things that could fall in from dust to cats. Not to mention things like star fish crawling out?
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:17 AM   #5
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I have been reading for months about my impending start up and I have not heard that about the glass top. What about things that could fall in from dust to cats. Not to mention things like star fish crawling out?
Dust doesn't matter. Cats... well, that's different. That's why Sadielynn is suggesting eggcrate. (The white plastic grid stuff you normally associate with fluorescent ceiling lights.)

Glass tops don't sentence a tank to death. If you have a tight fitting, full glass top... that's a different issue due to the oxygen exchange and you want to avoid it. But I've got a modified glass top that has an air gap at the middle and back and I've yet to experience pH issues. I just never really liked the look of eggcrate.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:48 AM   #6
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What do you guys think of drilling holes in the glass top vs using the egg crate?

Also, any other input on the lights themselves would be great. So far they sound like a good deal.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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Even if you could get it drilled with enough holes to support the airflow you couldn't rest a light fixture on it after that anyway. Not to mention the stress you would put on the glass each time you tried to take it off the tank, clean it, stand it up, etc.

That's just a disaster waiting to happen. And if it shatters and falls in the tank... clear glass shards in clear water + human hands and swimming fish = red water
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:30 AM   #8
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I wouldnt bother drilling the the glass top it would accumulate too much salt creep there by cutting down on its effectiveness of the light . It really would not do much harm to the glass but it is just cheeper to use egg crate if you dont like the color of it paint it black problem solved
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:45 AM   #9
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Even if you could get it drilled with enough holes to support the airflow you couldn't rest a light fixture on it after that anyway....
Unless it's a normal output fluorescent - which it isn't since we're talking Satellite CFs - you don't want to rest the fixture right on the glass anyway. The heat from even just the CF bulbs will eventually crack/break the glass. THEN, not only do you have glass in the tank, but your light fixture. At that point, the glass in the tank is the least of your issues.

Whatever your covering of choice, use legs on the fixture and support it off your tank frame.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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'It really would not do much harm to the glass'

I would respectfully disagree. Every orifice introduced to a horizontal plane weakens the plane. That weakness is exacerbated as the length to width correlation is increased. Not to mention how the thickness of the plan and the tensile strength of the material contributes.

When drilling the verticle plan of an aquarium (which is must thicker than a glass canopy), it is the strength of the bulkhead that spans the opening and makes up for the loss of structure.

Again, do not drill multiple holes in a sheet of glass and expect it to perform as it did before. Or even close. Especially when the use of that glass is in the horizontal position and relatively thin. You will lose structural integrity, you will see cracks begin to appear spreading from the hole locations and you will eventually have a failure unless some other bridging of the structure is introduced
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