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Old 03-10-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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Question Lighting for a double hooded 55g tank

Hi All!
Well, I am finally doing it...upgrading to a 55 gallon tank. When I first found Aquarium Advice I had a betta in a two gallon tank. That has progressed to three ten gallon tanks, two five gallon tanks, one 29 gallon tank, and currently a 5 gallon snail tank. This 55g tank is a birthday present from my husband and if I might add...I got a fantastic deal on it on craigslist and I pick it up Thursday evening. I am so excited! It is a 55 gallon tank with stand and accessories. I got it for $150.00. Anyway, it has a double hood on it and I need to know what lighting (picture examples please, lol) I will need to grow plants in (mainly medium light plants). I want to have enough to have happy plants, but not so much that disturb the fish. TIA! :p
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:44 AM   #2
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there are a lot of variables involved but I would say roughly 3 watts per gallon will do the trick.

Current USA Satellite 48" 2 x 65 Watt Power Compact-Single Strip W/2 Lunar Lights at Big Al's Online

This light would be slightly higher than that giving you very roughly medium to medium high light. I personally have had good success with this brand.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:58 AM   #3
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PC would be the most economical option. A lot of people (me included ) really like t5ho lighting, but it gets a little more expensive.

http://www.bigalsonline.com/edealinv...0&ctl_nbr=3684

You could use this fixture and one of your existing fixtures to add a little bit of extra wattage, and that would get you around medium light. (what fixtures did it come with?)


My guess is you will probably want to ditch the current lid/hood setup on the tank, and just get an all glass top. This way you can just put your new fixture up on top of the tank.

There is also the option to get a retrofit kit and install some different lighting in the hoods you already have. That will require some electrical skill (not too much). Really for the price though, it would be tough to beat the fixture linked by swerner.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the visual examples! That always helps me more. I guess since I got such a good deal on my tank, investing in new lights won't be too bad.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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I'm planning on replacing my black plastic hoods with glass tops so I can use my existing lights and then add another light bar to get the watts I need for plants... Just my plan.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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I hope this does'nt count as threat hijaking. If it does, please let me know and I'll be more careful in the future .
What is the function/advantage of the afore mentioned LED or Lunar lights? I keep seeing them mentioned but haven't found an explanation yet.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Squid View Post
What is the function/advantage of the afore mentioned LED or Lunar lights?
Nothing practical. They just look cool at night.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:09 AM   #8
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The hoods that came with my 55g are strip lights. I am struggling to figure out appropriate lighting to get. I know I need 1-3 watts per gallon, but all the lighting I am finding doesn't seem to come close to what I need for plant growth. Here is an exampe:
AQUA-GLO Fluorescent Bulbs by Hagen - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart

Can someone tell me if two of these bulbs (18") will work???
TIA!
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
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The 18" bulbs are only 15W. 2 of them puts you at 0.54 WPG. That is not any where near the medium light you are looking for. To get to medium light over a 55g tank, you will most likely have to upgrade the fixture. Just buying bulbs isn't going to get you close. Medium light on a 55G tank is going to be 2-3 WPG
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:16 PM   #10
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Lots of people are growing plants with a shop light fixture with 2 tubes either T8 (preferable) or T12s. There are lots of plants that will grow well with that amount of light and without CO2. Tubes run around $4 or less. For appearance sake it needs to go into a hood which may or may not be an option for you. Some people mount the fixture inside a piece of vinyl eavestrough (white) and paint the outside an appropriate colour (cost around $10). I bought some fixtures with electronic ballasts for $15.
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