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Old 02-04-2004, 03:30 PM   #1
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What kind of lighting should I get?

I have never had a hood on my fishtanks, just a top. Recently I set up my 30gal in my bedroom by the window (which doesn't give much light since I live in a basement) and in order to get a good view of my fishies at night, I have to turn on 3 60watt incandescent light bulbs and point it straight at my tank. In addition, I have a fluroescent light that is behind my tank and I leave that on all day. My bf offered to build me a hood for my tank to go with my stand. I think it would definitely be worthwhile to get some sort of lighting to go with it. I have no idea where to look for lighting though, should I go to HD or the LFS? Will a normal flourescent light bulb work? I want something that doesn't use a lot of energy but will still provide lots of light. I don't have any live plants (except for philodendrons in the back) but I might want to get some in the future. What do you guys use/recommend??

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Old 02-04-2004, 03:35 PM   #2
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Hi Cikadee (sounds like I'm in a Mae West movie)

Of course frequently you must start by asking what's in the tank. But I think as a general approach (regardless of whether it is planted or not) a compact flourescent is going to be a very good choice. I say this cuz compacts give off excellent spectrum for both plants and general viewing. But largely this is a personal opinion. If your BF is building this then check the retor-fit kits at this location:


Look at the 36" lengths - I think that is correct for your tank size. They have some very unique reflector backs in their retro kits that are definitely worth paying lose attention to.



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Old 02-04-2004, 05:52 PM   #3
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Is a compact fluorescent the same as regular flourescent? I'd prefer to not order anything online if I don't have to, people tend to steal large packages (and anything else you leave outside) in this college town... Can I get the same stuff at HD??
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Old 02-04-2004, 06:27 PM   #4
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No, CF is much more efficient, and the bulbs are entirely different (require different pin slots, but only plug in on one side). Look them up online (I gotta run). I think you'll find CFs to be wonderful if you're looking to start a planted tank, or if you're looking to conserve space. Otherwise, there's no reason to get them. With their added wattage (by length, they pack about 2.5X the wattage) they'll increase algae levels in the tank. Of course there are exceptions on different sized tanks...

I'd advise you to get a simple 36" strip light. It'll cost you about $30 at www.bigals.com (just guessing) and will be infinitely cheaper than buying at the LFS. Bigals is really a great store. I know you're reluctant about packages getting stolen, but figure out a way to get around it and you'll be saving yourself $20 on the hood, and more on anything else you're tempted to buy (believe me, this is easy when you see the prices).

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Old 02-04-2004, 07:55 PM   #5
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Ok, I am really stupid and I still don't know what to get! I went to bigalsonline.com and they have soooo many different flourescent type lights to choose from! Which one do I want?? Also, I would definitely like to have a planted tank someday, so maybe I will go the CF route. (and get a few more otos!) Is there anyway I can get everything I need from a lighting store or hardware store? (I'll order online if I can't...) What exactly do I need? A hood, the lightbulb, and... anything else? Also, if I do order online, where is the best place to get it for the best price? Big al's or AHsupply or something else? I don't think I have ever even seen a lighted aquarium hood in person, so I am totally clueless. Sorry to be such a dummy!
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:18 PM   #6
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If you are going to do a planted tank you should look into the CF kits that have stands. you can find them at most LFS's. They are pricey, you'll be able to plant your tank with them though. There's a nice fish store in the mini mall on w stadium. you may also want to check the fish store in salene they have pretty good prices on the stuff in there. you wouldn't even have to make the hood if you used one of these kits.


something like that would be nice but maybe not as strong.

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light, lighting

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