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Old 04-27-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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Opinions on this CFL setup

I really want my tank to be heavily planted. So instead of paying $250 for a lighting fixture i decided to try something a little bit different. I wanted to take a cheap alternative, and didnt want to buy a cheap ebay light due to some of the stories I hear. So my questions are:

You think it will be effective?
Safe??
Anybody else have a setup like this that can shed some insight?
Should I install any fans? There is 2 vents in the top right now roughly.... 4-5 inches across?

Specs:
36 gallon bowfront roughly 18" tall?
Right now it has 4 18w 2700k lights in it which I let run for about an hour, it was a little hot but nothing scorching, no smoking nothing like that. I plan to put 4 13w or 23w 6700k bulbs in. Just not sure if 23w bulbs will run to hot yet or not.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #2
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Cfls are efficient so they don't put out a lot of heat. But honestly, if you're looking for a "forest" like tank and you want good carpeting you should look into t5 ho lights. They're affordable, low heat as well, only downside is you have to replace the bulbs every year. You can still grow great plants with the cfls but you have to pick your plants carefully.
The fixture you got now, you can hook up a pc fan to a dc adapter and it will help out a lot with sucking the hot air out.
But what else do you plan on doing? Substrate, ferts, co2?
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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I do plan to go woth t5ho in the future when i have a little extra money to get it, but for now im gonna stick with these just to get it going you know?
I plan to use a c02 booster, like api. And ferts aswell, the substrate im using is just sand, im thinking of putting some java fern and anubais on rocks/driftwood, but also plant some in the sand. Maybe some dwarf grass (i think its called). What would you recommend?

Also gonna be stocked with 1 angel, 2 bolivian rams, 12 tetras (not sure which yet) 8 melini cories, while running quietflow 30 and aquaclear 50 filters.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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So i got it set up a little bit different now, I put 2 fans in the back blowing out that I ripped out of a laptop cooler.

Works really well, I let it run 4 hours yesterday and it didnt even get hot, running 4 18w 6700k bulbs in it atm. Tank looks awesome all lit up with it, can't wait to get some plants in there.

I do recommend this for someone on a budget. This whole set up (which may not look so good, but it works) costed me about $20, alot stuff i needed was just this random things I had laying around my house, which you might to. Definately a better alternative then paying $200+

Heres some pics, I had to relocate the lights a little bit to move them further from the fans. Even with the lights that close the fans don't get hot. I used to use them on my laptop (which runs 90+ degrees C while gaming) which is WAYYY hotter then what they run now, so I have high hopes for this setup.

Now that everything is setup, i'm in the process of sealing up the sockets left open, aswell as the openings between the plug ins, definately don't want moisture gettin in there.
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