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Old 05-24-2005, 03:21 PM   #1
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Yet another lighting thread *Amazing!*

I know, lighting has really been beaten to death in the General Discussion forum lately. But it made me really want to upgrade my current lighting on my 150 gal. It doesn't have plants, so that's not an issue. The stock lighting is what I am using and it just isn't bright enough. The fish colors really don't stand out as much. To try and combat this I put the lights from my 55 gal on the tank behind the light strip that came with the tank. It has helped, but still doesn't seem bright enough. The tank is 31 inches tall, so I'm sure that adds to it. plus, the light strip only has 1 48" bulb in it. It doesnt have the option to add another.

My question is, what is the best lighting to use? I would like to keep the current light strip (not sure what it's technical name is), but just get a better bulb. In the future I plan to upgrade the whole thing. Also, what is the wattage that I should have? I know that 2 Watts per gal is pretty standard with planted tanks, should I be looking for a 300 Watt bulb? I didn't find any at www.bigalsonline.com and didn't know if they even made bulbs that big. Please, HELP.

The Acei's had VERY nice distinguishable color at the lfs. Then I brought them home and you can't really tell that they are a bright deep purple. They look kind of blackish beacuse of the poor lighting. I am going this evening to 3 different new lfs and would like to know what to look for. Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2005, 04:23 PM   #2
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Your fixture is limited in that whatever bulb fits it has a fixed wattage, so you can't really get a higher wattage bulb and keep the fixture.

You might check out the DIY section and see how folks have retrofitted fixtures for a tank that size, since commercial lighting for this tank will be somewhat expensive to get yourself up to 2wpg.

I can tell you from experience that actinic light will light up your blue/purple fish just great. I have one tank with actinic and one without, and when I moved my borleyi cichlid into the tank with actinic light (female, pretty much black with red fins) I discovered she was actually a very deep shimmering purple. It was a remarkable difference. Many cichlid keepers use actinic lighting in their setups to highlight the colors.

Let me also say that with more light often comes algae, so be prepared for that.
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Old 05-24-2005, 04:47 PM   #3
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I am not concerned with the algae. There are currently 2 Pleco's in there and a third will be added once it is out of QT, which will be this weekend. We've never had a problem with it before. Plus, I don't mind cleaning up a little algae if it will make the fish look better.

The actinic lighting, is that just a bulb or will that be a whole new light strip? I'm not farmilair with lighting since it was never an issue before. Our main issue is that the tank is so deep and tall that the little strip just doesn't put off enough light. It is 31 Tall, 48 Wide, and 24 deep. The light strip being maybe 5 to 6 inches big. I know that eventually we will have to buy a whole new light setup, but I'm looking for a temporary fix. It is just so darn expensive to try and find a lighting set to fit the tank that will look good.

AUGH. I knew that the 150 gal price was too good to be true. I still can't find a backing for it.
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:17 PM   #4
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The bulb that is currently on the tank says Eclipse Natural Daylight F40T10. Please tell me that that doesn't mean 40 Watts.
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:40 PM   #5
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I have that same brand bulb in my tank FF. I just ordered the corallife 50/50 bulbs from thatfishplace, they should fit in the same hood but just provide better color for your fish. But you can't really go up in wattage without a new hood. Without plants though you don't really have to. If you are just concerned with better color for your fish (like I was), I would get the same bulb.
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:55 PM   #6
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My main concern is the better coloration of the fish. I mean, we invested so much in this tank and fish. I bought fish that have naturally bright beautiful coloration. But the lighting just doesn't do them justice. The tank is the centerpiece in the living room and everyone always stares at it when they come into the house and you can't really tell that we have 2 different types of Acei's (2 regular, 2 Tanz Black). They both look black with yellow fins.

I looked at the 50/50 Coralife Bulbs, but wasn't sure if that would be enough. Basically I should go with the highest Wattage that I can find in the 50/50 for a 48" strip? Or is that something like TG said and just can't be changed? If it can't be changed, how do I find out what the wattage is on my lights?

Also, I noticed that some have a Reflector and some don't. Is one better than the other?
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM   #7
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I'll let you know when mine come on the 26th, but I'm expecting a good improvement, and it only costs $40 total for the two bulbs and shipping. The bulbs we have right now in our tanks are pretty cheap, and I've heard nothing but good things about the coral-lifes.
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:24 PM   #8
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FF - Does your light strip have a reflector? If so, the 50/50 lighting would work for you. You can get the same type of bulbs (though I haven't heard of T-10's, usually they are T-5, T-8 or T-12).

Here's a nice link regarding the various types of lights, what they are and what they do"

http://www.aquarium-lighting-guide.c...lighting_guide
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:01 PM   #9
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FF- Make sure you get the bulbs WITH reflectors.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:04 PM   #10
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Reflectors are in the fixture itself, unless I am misunderstanding, so you need to know if your bulbs are standard fluorescent (if so, what size) or are they compact fluorescent (if so, what pin configuration). You can go to AHSupply.com and get their advice on lighting for your setup. Just call them, tell them your situation and they will help you, trust me. These guys know aquarium lighting, and it is not expensive - you just need to be a bit handy. They have superior reflectors, IMO.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:24 PM   #11
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Tank Girl, they make bulbs with reflectors (180 deg of light) (http://www.thatpetplace.com/Products.../Itemdy00.aspx) and ones without (360 deg of light) (http://thatpetplace.com/Products/KW/.../Itemdy00.aspx)

It seems like FF has the same fixture as me, just bigger, so she wants the one WITH reflector. Its confusing, I just had to call customer service and talk with them and eventually change my order.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:38 PM   #12
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I know absolutely nothing about lighting. How can you tell the difference between standard flourescent and compact flourescent? The bulb has two prongs and the only thing written on the bulb is: Eclipse Natural Daylight F40T10. Does this mean that the bulb is only a 40 Watt Bulb? I have no clue how to tell what the Watts are. If it really does mean 40 Watts, that seems like a LOW wattage to me. That's like 1 Watt per 4 gal (estimated).

Regarding the reflectors, the website had bulbs with reflectors and bulbs without reflectors. The ones with reflectors said it had a 360 light range and the ones without said 180. I have no clue what this means. Can someone break it down for me?
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:40 PM   #13
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I just posted that post without reading yours TS, had no clue there was a second page. Sorry for the redundency of info.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:43 PM   #14
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FF - Did you check the link I gave? Most of your questions can be found there. When it comes to lights, the reflectors "move" the light that is shining upwards, back down around the surface and into the tank.

Without it, a lot of the light would be dissipated into the air in all directions. The reflector tightens that up.

F40 is a 40w bulb. Though, I have not heard of that width.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:47 PM   #15
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I clicked on the link JC, but didn't find anything about T10 lights. And I do have the Flourescent lighting. I am assuming that since there is currently a T10 light in the tank, that it can only be replaced with a T10 bulb, right? Maybe I should take the bulb with me and compare. Although, I might look a little funny.

I think I'll be getting the reflector bulbs.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:55 PM   #16
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Since the T10 bulbs don't seem to be very common, will I be having problems finding them?

I found them online, but would rather buy them at a store for shipping purposes (knowing my shipping luck I'll get them broken) and because I will be going tomorrow anyways.

A Malawi specialty fish store in STL called me today and they just got a shipment of exotic wild caught Malawi's in two weeks ago and they will be coming out of QT tomorrow evening for sale to the public. Oooh I am sooooo excited. The guy said that they have some that even he has never seen before. Maybe I'll find one that is VERY rare that will be a nice addition to the tank.

AND, we really need to get a new pleco. The clown died this morning. I'm assuming because of the cycling. Augh. I didn't even THINK about him not being able to make it through the cycle (long story on why its recycling).
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:57 PM   #17
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Eclipse light strip right FF...lemme do some checking.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:59 PM   #18
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That's what's weird though. It's not an eclipse tank. But I guess they sell lighting strips for other tanks also? Or maybe the same company made the tank but sell it under a different brand? I forget what the tank brand is. I got it from PetsMart.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:02 PM   #19
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Just found that out...check the label on the back of the light strip.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:15 PM   #20
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My tank was a Ton Fin and the hood is made by All-Glass and the bulbs are Eclipse too. They must make cheapo bulbs for kits. Mine are F15T8 if it helps.
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