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Old 08-17-2003, 03:31 PM   #1
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DIY lighting for 2 gal hex?

I want to make a small hospital tank /etc.. for my small tropicals. I hate the single small incandecant bulb that makes the tank look yellow, I was wondering if anyone has done a DIY lighting for a 2 gal hex. This tank will have live plants.
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Old 08-17-2003, 06:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
I want to make a small hospital tank /etc..
Quote:
This tank will have live plants.

I don't think this is compatable...Not sure on the lights, but you might look at some of Lights Of America PCs from Walmart.
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Old 08-17-2003, 06:49 PM   #3
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Try replacing the incandescent bulb with a screw in flourescent mini ballast bulb from walmart. They cost 8-9 dollars for a 2 pack at walmart and are made by sylvania. They are still yellow compared to tube flourescents but less than incandescents. They do help plants grow and will fit into existing small screw in spots. A good cheap alternative. It is 13 watts.
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:59 PM   #4
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try a GE "Reveal" bulb ... 25 watts or 40 watts ... they have a special coating that absorbs a lot of the red/yellow and makes for a more pleasing light.

plus it's only a couple of bucks.

however, with only 2 gallons of water to work with, and probably nearly a 1/2 gallon is taken up by displacement from substrate, plants, and decoration,etc... I would try to position the tank so it just gets some shadey sun for a few hours a day, or is lit by a room light.
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Old 08-18-2003, 09:29 AM   #5
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But the GE bulb doesn't throw actual UV light. Just bluer light. So if you want plants then you will need some UV light source. Either the window or a screw in CF. If it is just java fern in the tank then the window will probably be okay.
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:48 AM   #6
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I believe some photosynthetic animals require mild amounts of UV or Near-UV and that is why marine tanks must use Actinic bulbs.

Rest assured that your plants will do fine without UV. I've grown cuttings in 2 liter pop bottles under regular incandescent plant lighting without issue.

Most aquatic plants utilize chloraphyl for Red and Blue light. Some true underwater plants also used Green light because Red light does not penetrate water well. This is why the custom tri-chromatic aquarium bulbs work so well, they have well defined spectra that provide plentiful amounts of each light source for plants.
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