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Old 09-16-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Lighting help

I need suggestions on affordable lights please. I want to grow low to medium light plants. My main interest is the fish. So, I would rather invest more money in them and be limited to what type of plants I can grow. I currently have a cheap light fixture that came with the aquarium. It currently has a 32 watt bulb F32t8 50/50. I am guessing this is no where near enough light for a 125 gal aquarium. Is it possible to modify my existing fixture or would it be best to purchase a new one? There is probably enough room for two bulbs in the fixture but I don't know if the material will support hotter lights. The aquarium is in the living room so whatever I do it has to look good. Don't want the wife regretting the purchase.


Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
NovaHeat
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
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I think you'd be better off starting with a different fixture. Look at shop lights at Home Depot, Menard's, etc. I picked up a pair of 48" fixtures that use two 32W T8 bulbs and pretty good reflectors on sale for ~$30 on sale at Menards recently. I think they were called Titanium Finish Performance Fluorescent Shop Lights. They look good enough that your wife probably wouldn't object to them hanging exposed over the tank. They're for my workbench in the garage, but they'd make nice aquarium lights and they'd let you grow low-light plants and possibly med-low light plants.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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There are a lot of options out there for lighting a tank. You can go with the shop light option as long as you can find bulbs that are suitable for lighting an aquarium. I would look at T5 or CF fixtures. They are going to cost a few bucks but will have what you are looking for to grow plants and will look nice over the tank.

You can always check with a local fish club, ebay or craigslist.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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I found a light on eBay, 60" Power Compact aquarium light fixture 322w Plant. Has anyone tried one of these lights. I am not sure to post name of seller or not. The seller does not list a brand name. The seller has good revues but I don't know about the light.

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Old 09-17-2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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post a link to the auction and let us have a look.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
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Ziggy953,

The link is:

60" Power Compact Aquarium Light Fixture 322W Plant - eBay (item 300465636078 end time Oct-08-10 18:26:04 PDT)

Thanks
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:15 PM   #7
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I don't really see anything wrong with that fixture.

I would also look for T5 fixtures and compare prices. CF bulbs need to be replaced more often than T5 bulbs. You can also mix and match bulbs and colors with T5 more easily than CFs.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:07 PM   #8
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Thanks Ziggy953,

I think the T5s were $200 to $300 more than this one but I will look again to make sure and look at price of bulbs and number of hours. Did not think about the difference in bulbs.

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Old 09-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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My pleasure. I'm speaking from experience of having used both types of fixtures. Personally I like retro kits and building my own canopy. If you are handy at all you can save yourself a lot of money by not having that cute aluminum box that holds the lights. I got a 4' TEK T5HO retro kit for right at $100, that is 108w total (54w each) you could get two of those and stager the bulbs and have 216w of great light and bulbs that would last a 12-18 months.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:53 AM   #10
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I have three choices when it comes to bulbs, 1200k, 6700K, and 50/50. I am not counting the blue lights that I have been told are for saltwater. The light that came with my tank was a 50/50. Wife liked the colors off of it better than the 6700K lights I have now. Is a 50/50 okay for plants?

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