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Old 12-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
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Need best cheap lighting for 20 gal

I just upgraded from a 10 to a 20 gallon high to make my tank easier to maintain since I'm leaving for a month in 4 days. A friend is coming over twice a week to feed and clean the tanks. The 20 gallon I got from craigslist with a decent light fixture, but it can't be set on a timer because the switch resets every time the electricity is cut off and must be manually turned on.

SO, I have almost no money due to the trip I'm about to go on, christmas, and the upgrade to the new tank. However, I need good lighting because my tank is planted. Any suggestions for affordable, quality lighting that I can do in the next 4 days? Any help is appreciated!!
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:14 PM   #2
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You can go to Home Depot, Lowe's, or an equivalent hardware store and get two clip on shop lights. You can find 13 watt 6500k CFLs to use. This will give you about medium light or so.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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Great idea! Could I just set them on top of the glass top, or do I need to clip/suspend them above the tank somehow?
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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Also, is 13w preferable to 23w? I see both...I'm actually at lowes now.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnailorJ View Post
Also, is 13w preferable to 23w? I see both...I'm actually at lowes now.
What did you end up getting? I was at Lowes yesterday and had the same question regarding 13 vs 24 watt 6500k bulbs. I ended up getting a pair of the 5.5" dome clamp on lamps because I thought the 8.5" lamps would be too big for a 6.6 gallon tank. I was going to get the 23 watt bulbs but I was not sure that they would fit in the. 5.5" domes (tip of bulb might extend past the dome). Did not want to chance it so I got the 13 watt. In hind sight the larger domes plus 23 watt bulbs might have been a better choice because of the wider spread of light plus higher wattage.
Here is a pic:

This is a plant holding tank for trimmings and extra plants (planning to do a rescape in my 20 g long planted tank). I might prop up the lamps about 1/4" to get better air circulation/heat dissipation. CFLs run pretty cool; after burning for an hour the domes are slightly warm at best.

Total cost about $25. For the 8.5" lamps and 23 watt bulbs it will be about $35.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Great idea! Could I just set them on top of the glass top, or do I need to clip/suspend them above the tank somehow?
You could do that. It might be better to prop them up on something to get better airflow. If you have something within reach of the clamp, that might be a safer option. I ended up clamping them to each other.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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Okay, I did not like the dim areas at the surface with the lights being low low so I raised them about 3-4". Better light distribution now.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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Okay, I did not like the dim areas at the surface with the lights being low low so I raised them about 3-4". Better light distribution now.
I have 2 13 watt cfl with 2 5.5 inch dome fixture and I am growing crypts, amazon swords, and dwarf Lilies with no problems so I would say medium light also. The tank is a 20H
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