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Old 02-14-2004, 10:23 PM   #1
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From 30 to 120 watts!

My father-in-law and I just completed changing my wife and I's store bought lighting (2x15watt) over to 4x30watt DIY lighting in our 75 gal community tank. This gives us 1.6 watts per gal, time for live plants.
We used standard two bulb 36' 30 watt fixtures and mounted them directly to the tank canopy. We are going to rewire both units together, add an inline plug at the back of the canopy so we don't have to screw with electrical cords when removing the canopy for filter maintinance, install 2 way on/off switches, upgrade the lid with dual pneumatic arms (its heavy) and install a couple of fans for air circulation .

The fish are kinda freaked, but they'll get over it.



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120 watts of light.jpg - 1 Time(s)
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:47 PM   #2
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Congratulations! What kind of plants do you have in mind? This is still "relatively" low light, but you have a lot of options.
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:28 AM   #3
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Feel free to help us make informed choices, now taking plant suggestions...
I may add another 30watts and bring it to a 150 watts for 2 watts per gallon, I don't want to go over that because most of the stuff I've read says that over 2w per gal the use of co2 starts to be necessary.
If I count the displacement from gravel and decor the tanks water capacity is probably 70 gal or less so the watts per gal is actually higher, no?
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Old 02-15-2004, 06:47 AM   #4
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That really looks great. Some plants to consider are Java fern, crypts, annubias and I've done well with giant sag in that light range.

I really like the driftwood in that tank. Some Java fern attached to that would look awesome. Here's mine.
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:52 PM   #5
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You could just keep the lights as they are and do great with the plants Brian mentioned (nice pic, Brian!). I have grown aponogeton with great success in a tank with just a frog hair over 1wpg, and currently that same tank has crypts, watersprite and java fern. The aponogeton bulbs go dormant for a period of time but generally those grow like weeds. You can get the bulbs at Walmart, of all places.

I have no problems with algae of any kind in that tank, and if you raise your lighting you will start to see algae, so if you want to have plants without much hassle it looks like you are ready. If you do get crypts get some root tabs that you push into the substrate, as they are root feeders.
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