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Old 05-31-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Lighting Questions for 75 Gallon low-tech / low-light freshwater

So I had been asking about lighting a my 75 gallon tank in the past and was going to start that topic up again, but alas it was to old.

Currently have a single strip T8 on my 75 gallon. Not going to cut it. Also I have been noticing some brown gunk on the sides of the aquarium. I always assumed it was me overfeeding the fish. But in reading perhaps this is brown algae from not enough light in the tank? Is that true? The bulb in there is at least a year old, and I suspect older to be honest (its the same one that was in there when I bought the setup off craigslist a year ago).

Anyway, back on the topic at hand. I had asked before, and it was recommended to get a 2 bulb shoplight for the cheap. I have a canopy, which causes conflicts in that if the shoplight has anything coming out of the "end" of the light (power cord, pull string, whatever) it won't fit under the canopy. But that isn't the main reason I am here.

I have been feeling ambitious enough to add some low light plants. I want to stay low tech for sure. But with a 2 strip T8 fixture with a pair of 32w bulbs... is that going to be enough light for even a low-tech / low-watt 75 gallon? 64 watts feels like it shouldn't be enough. Or am I reading to much into the "1 watt per gallon for low light" thing....

So, will a 2 strip shoplight be enough (with some 6000+ type bulbs in it)? Or should I be looking for something more?
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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It's borderline on the low end. If the cost is the main concern, look at the 2x54w 4ft oddysea fixtures on ebay.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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Certainly worth checking thank you.

Any worry about heat being that they would be inside a wooden canopy?

And cost isn't the end all by any means. More that if I could get it for cheap why not? If that isn't going to provide enough light, though, than I guess I'll just have to get something else

Heck, I have even been checking out the Marineland Double Bright LED's :P Though those would be harder to get the boss to sign off on
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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You could always mount a couple fans in the canopy with maybe some holes drilled to allow some circulation to help out with heat. I think you're going to run in to the same problem with anything short of a retro fit kit with cords. every fixture I've seen has the cord mounted on the side. I doubt they would fit if your canopy is right about the same width as your tank. A retrofit kit is the only way I can think of... I just don't think 2x32w of T8 is going to cut it, especially not with the horrible shop light reflectors.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:39 PM   #5
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I'm in a similar situation. Yesterday I just went from the Flora-Max 32watt, 48" T8 to the Ultra-Sun (6500K) T8. The Flora-Max just wasn't bright enough for the plants ... even though it's supposed to be at the correct red / blue color peak for max plant growth ...... blah... blah ...blah.

I have low maintenance, plants they showed no signs of growing, yet I've lost a fair share of amazon sword leaves

Hopefully the Ultra-Sun does the job
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:43 PM   #6
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I would really prefer to avoid fans or drilling holes. I am in the process of switching from some HoB filters to an eheim classic canister and am loving how quiet things are when I turn the HoB's off (running them all together at the moment until the canister builds up some bacteria). I don't want to add back additional noise when it comes to fans (regardless of how quiet they are).

I would quite honestly rather just stick with plastic plants :P

Decisions decisions. Guess it is time for more research
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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I don't think you'll need fans or anything for heat, t5ho's don't really run that hot. If anything I'd just put a vent in the top of the canopy if you feel like it's getting too hot in there.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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Ok. So let's go with this: If you had a 75 and wanted to add some java fern, anubias (spelling), java moss and perhaps some crypts what kind of fixture would you personally go with? Just remember the wood canopy. Any specific brand?

The more opinions the better.

Though it does appear a dual strip T5HO fixture is looking to be the winner. Question is which one?

Thanks
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:30 AM   #9
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So I think I am going to go with the AquaticLife Dual Lamp T5HO fixtures. Just have an email into AquaticLife about a couple concerns as to working with my canopy.

Unless of course someone out there has had terrible luck with the AquaticLife T5HO fixtures?
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:28 PM   #10
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FNI fixtures (www.fishneedit.com) are what I typically recommend simply because for the price, nothing compares IMO. They also have remote ballasts, which might help with your space constraints.
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