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Old 02-16-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
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Lighting Expertise Needed

My husband surprised me with a 150 gallon for Valentines Day. I am planning to set it up as a cichlid tank. It has a nice cabinet and matching wooden hood (opens with hinges), but there is no lighting. I've had aquariums for years, but nothing this big. All of the smaller aquariums I've had came with the standard hood and flourescent type bulb. What are my options? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcopley View Post
My husband surprised me with a 150 gallon for Valentines Day. I am planning to set it up as a cichlid tank. It has a nice cabinet and matching wooden hood (opens with hinges), but there is no lighting. I've had aquariums for years, but nothing this big. All of the smaller aquariums I've had came with the standard hood and flourescent type bulb. What are my options? Any advice is appreciated.
Someone was a very very very good wife and friend

That's awesome. Well... What are you thinking? What type of cichlids? Also do you wanna go LEDs, T5 HO's, metal halide or combos?

What's the length? 72" or 48"?
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:48 AM   #3
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The length is 72". I'm thinking some Mbunas and Peacocks. I'm hoping it will be okay to mix them since the tank is so big. I've only had experience with community tropical tanks so this will be new for me. My dad works for an electrical supply company where I believe they stock T5s. Do you know the pros and cons of T5s?
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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T5s are a good choice if you have access to them, at reasonable cost. If you aren't growing plants, but just lighting the tank, T8s will also work well at very low cost and easy accessibility of cheap replacement tubes. Tubes in the 5000K or 6500K temperature range, with high CRI or a combination of the two will give you a nice looking light that will display the fishes' colour well. The length of the tank will determine what combination of lengths would be necessary. The cheapest way is if you can utilize only four foot fixtures.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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If you can do t5's I'd do that route. Better lighting IMO. Also marine land makes a LED double bright fixture that will fit that tank for around $188.00 if you shop around.

That or because of the size tank I'd at least go with a 4 bulb t5 fixture.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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I really appreciate the advice. Would you recommend mounting the t5 fixture to inside of the canopy? Or should I get some plexi cut to fit the top of the tank and put the fixture on top of that?
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