Need help upgrading lighting! 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by AmyGSmith, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. AmyGSmithNew MemberMember

    I have a heavily planted 10 gallon (java ferns, anubias nana, anubias diamond, temple plant, water sprite & red melon sword) and would like to upgrade my 15 watt single bulb to something with more wattage, but don't have too much money to spend. Should I add another light strip to the one I have (on top of a glass canopy) for a total of 2 strip lights or is there an easier (yet inexpensive) solution? One of my main concerns is to not create too much heat from the lighting as I have fish to be concerned with as well. Any suggestions?
  2. thequietman44Valued MemberMember

    My 10g came with a dual socket incandescent hood with two 15W bulbs. It's a cold water tank for my crayfish so no heater, but the water temperature is about 3ºF warmer than room temperature (68ºF). Some of that heat may be from the filter, but I suspect if you had two 15W bulbs you'd be looking at enough heat to raise the temp about 6ºF. If it's a tropical tank anyway, it might just make your heater work a bit less, but if the room temperature gets high enough it could cause issues. In that case you would probably want to go with a fluorescent hood, or maybe just a glass top with fluorescent lighting above.

    I have a heavily planted 5g with just a 15W incandescent and my amazon swords are growing out of control, so I would think a dual 15W or 15-20W fluorescent strip would work.
  3. AmyGSmithNew MemberMember

    As things are right now, with (1) 15 watt bulb the temperature only rises about 1 degree during the day. I'm not sure if that would simply double with (2) 15 watts or more. Has anyone else used 2 strip lights back to back? Does it even work very well?

    I'm not sure where to find the hood with dual 15 watt sockets. Do you happen to know the brand or where you found yours? Thanks for the reply by the way! Much appreciated! :)
  4. thequietman44Valued MemberMember

    I got my hood at Petsmart on sale for $12. I've seen the same thing bundled with their 10g aquariums, though I can't remember the brand (All-Glass? Top Fin?). I personally like the feel of incandescent light better than fluorescent, though fluorescent is really your only option for large aquariums.

    If you get a glass lid for the aquarium you can put whatever lighting you want above it. A friend of mine has glass lids on all his tanks with cheap fluorescent strip lights from Walmart suspended above them. Not too pretty, but effective.
  5. Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    you could look in to CFL lighting at your LFS should give you more of the right light for your tank at the same wattage..Perfecto also makes a dual fluorescent strip light you can ask them about.. just a thought
    and BTW Welcome to Fishlore!!!!:;hi2
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  6. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    There are plenty of dual fixtures available if you have a glass lid & don't mind removing the existing hood. CFL or flourescent tubes would be your best option IMO. Avoid incandescent lighting at all costs. They are useless for planted tanks as well as being inefficient & producing lots of heat.
  7. AmyGSmithNew MemberMember

    I wound up finding one of the dual compact flourescent lights at Wal-Mart for a reasonable price and picked up 2 (20 watt) floureascents to go in it! 40 watts for a 10 gallon - that should help! It's hard to find 20" dual bulb models. 24" is no problem, but no 20" that I could find. Anyway, problem solved (I hope)! Thanks for all the advice!

  8. AlcmillerValued MemberMember

    Hey AmyGSmith, I'm actually in a similar boat, I'm trying to find a cost effective way to improve a 1.5 w/g to possibly 2, 3, or even 4 w/g.

    What model did you get?
  9. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    the walmart here has fluorescent bulbs that fit in place of the standard incandescent bulbs on the hood, I bought 2 of them yesterday (1 was broken, returned with no problem), but the one that does work is a fantastic upgrade. one of the privately owned LFS here told me that my only option to get better lighting like what they have in their store is to buy a new hood @ $30, and I said no since I only paid ~$40 for the whole aquarium kit (10g). The bulbs at walmart were about $5.50 each. Take care!
  10. NejiValued MemberMember

    15 watts incandescent? or 15 watts in fluorescent lighting? I hear that people say that fluorescent lights don't produce a lot of heat unlike the incandescent lights.
  11. AmyGSmithNew MemberMember

    Alcmiller: I'm sorry! I don't remember the brand, but it looks like all Wal-Mart stores seem to have them. It cost approximately $20 and is the complete hood. My only complaint with it is the little access door on top instead of the more convenient one that goes across the entire front. I now have to remove the entire hood each time I need to put a fresh piece of zucchini in for my otos or do a quick gravel vacuum (always where the zucchini pieces were).

    Anyway, the great thing I found is that since you can fit 2 bulbs in this particular hood (each socket can hold a 15 to 25 watt flourescent bulb) - you can get 2 of the Coralife Mini Compact Colormax Flourescent bulbs that are 20 watts each for a total of 40 watts! I found mine at the following website: . I originally got the 10 watt version of the same bulb and found them to be pretty dim. The flipside is that the 20 watt is BRIGHT! In fact, I have to be careful when I do maintenance during the day and turn off the lights as when I turn them back on (even with adding more lights around the room so I can see what I'm doing) I've inadvertently scared one of my otos more than once. By the way, I was afraid that with that much more wattage it might raise the temperature more than I cared for, but it's not been more than about 2 degrees.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  12. strikerValued MemberMember

    I have a incandescent light fixture for my 10 gallon and what I did was go to home depot and buy some 14Watt spiral daylight compact flourescent and I was amazed what a change.
    Here is the link for the lights:
  13. NejiValued MemberMember

    Oh nice :) Is it really bright?
  14. strikerValued MemberMember

    Yes I saw a huge difference. My fish got scared because the light was really bright.
  15. NejiValued MemberMember

    Oh I see. Have you considered putting live plants into the tank? The light usually hits the leaves and then there is some light that goes down to the gravel and the fish don't mind a little bit of light :) I finally bought a good compact fluorescent bulb that is the Coralife 50/50 20watt 8" 10,000k daylight bulb :) It's got more of a blue tint on it rather than the super bright white lights the T5's give off. So now my tank small 10 gallon tank now has 40 watts of light in it :) You should try them when your 14 watts bulb needs to be changed :)
  16. strikerValued MemberMember

    Yes I will give them a check at my LPS.
    Yes I do have a live plant. It is a Aponogeton plant. Right now it is sprouting roots like crazy but the leaves are small. Every night my fish nibbles on it but it grows more than it gets eaten. When I had the incandescent the bulb sprouted but never grew roots and also my fish always ate the whole plant down to the bulb. I had 5 bulbs but only 3 sprouted. Now only 1 seems to be growing at a very fast rate. 2 bulbs didn't sprout and I'm shipping them back for replacements to the manufacturer.
    I heard those coralife bulbs make your tank very bright?
    You should post some pictures of your tank.