lighting for a 29 gallon tank - New to Planted Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 03-22-2006, 05:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default lighting for a 29 gallon tank

Greetings:
I am brand new, although I have been reading the postings for a couple of days. I am getting into plants after having an aquarium with just fish for close to a year. Basically, I want a "beginner" type setup...just to have some java fern, moss, anubias, etc. Overall, low light plants.

I have a 29 gallon tank. I have read that this most likely means that I should shoot for 2 watts per gallon so I would be interested in either a 55w or 60 w setup. The problem I have is that the hood that came w/ the aquarium only has one slot for a 20 watt bulb.

What is the best product for me to purchase to make this upgrade? I see there are compact converters, etc. I basically want the 1) easiest 2) cheapest solution. Also, do i buy these products online? I have yet to see a fish store sell these "upgrades". Are there good websites to buy them from? How much will it cost?

Thanks ahead of time for any feedback.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Easiest solution: 65W Coralife 30" Freshwater Fixture ($57.95 here: http://www.hellolights.com/301xcofraqcf.html)

Cheapest solution: build your own from an ahsupply kit (http://www.ahsupply.com)
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Depending on the hood you might be able to get a Retrofit kit from www.ahsupply.com for a reasonable price.

Another option would be to check out eBay for the CF lighting.

I recently got a 4 x 55 Watt CF for my 55 Gal for a grand Total of $85 and that included shipping.

Then there's also www.aquabid.com which is also a decent place to find things.


Hope this helps!

PEACE!

-TF
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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thank you for the suggetsions/ and feedback..very helpful..

do these lights get too "hot"? I have read that some people say their lights get very hot- i'd like to avoid a fire obviously. thanks
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to apc. I second the choice of an ah supply retrofit www.ahsupply.com - great product, very helpful. With 55W you should be fine for the low light set up you're looking for.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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perhaps i am missing something- but the ahs kit looks like it does not come with the light bulbs. the aqualife kit comes with a light bulb and ultimatley is cheaper and easier. What is the advantage for a retrofit? Wouldn't the aqualife just go in place of my old lighting unit over my hood?
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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the AHSupply kit does not include the bulb. But they sell them for ~$20

But if you buy a CF fixture, you're gonna need to replace the actinic with the correct bulb anyway.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Coralife fixture in the link I supplied comes with a 6700K bulb, so there will be no need to buy another bulb. If you decide to go with the coralife, it is a standalone unit that should not be used with a canopy.

You can either lay it on top of a glass top (these run around $12-$15), or mount it using the plastic legs you can buy as an accessory ($7-$14, depending on if you get the adjustable legs). If using the legs, you have the option to keep an open top, or you can still use a glass top if you have escape artists or are worried about evaporation.


I think both solutions are pretty similar in price, so it comes down to whether you are a Do-It-Yourself'er or not. If not, go with the Coralife; you will be pleased. If you are a DIY'er, ahsupply seems to be the highest-regarded source for aquarium lighting components and their reflectors are top-notch.

Last edited by turbowagon; 03-22-2006 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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thank you so much for your help- it is really nice of you. i think you sold me on the corallife as i am not a diy'er. although i sometimes try.

could you possibly just answer a couple more?

1. i assume this does not get too hot to pose a fire hazard

2. i already have a hood and light fixture on top of tank. there is a glass covering where the current light fixture rests. i assume that i would simply replace this new fixture with that one? or do i still need the legs?
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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and almost forgot, #3, now that i am at 2 watts per gallon, do i need to add co2 or just fertilizers? i read taht co2 probably isn't necessary at 2 watts per gallon. only in excess of 3 watts?
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