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Old 03-04-2009, 11:07 PM   #11
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if you are running fresh water and know about lighting, wattage, color temperature, and wiring...you can normally build a good fixture through trial and error. I made my own set up. it took alot more money than it needed to finding the right type of lights to use, and it was alot more hassle than buying a premade balast.

if you are doing a saltwater tank, you will spend a huge chunk of change getting balast equipment that will power the wattage of lights needed to grow living reefs.

freshwater on the other hand, lighting only limits the type of plants and the quantity you can grow. the smaller the tank, the less lighting needed. this set up isnt pretty, but I am guessing it will function ok.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:33 PM   #12
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If you can DIY lights, Can you pick any bulb for it? I've had this odd desire to try a blacklight and a daylight bulb.. But I have a feeling it will be bad somehow.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:56 AM   #13
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Go for it.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by partypalooza5 View Post
If you can DIY lights, Can you pick any bulb for it? I've had this odd desire to try a blacklight and a daylight bulb.. But I have a feeling it will be bad somehow.
uhhh...i have read in several places blacklights and fish are a very bad idea, as well as anything that can create un natural lighting affects (strobes, odd collored or flashing bulbs,ect).

one thing I have done on my tanks in the past is run a lower watt light set up for a moonlight affect at early night and seperate lighting for the daytime.

you want lights out on the fishtank for several hours to simulate their natural enviroment and ensure a stress free tank.

with that being said, you could build a custom hood that uses the swirl style flourescent bulbs pictured in this post and then using, say, a 4w blue night light bulb or several depending on the size of the tank to give the tank a moonlight affect. have a timer for running the normal hoodlights untill dusk, and from dusk till a few hours after night fall have a seperate timer running to your other lower watt fixture.

i found a one or two 4watt blue bulbs give off a nice gentle glow in my 29 gallon tank. at night my corys and south american bumblebee catfish(he only comes out in the dark) dont mind at all, and the other fish just sleep through it.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:59 PM   #15
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AH Nevermind. I just realized that would be like putting a giant UV sterilizer over the tank. XD
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #16
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My plants are growing like weeds right now. I still am having some algae problems, but other than that it works fine.
what type of CFL are you using?
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:25 PM   #17
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I use the GE Daylight bulbs from Wal-mart. They are rated at 6500K, and I have two 20 watt bulbs, and two 26 watt bulbs over my 29 gallon tank right now. For my ten gallon it is the same type of bulbs, but I used two 15 watt bulbs.
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