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Old 02-08-2006, 08:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How would you fix this lighting.

I have a 75 gal planted tank that I just added CO2 to. Will also be starting ferts as soon as my order arrives from Greg Watson.

When I first purchased this tank, I bought the triple tube all-glass strip light. I thought I would be getting 120w, or just a little over 1.5 wpg. Come to find out, it only has T-8 bulbs, so I actually ended up with 96 watts total.

I'm starting to think about how to go about upgrading the lighting scheme. So my question is...... Should I just buy a 2x65w power compact fixture and place it beside the one I have now? I'm not sure if there is actually room on the glass top for two fixtures without one of them sitting over the brown hinge strip. This option is definitley cheaper, and therefore I could manage this sooner.

Or, I can save up a while longer (probably an extra couple of months) and go for a nice 4x65 watt unit and just replace the triple tube t-8 fixture all together or save it for another tank etc.

Which would you recommend? Is one way necessarily better than the other?
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think one option is better than the other (except aesthetically perhaps and with regards to accessibility for maintenance). The goal is to get more light into the aquarium.

Have you checked out www.ahsupply.com? They provide retro-fit kits and many people have said good things about them (I've never used them though; 220v here...).

Whatever you do, go easy on the ferts until you get your lighting sorted out! Lots of ferts with inadequate lighting is no good.
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I'm not too great with DIY or retrofits. Especially if it involves electricity, and around water to boot.

It also seems like this is not that great of a deal. A 4x55w bright kit runs about $125 without bulbs, and the bulbs are around $19 apiece. That is going to put me close to the $200 I would spend on a coralife or current usa setup without the chance to electrocute myself.

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Old 02-09-2006, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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e-ballists t8's are more efficient than mag-ballists t12's, so you do have roughly 120 watts of t12 light. That said, 1.6 w/g is still low light to me.

I like lots of light, and even with odno, I do not think you will get as much light as I like with 3 t8 tubes (I was running 2 no, and 2 2x odno on my tank as an emergency experiment (roughly t12 equivelient 180 watts) and wanted MORE light. My normal lighting is 250 watts of hqi over my 58 - and I still want MORE.
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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You can always go with the aquatraders.com route. But do a search here on them to make sure your product you're interested in is decent enough. There are some complaints about a few fixtures there (too loud, etc). They don't have the greatest reflectors, like ah, but it's affordable. If not 2x55 in addition to what you go is the way to go. Add another 2x55 when you can.

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