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Old 03-29-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
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New Light - Two Options

I'm finally going to pull the trigger and correct my grievous and expensive error of buying a fixture that just doesn't give me enough light. My tank has slightly odd dimensions, and I bought one to fit it without thinking of the fact that the fixtures that fit it are often for smaller tanks. Mine is a 56g (30lx18wx24t).

So, my options are these -

4x39w T5HO fixture, suspended above the tank. (Bulbs are actually longer than the tank itself)

150w Metal Halide pendant light suspended above the tank.

It is a heavily planted tank with much Anacharis, Watersprite, Wisteria, some Hornwort/Najas, various Hygro, chain swords, a few Anubias and Crypt. petchii. My initial reasoning for deviating from the T5 is that a concentrated, single source of light might be better for a tank that is a fairly 'stubby' rectangle.

Which one would you get? The cost is basically the same. I've always used florescent but have read a lot of good things about the halides, including the nice 'shimmer' effect that they can give a tank. Thanks for any suggestions or info!
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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Why not get a 30" 4x24w? 30in 4Bulbs fixtures
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
Why not get a 30" 4x24w? 30in 4Bulbs fixtures
My apologies, I forgot to mention that eventually the fixture will end up on an even larger tank. The one I have now is going onto a more fitting size. I've made kind of a mess out of the whole situation by failing to think things through, so I'm trying to minimize my losses by looking down the road a little more than I usually do. If I'd had my head on straight when I initially bought stuff, I would have gotten the one you linked and avoided the whole mess.

Sorry!
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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No, don't apologize. I just think a light sticking 3" off each side will be an eye sore. If it doesn't bother you though, go for it. Problem is, a 36" light isn't going to do much for you if you upgrade to a bigger tank. It would be nearly impossible to fit two 3' lights on a 6' tank (I thought about it... I ended up going to two 2' lights on my 6' tank). Just thinking ahead too
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:16 PM   #5
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That's true. Maybe I should just cut my losses and sell the old one, lol.

I was pushing for 2.5+wpg because of how tall the tank is, but if I can get away with less I probably will.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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Don't get caught up in the WPG guideline. You'd be surprised at how well light penetrates. I've read numerous articles online saying how tanks <30" deep lose very little light at the bottom.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:38 PM   #7
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Just my two cents. I have the same tank and a 24 inch 96 watt light. It's amazing how bright it is at the bottom of the tank. The light penetrates just fine. My swords love it. I have two runners off of one plant that curl all the way around the rom of the tank.

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Old 03-29-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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Great info guys, thanks!
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:04 AM   #9
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considering you have a 56g column tank a metal halide would look great and pentrate deep, what kind of tank will you be getting? i have t5 h.o. myself(maybe more of the smaller size t5s would work 4 u), but i like things to look well together and i wouldnt want the lights hanging over the tank edges...
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:11 AM   #10
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For the time being I went with the 2' 4 bulb fixture with the thought that I'll just buy a second one to suspend over my 90 when I eventually get it. When that happens, I'll hopefully be able to keep the 56 up too, and will get the 150w metal halide for that when the 2' t5 gets moved to the bigger tank.

I really wanted the MH, but I realized that for the time being the heat would be impractical because the tank is already in a room that is hard to cool because there are so many things generating heat.
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