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Old 12-13-2004, 03:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a freshwater 75g acrylic hex which is 30" tall. Just set it up, w/CO2, Eheim canister and 30w of florescent lighting in the hood that it came with. Any suggestions to improve the lighting system? I cant hang a pendant from the ceiling. I do not have a hood. Their is a 17 x 7" opening on the top. Should I use something with legs? If so, should I get a piece of acrylic to cover up the opening?
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Old 12-13-2004, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a freshwater 75g acrylic hex which is 30" tall. Just set it up, w/CO2, Eheim canister and 30w of florescent lighting in the hood that it came with. Any suggestions to improve the lighting system? I cant hang a pendant from the ceiling. I do not have a hood. Their is a 17 x 7" opening on the top. Should I use something with legs? If so, should I get a piece of acrylic to cover up the opening?
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Its going to hard to get enough light with just CF. Even with good reflectors I dought you can get any short foreground plants to grow. You might try putting as many 13w cf from http://www.ahsupply.com/ as you can fit even if you get 6-8 of them to fit your light penetration it going to be the problem. You could use low light plants like ferns and crypts. Putting the ferns on driftwood to raise them higher they should grow fine. Pennywort might grow once it gets tall enough. Don't start using CO2 until you get more lights. Without the lights to balance the CO2 your just feeding algae.

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Old 12-13-2004, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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As I'm sure you've already gathered from reading previous posts in here and doing outside research you already know that 2watts/gal is the minimum for growing plants. For a deep tank like yours, a good deal more than that would be helpful to make sure enough light penetrates to the bottom. The best way to get that much light in the space you have available on the top of a hex tank is with metal halide lighting. I don't know of any ready built MH systems that will fit on a hex tank, but if there are any, I'm sure there is another member in here who will offer a link to where you can find it. If you find yourself having to make one on your own, a number of sites offer the component parts: ahsupply.com and hellolights.com are just a couple. Do a lot of reading before you buy. Lighting is very important and can be very expensive. When you get it right I think you'll be very happy. Big hex tanks like yours are beautiful things to behold when done right. Good luck.
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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There are these outdoor floodlights that home depot sells for about $30 or so, they are 65W 6700k lights, I think you can place a couple over your tank, just another cheap option. I am not sure light intensity would drop a lot in a clear water home aquarium, it definitely will not be halved or anything, so I am not sure you will need extra high intensity lights, I may be wrong here and I dont have a 30" water column, but I just dont see how light intensity will go down when we are talking an excess of about 10-12" from standard water column heights. This is not exactly a 6ft deep pond and shallow stream kind of difference here.

A tank cover is useful for many reasons.
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, one possible advantage.... the hex tank has a built in "cover" with a couple openings, the biggest being 17 x 7", where the light fixture that comes with it sits. So, if I can find a fixture (maybe with legs??) to sit on top then it should work. Ive seen some with 2 - 65W bulbs. Is it possible to get by with this? At least it is better than the 30W that I have now.
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Old 12-14-2004, 05:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Im leaning towards this fixture/lights.

Aqualight Pro HQI / Compact Fluorescent / Lunar Light Fixture (24")

Can anyone offer their personal opinions on it?
The best price I have found is at Drs Foster & Smith for $360
Drs Foster & Smith
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Old 12-14-2004, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I'm not sure but I think that actinic blue bulbs are for saltwater tanks. You might need to replace these.

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Old 12-15-2004, 01:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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is that true? Actinic blue bulbs are for saltwater?
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Amy Parker:
is that true? Actinic blue bulbs are for saltwater? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

yes, that is true. Those lights strips are mainly intended for reef use, where the corals need that blue spectrum of light. For a freshwater plant tank you will need to replace the bulbs with some around 6500k or so.

I still think you should have gone with a metal halide pendant suspended over the tank. Hex tanks are perfect for a single pendant. But hey, we'll keep our fingers crossed that you can get enough light out of the strip you bought.
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