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Old 09-03-2012, 03:09 AM   #1
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T5 HO Lighting Question

Here goes ... first post .. newb apologies in advance.

I am attempting to put together a 55g planted freshwater aquarium. I am trying to fit a lighting solution within a canopy (the one Petco will sell you with a 55g tank and stand). The canopy is necessary because our cats like to sleep on top of other tanks in the house and have broken the glass tops on my wife's 29g quarantine tank! The inner dimensions of the canopy are 48.25" L x 4" H.

My first urge was for T5 HO and I bought a ZooMed Aquasun 48" fixture. The main problem is the fixture is >48" and the mounting mechanism adds even more length making it impossible to get the canopy on.

My second urge was for relatively inexpensive LED lighting. Of course, being a newb, the Ecoxotic Stunners seemed really shinytastical but after reading several posts on the forums I have concluded that they are a good addition to existing lighting but not good for supporting photosynthetic life alone. All other LED options seem waaay out of a beginners price range.

So ... now the main question: To all of those with T5 HO lighting kits ... could you please measure your fixtures and report the dimensions (including mounting mechanism)? I am particularly interested in the AquaticLife fixture (part # 420145) and the Nova Extreme (part # 1129) as they look like they might fit. Unfortunately the manufacturers don't always list the dimensions as they most critically apply to how the kit is installed ...

Thanks!! --Jon
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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Could you just rest the light on top of the glass tops. Maybe a spacer in a few places to keep it off the glass an inch or so.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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That's a good point, depending on the design of the fixture there might be a place to do that while still giving some clearance between the lights and the glass tops. In the mean time, I purchased the Solarmax HO 48" 2 bulb fixture at my lfs. I've almost only read bad reviews about them but a store employee measured one out of the box at just shy of 48". The short story is that it fits like a glove, however out of the box there is a defective moonlight LED along with the fact that the entire fixture runs off one power cord (although there is a youtube mod video to fix that). The Aquaticlife retrofit kits are looking very appealing at the moment.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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if I remember right 2 10 gal hoods will fit a 55
haven't had a 55 in long time but do remember using 2 smaller hoods as long as the center brace wasn't removed
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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My old fixture was exactly 48". I removed the mounting legs/brackets and added a strip of 1x2 wood on each side of my canopy and then rested the lights on top of that. It was a tight fit but worked well.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the ideas! I ended up purchasing the Nova Extreme HO dual lamp fixture at thatpetplace/thatfishplace. Even with the mounting legs, the fixture fits lengthwise, but was too tall to fit under the canopy. At home depot, I purchased a length of thin strip molding that I cut and then used double-sided tape to fix to the bottom of the canopy supports to create additional clearance. The fixture now fits perfectly!
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabliggah View Post
Thanks for all the ideas! I ended up purchasing the Nova Extreme HO dual lamp fixture at thatpetplace/thatfishplace. Even with the mounting legs, the fixture fits lengthwise, but was too tall to fit under the canopy. At home depot, I purchased a length of thin strip molding that I cut and then used double-sided tape to fix to the bottom of the canopy supports to create additional clearance. The fixture now fits perfectly!
I do believe pictures are in order! :P
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #8
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I do believe pictures are in order! :P
So the first shot shows one of the five spacers I used to lift up the canopy. The second shows the tank lit with the Nova Extreme HO 2 lamp fixture with one 12000K lamp (provided with the fixture) and one ZooMed Flora SunMax bulb (to replace the actinic provided with the fixture).

Now to find a way to fix the background that is slowly peeling off from the top. Not sure I can recommend the Marina Clear View background "adhesive."
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:42 PM   #9
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if I remember right 2 10 gal hoods will fit a 55
haven't had a 55 in long time but do remember using 2 smaller hoods as long as the center brace wasn't removed
10 gallon hoods are 20" wide and are too narrow depth wise too.

You may be thinking hoods from a 20H, which are approx 24", and will fit 55s with center braces as direct replacements.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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These would fit on the outside of the tank rim, so no interference with the hoods you choose.

Aquarium Lighting T5 Fluorescent Light Fixture: AquaticLife T5 HO Dual Lamp Light Fixtures

BUT, in my opinion, no full plastic hood will be good for lighting with a T5 fixture above it because the glass windows in the plastic hoods are so small.

Edit: Duurrrr, sorry, didn't see you already bought something. Enjoy!
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