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Old 02-02-2004, 12:08 PM   #1
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Lighting quantity question

Well, I am almost finished with my home-made canopy (I forgot to take pictures this weekend but I will have some up soon, and will make the plans available to anyone who wants them), and I am ready to purchase the lights for them. The canopy is a 72-5/8" long (inside dimensions) to allow the canopy to overhang the top of my Oceanic 135g by 1-9/16" to hide the top trim. It fits like a charm! But anyway, I have about 72-5/8" x 13-1/4" od space where the lights will go, but after looking at www.ahsupply.com and www.aquarium-supply.biz I am even more confused about how "much" light to buy. I have a few (5 bunches of three or four stalks) anachris in my tank but I do not intend to have a whole bunch of live plants, although I would like to have a few more for variety. I was going to buy two 2x96w retrofit kits for a total of ~384 watts, but is this too much? Also, i was going to buy one Actinic but I think I have read now that Actinics aren't necessary for a tank that will house a few plants and some Peacock Cichlids? Help? I would like to order the kit today or tomorrow so they will be here when I get the canopy stained and painted. Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:22 PM   #2
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Im hoping some freshwater folks jump on this thread but IMO you wont need actinic bulbs at all. Unless you like the color they produce.

You could also go with some 6' VHO bulbs. Maybe 3 or 4 of them.
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:20 PM   #3
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Well I run actinic bulbs on all my tanks, havent found they help or hurt the plants, I just use them because I like the color they have on the tanks, and they do penetrate to the bottom of some of the deeper tanks rather well. I look at it like personal choice, if you like they way it looks go for it, if not, dont spend the money on it.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:14 AM   #4
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Thank you all for the replies. Do you think 110 watts is enough? 220?
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:14 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the replies. Do you think 110 watts is enough? 220?
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:23 AM   #6
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Consider the 6x55 watt system. 6 fixtures, 55 watts each, 330 watts total. You put two side by side, so it's like = = =.

Or 4x96 as you mentioned above, which are longer and would end up like = = .. One thing though about those: AHSupply does the 96 watts differently than the 55 watts. They come in two varieties. The 1x96 kit has a 3in wide reflector, for one bulb. The 2x96 (And 4x, and 6x) are NOT two 1x96 kits. They have a 7in wide reflector for two bulbs together. You can request two of the single reflectors, but you need to decide how you want it to come out before ordering. So 2/4/6x are double-wide reflectors (Unless you request otherwise). The 3x and 5x kits come with one of each type of reflector, one single and one double.. If you want to space the lights apart, you'll want to make sure you get the 3" reflectors and not the double wide ones.
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:55 AM   #7
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I would probably go with the 6x55W. It's on the low end of watts per gallon for growing live plants, but should be enough for the easy to grow, low-light plants. 8x55 would be even better if it will fit, that would get you up to 3.25w/gal if you decide to do more live plants.

Having more fixtures gives you more freedom to adjust the light level. All 6 or 8 may be too bright for the "look" you want and may cause algae to grow very quickly. I switched to a 10w CF bulb in my little Eclipse 5 Hex and now algae grows much faster than before, so it's just something else to consider.

If I were setting it up, I would have six or eight timers to gradually turn on the lights in the morning and off at night for a really cool sunrise and sunset effect.

The Actinic bulbs aren't necessary for FW and really make the tank look blue with typical FW decor.
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:41 PM   #8
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Thats true the Actinic bulbs arent necessary in a FW setup. As for making the tank or typical FW decor look blue, well I dont know, lol all I have in my tank is some gravel, fish and plants. Thats it, so not sure about making anything look blue. I dont run just the Actinics though, I run them with a 10k bulb on each setup.
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