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Old 05-21-2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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Upgrade Lighting Recommendations

I have a 55-gallon glass aquarium. It's the PetCo brand tank. I think they carry All Glass Aquariums. I have to two lids and the default 15-watt flourescents that comes with the tank. The tank is 48" wide in total. I think the hoods are each 20" in length. I'll have to verify that. Is there anything that will fit onto these lids or am I looking for a completely lid overhaul? I'm not opposed to new lids as I stepped one of my lids during a water change and now it has no hinge and is just a cover.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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if you are planing on plants i would look into glass-tops and 48" power compact lights...like THIS
that should give you a nice amount of light over a 55, no need for CO2, but some ferts. you should be able to grow most low-medium light plants
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. would it be better to go with two lights or one if my lids are separate already?
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
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I'd just go with the one 4ft fixture. 2 fixtures like that one JDogg linked to (but in 24") wouldn't fit with the legs and I would not lay them on glass tops (might crack).....so get the 4ft.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustOneMore20
get the 4ft.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #6
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I have that tank and did a retrofit with the 2x55watt ahsupply.com bright kit. Works well, looks stock, and grows medium light stuff fine.

Really an easy project. Just remove the existing light, ballast, etc. from each side then install the new reflector, light and wiring.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:52 PM   #7
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Okay, so one long one. How does this fit over what I currently have? The hoods I have are like this. The light fixtures are held on by fitting over the raised plastic molds on the lids. The picture that JDogg linked to looks flat. Can anyone confirm this and explain how this sits on top of my lids? I would like it to sit flush with my lids so light doesn't leak out between the tank and the light fixture. Is this possible with any fixtures out there.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:57 PM   #8
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Only way you keep the funky AGA lids is my option. All other setups mean a glass lid like a versa-top or open top.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:17 PM   #9
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I don't want to do anything myself. I'm totally incompetent when it comes to anything remotely do it yourself. I actually wouldn't mind new lids, as I mentioned I broke the plastic bracket on one of my lids. As long as I'm shelling out the cash for the new lighting, maybe new lights are the way to go. Is this what I am looking into here?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113765

Thanks for the replies thus far.

Edit: Wait, how do tubes and stuff go into the tank if you have a glass cover?
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:45 PM   #10
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The glass cover covers about 80% of the tank. It has an opening across the back.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:38 PM   #11
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The backstrip on a glass canopy is actually plastic, so that you can cut openings for the tubing etc.
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:42 PM   #12
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Does each lighting setup use a different bulb? For instance, what is the difference between these two setups?

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...pactlight2x65w
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...pw2lunarlights

Also, when it says 2 x 65 Watt, does that just mean it's 130 watts total?
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:02 PM   #13
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The difference is that the Coralife fixture comes with a Daylight Bulb and no Lunar Light while the Current Fixture comes with a 50/50 Bulb and has a Lunar Light. In addition one uses straight pin bulbs while the other uses square pin bulbs, which isn't really that big of a deal just something to be aware of. You can replace the stock bulbs that come with the fixture with any available color combination you prefer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theotheragentm
Also, when it says 2 x 65 Watt, does that just mean it's 130 watts total?
That means that it has two 65 watt bulbs which would give you a total of 130 watts combined.
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:05 PM   #14
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Hmmm, if I have Amazon Swords in my 55-gallon tank and not much else, would that be overkill on my tank? I'm currently running under 1 WPG with standard flourescents plus whatever comes in through the window.

Edit: I was thinking of going with these. They're a bit more expensive, but I think they'll fit on my current tank covers. They look like they are standard bulbs.
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:26 AM   #15
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1) If those are PCs and you put them on your covers, they'll crack them.

2) Trust me on this - you're going to want more than swords and other low light plants. Maybe not today, but eventually, you're going to see some glorious Rotala indica or Alternanthera reineckii growing behind a carpet of HC or riccia and you'll want to do that too.

AH supply sells fully assembled canopies in addition to kits. If you have a friend w/ a drill, pliers and a screw driver, offer them dinner or some beer or something after you get your kit & canopy. You'll be glad you did. The only thing I'd go elsewhere for is the bulbs.

If you go PC, AHsupply reflectors can't be beat. 2x55W 6700K PCs or, if you want to grow really demanding plants, 2x 96W in a canopy would be good.

If you decide to go T5, Tek makes some of the best reflectors. 2 or 3 40W HO T5s should cover a 55 nicely.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:39 AM   #16
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I can second the AH supply kits, I had my BF assemble them (I'm not really handy either) but after watching him I realized that I could have done it myself. The reflectors are really nice. Mine are in a canopy but I think it would be simple to put them in a hood, too.

Your swords will like 2 wpg, and that does open up a few more plant options without having to upgrade again.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squawkbert
1) If those are PCs and you put them on your covers, they'll crack them.

2) Trust me on this - you're going to want more than swords and other low light plants. Maybe not today, but eventually, you're going to see some glorious Rotala indica or Alternanthera reineckii growing behind a carpet of HC or riccia and you'll want to do that too.

AH supply sells fully assembled canopies in addition to kits. If you have a friend w/ a drill, pliers and a screw driver, offer them dinner or some beer or something after you get your kit & canopy. You'll be glad you did. The only thing I'd go elsewhere for is the bulbs.

If you go PC, AHsupply reflectors can't be beat. 2x55W 6700K PCs or, if you want to grow really demanding plants, 2x 96W in a canopy would be good.

If you decide to go T5, Tek makes some of the best reflectors. 2 or 3 40W HO T5s should cover a 55 nicely.
Maybe I'll offer the beer AFTER the drilling is done. Which kit are you recommending? Since I have two 24" hoods, should I be looking at two 1x55s?
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:17 PM   #18
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Nah, buy the 2x55.

Good planning allows you to keep both on/off switches and have the ballast located in your stand.
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoovercat
Nah, buy the 2x55.

Good planning allows you to keep both on/off switches and have the ballast located in your stand.
Wouldn't a 48" 2x55 put me at 3.5 WPG according to this?
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Old 05-24-2007, 08:23 PM   #20
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If you check the article you'll find the refined numbers are much lower than initially listed in that thread. The more conservative estimates would put you closer to an equivalent of 2.7WPG.
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