55g duo 18" lighting questions

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Ewing

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Hello everyone, I've been quietly reading on this forum while I started up my new 55 gallon planted tank. I have been in the hobby for around ten years now and I know a good deal about marine setups, so a freshwater planted tank is new to me. In some ways it can be a bit more tricky .

First off here is what I have to work with:
- 55 gallon tank with the stock twin hood (18'')
- Bio wheel 330 with crushed coral media to raise pH a bit.
- Unknown brand (Made in Italy) sponge/carbon sandwich filter rated at 75g.
- Right now just running two 10,000k (I know, not so good)
- DIY CO2 with the Hagen minI diffuser.

Plants: trying to shoot for mid-low light with one or two exceptions
- three Java fern
- two swords, three red melon sword hybrids
- a few Vals
- a few Wendtii

To get to the question, what would be a good 18" bulb that would fit my current hoods? I do not want to retrofit or get a different fixture if possible.


Yes, the aquarium is fully cycled and running good numbers. pH just below 7
 

Aquarist

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Hello Ewing and Welcome to Fish Lore!

Hopefully some of our lighting experts will help you out before long. Hang in there!

I hope you enjoy the site.

Ken
 

mathas

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Ewing said:
- Right now just running two 10,000k (I know, not so good)
10000K can be fine, I wouldn't sweat that part too much.

Ewing said:
Plants: trying to shoot for mid-low light with one or two exceptions
- three Java fern
- two swords, three red melon sword hybrids
- a few Vals
- a few Wendtii

To get to the question, what would be a good 18" bulb that would fit my current hoods? I do not want to retrofit or get a different fixture if possible.
Unfortunately, as we told Kellibear earlier today (), you aren't going to find a more power-hungry bulb in that particular size. Fluorescent bulbs are only manufactured in specific length/wattage combinations, and for standard T8 18" bulb, that's 15W.

I know you said you don't want to upgrade or retrofit, but you're going to have to either do one of them or accept that you're limited to very low-light plants.
 
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Ewing

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mathas said:
10000K can be fine, I wouldn't sweat that part too much.


Unfortunately, as we told Kellibear earlier today (), you aren't going to find a more power-hungry bulb in that particular size. Fluorescent bulbs are only manufactured in specific length/wattage combinations, and for standard T8 18" bulb, that's 15W.

I know you said you don't want to upgrade or retrofit, but you're going to have to either do one of them or accept that you're limited to very low-light plants.
Ok, that's what I was assuming. I may do some research and talk myself into an upgrade. Thank you for your help


aquarist48 said:
Hello Ewing and Welcome to Fish Lore!

Hopefully some of our lighting experts will help you out before long. Hang in there!

I hope you enjoy the site.

Ken
I already enjoy just browsing, thank ;D
 

Nutter

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I agree 100% with Mathas. Your 10,000k tubes should be fine for plants though I would probably switch one of them for a Sylvania Gro-Lux tube the next time your due to replace one. You need to replace tubes every 6-12months with planted tanks. Try not to replace both tubes at the same time. I also agree that you will need to limit your plant selection to plants that can tolerate extremely low light conditions. The Swords & Vallis probably won't do very well under the lighting you have currently. The Vallis might go ok if you have it planted directly under the light but otherwise it will probably die off slowly. I would stick with Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubius, some Cryptocoryne species, Pellia, African Water Fern & you might get away with some Anacharis to. With the amount of light you currently have there is little need for co2 but you might want to keep it running so that your water parameters don't suddenly change on you. There's no real need for co2 until you get to at least 1.5wpg. You currently only have 0.54wpg.
 
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Nutter said:
I agree 100% with Mathas. Your 10,000k tubes should be fine for plants though I would probably switch one of them for a Sylvania Gro-Lux tube the next time your due to replace one. You need to replace tubes every 6-12months with planted tanks. Try not to replace both tubes at the same time. I also agree that you will need to limit your plant selection to plants that can tolerate extremely low light conditions. The Swords & Vallis probably won't do very well under the lighting you have currently. The Vallis might go ok if you have it planted directly under the light but otherwise it will probably die off slowly. I would stick with Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubius, some Cryptocoryne species, Pellia, African Water Fern & you might get away with some Anacharis to. With the amount of light you currently have there is little need for co2 but you might want to keep it running so that your water parameters don't suddenly change on you. There's no real need for co2 until you get to at least 1.5wpg. You currently only have 0.54wpg.
If I choose to go with a hanging fixture, what size/bulbs can you recommend? Once again, selfish it may be, but I don'w want to spend a fortune just to help two of my plants thrive. Thanks in advance.

Would this be a step in the right direction for a retrofit?
http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/T5_Adaptor_Retrofit_T8_T10_T12__101306468.html
 

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There are an awful lot of hanging fixtures out there so I'm afraid you would need to give me some specifics before I can comment on whether they would be good for you or not. hanging fixtures can be anything from a 36w standard fluoro fixture right through to 1000w Metal Halide fixture with lots of different stuff in between.

I have very limited experience with retrofit kits so I can't comment on it too much but it does look like a step in the right direction. I see AH Supply retrofit kits recommended quite a lot so perhaps it's worth checking them out to see if they have something that would suit you. Otherwise there are the options I mentioned in your thread in the Members Tanks section.

Hopefully Mathas will see this & be able to provide more into for you. His advice is gold when it comes to the more technical side of lighting.
 

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I just bought a Coralife 65w power compact single bulb fixture for about $75 shipped from marineandreef.com. It goes on top of a glass cover. I'm gonna guess that a 55 gallon is 48" long so the right fixture for that is $114.xx and with shipping it'd probably be around $125 (). Then you'd have 130w which works out to 2.36wpg. So you'd be able to grow all but the highest light plants. So don't worry too much about price if that's what's stopping you from upgrading (yes I am an enabler ).

-Lisa
 

mathas

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Nutter said:
There are an awful lot of hanging fixtures out there so I'm afraid you would need to give me some specifics before I can comment on whether they would be good for you or not.
I'm with Nutter on this part, we absolutely need more information. Hanging a light above the tank complicates matters even further, and lighting isn't a simple topic to begin within.

Nutter said:
I see AH Supply retrofit kits recommended quite a lot so perhaps it's worth checking them out to see if they have something that would suit you.
AHSupply kits are great. I would expect that most 55 gallon fixtures could support a 2x55W retrofit, but even a 2x36W kit would offer a marked improvement over T8 bulbs.
 
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Ewing

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mathas said:
I'm with Nutter on this part, we absolutely need more information. Hanging a light above the tank complicates matters even further, and lighting isn't a simple topic to begin within.


AHSupply kits are great. I would expect that most 55 gallon fixtures could support a 2x55W retrofit, but even a 2x36W kit would offer a marked improvement over T8 bulbs.
I am reading up on what will be best for what I'm looking for as we speak. What info do you guys need?
 
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Ewing

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mathas said:
I'm with Nutter on this part, we absolutely need more information. Hanging a light above the tank complicates matters even further, and lighting isn't a simple topic to begin within.


AHSupply kits are great. I would expect that most 55 gallon fixtures could support a 2x55W retrofit, but even a 2x36W kit would offer a marked improvement over T8 bulbs.
I am reading up on what will be best for what I'm looking for as we speak. What info do you guys need?

Also while I'm looking at it, what kit would be best for my two 18" canopy housings on AHsupply? I see the 4 x 55w kit. Is this the one you were suggesting?
 

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Ewing said:
I am reading up on what will be best for what I'm looking for as we speak. What info do you guys need?
If you're looking at hanging lights above the tank, we'd need to know, at minimum, what type of lighting (fluorescent, metal halide, etc.) you're looking at. It would also be nice to know what shape the reflectors are, and how far above the tank the fixture(s) would be hung.

Ewing said:
Also while I'm looking at it, what kit would be best for my two 18" canopy housings on AHsupply? I see the 4 x 55w kit. Is this the one you were suggesting?
If your current light housings are 18", then you'd want to look at the 2x36W kit. The reflectors in the 55W kits would be too long to retrofit into your existing enclosures.
 
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mathas said:
If you're looking at hanging lights above the tank, we'd need to know, at minimum, what type of lighting (fluorescent, metal halide, etc.) you're looking at. It would also be nice to know what shape the reflectors are, and how far above the tank the fixture(s) would be hung.


If your current light housings are 18", then you'd want to look at the 2x36W kit. The reflectors in the 55W kits would be too long to retrofit into your existing enclosures.
Its hard to tell from the site. Would I need two separate 2x36 kits? One for each canopy?
 

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Ewing said:
Its hard to tell from the site. Would I need two separate 2x36 kits? One for each canopy?
No, assuming your current fixture houses two bulbs.

The "2" in 2x36W indicates that you get two reflectors and two endcaps, one for each of your current housings.

edit: if you choose to go the AHSupply route and have specific questions, please email them first. Kim's customer service is excellent, and I'm certain he would be more than happy to help you order the correct product.
 
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mathas said:
No, assuming your current fixture houses two bulbs.

The "2" in 2x36W indicates that you get two reflectors and two endcaps, one for each of your current housings.

edit: if you choose to go the AHSupply route and have specific questions, please email them first. Kim's customer service is excellent, and I'm certain he would be more than happy to help you order the correct product.
Thanks, just shot them an email.
 
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