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Old 02-11-2011, 01:21 AM   #1
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Advice on new light


I've had a 40 gallon freshwater tank (36" X 12") for about a year (mostly discus and cardinals), and I've recently decided to upgrade the lighting. I've been using the same lighting that came with the tank, but my plants are hardly growing/dying. I could use some advice about what kind of lights to get.

I am interested in buying a lighting system that has two different kinds of bulbs: one medium-strong bulb that will be on during the day, and another with a blacklight that I can switch on at night.

Can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced lighting system that matches my needs? I don't want or need top of the line, but just something that can help me expand the type of plants I can grow, and their rate.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 02-11-2011, 10:22 AM   #2
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About the blacklight. They are cool to look at, but do not use it long term. Folks that have blacklights on their system don't run them for more than a minute or two at a time. The strength of the UV in the light just isn't good for your system.

Instead, consider a system that has an LED moonlight effect built in if that's what you're trying to accomplish. Blue LEDs give a similar glowing effect without the adverse side-effects of the blacklights.

For a 36" tank, I'd recommend going to a 2x39W T5HO system. This will give you stronger lighting and should make your plants happy, and many of these systems have the moonlight LEDs built in as well.

Look at catalina aquariums, current, sunpod - these are all good namebrands.

In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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it's not going to be super cheap because you want to have independent lamps.if you don't mind that they come on and off at the same time, you can buy something like this-
Current USA Nova Extreme 2 Bulb T5 HO 10K/Freshwater

i can't seem to find a 2 lamp fixture that has 2 power cords, or even 2 switches. i think you are going to have to look at 4 lamp fixtures if you really want that versatility.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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Check out the Marineland LED fixtures. The double bright or reef model should support plants. The only drawback I see is you have to manually switch from day lights to moon lights.
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