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Old 09-06-2010, 05:48 PM   #11
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Alright, as my last resistance against buying a versa top, is a double tube strip light the same size as a single tube? Perhaps I can invest in one of those instead since I dont like the look of the versa top.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:44 PM   #12
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Look into a kit like we use on a marine tank.
T5 Aquarium Lighting - T5 Light Fixtures, T5 bulbs, T5 Retro kits at AquaCave.com
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkxrose View Post
Is it not possible to put a higher watt bulb?
No, with fluorescent tubes, the wattage is determined solely by the length of the tube. All 12" tubes are one wattage, all 14" tubes another, all 16" tubes another, etc. So the only way to get a higher wattage with a fluorescent tube is to...get a longer tube. Of course, given that your aquarium is only so long, obviously this means that once you have a light fixture (hood) that is the full width of your aquarium (which you already have), then you are as "maxed out" as you can be with a single fluorescent tube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkxrose View Post
Alright, as my last resistance against buying a versa top, is a double tube strip light the same size as a single tube? Perhaps I can invest in one of those instead since I dont like the look of the versa top.
Yes, that would be a possibility...the only issue is, from some preliminary searching I did on a few sites, the smallest double-tube strip that I was able to find was 30" long. I used to have a double-tube strip on my 29g tank and it worked pretty well. It just appears (unless you have more luck finding one than I did) that they don't manufacture double-tube strip lights for tanks smaller than 30" long. If you can find one, great! Basically the first suggestion I made in my previous thread was essentially creating a "fake" double-tube strip scenario by using two single-tubes at once.

And of course, even if you could find a double-tube strip light, that's not enough...you STILL need a versa-top to put the strip light over! You are never going to find a double-tube built-in hood combo, at least I've never heard of such a thing existing.

BTW, what do you find so ugly about the versa-top? Attached are two pictures of one of my 10g tanks with a versa-top and an incandescent strip light with spiral CF bulbs. Do you not like how you can see through the top down to the contents in the tank? Not being critical, just honestly curious about what exactly aspect of the versa-top you find ugly, that's all.

P.S. -- Ignore the floating piece of wood in the tank here. It is a new piece of manzanita and I am currently floating it, waiting for it to waterlog and sink so I can aquascape with it properly.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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Er my tank is 30" long (20 gallon long)
but the tube in my lighting fixture is only 24" long
-edit-
The hood and light reflector arent really attached to each other. You just plop the strip light ontop of the see through section of the hood. Is the double strip light the same size as a single tube strip light? (30" long)





that tank is beautiful by the way
I want a black sandy gravel but I can never find it!
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkxrose View Post
Er my tank is 30" long (20 gallon long)
but the tube in my lighting fixture is only 24" long
Okay well that changes everything, you definitely can buy double-tube fluorescent strip lights for a 30" tank. (The tubes are always shorter than the strip itself, that is normal...when you buy the strip, you buy it by the total length of your tank. If/when you need to buy the fluorescent tubes themselves, you by it by actual length of tube.)

If you can find a 30" hood with a double-fluorescent tube built in, go for it! Otherwise, you are "stuck" with a versa-top and something like this.

EDIT

The double-tube will be a little bit wider. Whether that would make it "too wide" to fit over the clear part in your current hood is not clear to me. If you have a really good LFS that might have a double-tube strip in stock, you could always go and measure its width and compare it to the size of the window in the top of your hood.

And thanks for the compliment on the tank...it is a work in progress (midway through a new aquascaping) and currently houses about a dozen Yellow Shrimp, one Crystal Red Shrimp (the lone survivor of a shipment gone bad...long story), and some blue ramshorn snails.

EDIT #2


A T5 system like thincat suggested is also a possibility, and a great one, if you can afford to spend the money on it. Though honestly, with a double fluorescent strip running you probably $55-60, then spending $99 on a simple T5 isn't really all that much more. And it would give you way more light; even a simple double-bulb T5 is going to be 48W of light. Worth considering if you can afford it!

EDIT #3

Wow, I just saw this fixture for a mere $49.95. Now the actinic bulb won't do anything for your plants, but if you could pull that bulb out and replace it with a second 10,000K standard T5 bulb, that would give you 36W. Nice amount of light for the money spent. This one for $99.95 gives you 48W designed for freshwater plant growth. Good stuff!
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:38 PM   #16
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Double Bulb Aqueon Striplights | PetSolutions
would this fit? It is by the same brand. I hope the width is the same!

Thanks by the way you guys are really helpful

edit:
I might reconsider now and get that 50 dollar one now
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:55 PM   #17
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Yes that seems to be the right size. Again, the width will be the question...but the length will be correct.

EDIT

And if you want black gravel/sand that is also great for plants, you should try to get:

Seachem Flourite Black (gravel sized)
Seachem Flourite Black Sand (sand sized, or close...kind of a large-grained sand size)

More expensive than inert sands, but nutrient-loaded and your plants will love you forever if you use it... You can check out Seachem's website for a description of what makes this stuff so special. All 3 of my planted tanks currently have the Flourite Black Sand as the substrate and I really like it. It's a pain for the first few days you put it in (generates a lot of cloudiness due to the fine clay particles) but it is a great substrate overall. Love it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:12 PM   #18
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I'm going to return the hood I guess, completely changed my mind .
I'll get the 30" aqualight t-5 double strip and a versa top instead because of the width issue. I'd only spend 20 bucks more.

I didn't want the versa top before because it would irritate me to see 2 strip lights on it, but it's only 1 strip light now with the double tube so its fine
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:56 PM   #19
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Great! Please let us know how it turns out once you get it.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:09 PM   #20
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Alright, I got my lighting fixture
But now I need to find another bulb to replace the acetic one right?
On the label it says f18 t5 bp and is 30" long (actually 28.1") so should I just search for this product found here:
Oceanic Systems | Products | 6,700K T5 Fluorescent Lamps
All 30" (not HO) t5s are 18 watts right?
*edit* found the light
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