[Wet Thumb Forum]-replacing old pc, what to buy for 55-120g tank - DIY Aquarium Projects - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-07-2004, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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My pcs ballast recently went out and cost to replace is high enough that I think its best to buy new fixture. Want to upgrade from 55g to either 70, 90 or 120 in the next 6-8 months. Whats a good light to buy with the larger tank in mind? I'm deciding between 4 x 65, 2 x 130 and 4 x 96.

The Coralife fixture is so ugly I'd rather have the black metal housing of the Current USA but the Current USA comes with 2 dual actinics. I was thinking I could sell them new and purchase two more dual daylight lamps.

Suggestions? I have the Brightlight whose manufacturer has gone out of business but looking at retrofits, they seem to cost as much as a whole new fixture and the new fixture comes with bulbs.

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Old 12-07-2004, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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My pcs ballast recently went out and cost to replace is high enough that I think its best to buy new fixture. Want to upgrade from 55g to either 70, 90 or 120 in the next 6-8 months. Whats a good light to buy with the larger tank in mind? I'm deciding between 4 x 65, 2 x 130 and 4 x 96.

The Coralife fixture is so ugly I'd rather have the black metal housing of the Current USA but the Current USA comes with 2 dual actinics. I was thinking I could sell them new and purchase two more dual daylight lamps.

Suggestions? I have the Brightlight whose manufacturer has gone out of business but looking at retrofits, they seem to cost as much as a whole new fixture and the new fixture comes with bulbs.

Fishnut
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Are you using a canopy, or will they be out in the open?
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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No canopy, just glass tops. I use magnum 350 canister filter so nothing really I need to hide in a canopy. I use homemade Co2 with soda bottle injected into canister filter intake to diffuse.

Heather
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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With a 55gal tank and DIY (do it yourself) CO2 I would keep my lighting under 3w/gal. Use something like 110w (2x55w) or 130w (2x65w) CF with good reflectors. Using any thing higher you really should have a pressure CO2 system. On a 90gal the 96w would work nicely. With a 90gal its hard to get the light penetration needed to grow foreground plants because of the height of the tank.

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Old 12-07-2004, 05:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Well, yeah, that's the problem. I need to replace it now but need it to work for a future larger tank. On the larger tank I will probably invest in a real C02 system.

I've had a 2x65 w PC on my 55 for 4 years but the ballast just went out on it...

Heather
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Well, I have narrowed it down to 2 models both of which are 4 x 65 watt power compacts. They are the Current USA Satellite & the Current USA Orbit. Here are links to the products:
Orbit Model
Satellite Model
The main difference I can see is that the orbit sits up a couple inches and the satellite rests right on the tank frame. Which is better for a planted tank?

Heather
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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PS. I've already got two new (used for 2 months in PC that just went out) 65 watt 10,000 K bulbs that I can replace the actinics with. I'll just try to sell the actinic bulbs.

Heather
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Since you are doing DIY CO2, have you considered a DIY hood/canopy or maybe a retrofit will work? If so, you could check out www.ahsupply.com. It should save you some $. As to currently being low tech, likely obvious, but you can always just remove two of the four bulbs until you get the bigger tank.

Brian.
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Yeah! I've found a new ballast for about $40 so I will try that and hope it works. Then I can buy the new tank first, know the size and then pick the lighting and C02 systems.

I called AH Supply today and they said it would be $65 for a kit but that all of theirs are straight pin and I have two new square pin bulbs and those suckers aren't cheap. They told me what brand ballast I'd need for my current PC light so I was able to follow up on that and get one ordered from a local electrical supply store.

I do still want to know if the orbit or satellite would be better though as far as design in that one sits a few inches above the tank and the other rests on the tank frame.

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