Recommend me a light fixture for an All Glass 5.5gal - Lighting - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 09-29-2005, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Recommend me a light fixture for an All Glass 5.5gal

Recommend me a fixture for a 5.5 gallon. I'm looking into the Coralife Mini but that might be too small...
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Old 09-29-2005, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would go with a 2x9watt pc retrofit or a kit like this..... http://www.hellolights.com/14nanretkit.html 5.5s are very hard to light due to their 16" length. The standard AGA flourescent hood is not very bright adn woul dbe suitable for only moss and anubias. Microsorium sp did not even dp very well with that lighting. What do you plan on doing plant wise?

I have a 5.5 with a standard incandescent hood. I discovered when I was tearing it apart(I generally end up tearing things apart to see if I can make them better, just my nature. My parents never had an functioning clocks when I was a kid) that the actual light socket, located on the right hand side and capable of holding 1 screw in incandescent/flourescent bulb, was actually a double socket fixture, capable of holding 2 said bulbs if one relocates the socket fixture to the middle of the hood. Slight modifications are necessary for this, a little plastic rib needs to be trimmed away and a hole drilled in the top of the hood for the switch/socket holder, to attach to. All in all it is very simple and easy to understand as soon as you pull it apart, just like a rewiring a regular house light/ desk lamp. I use 2, 7watt screw in PC's (from walmart fish section, made for aquariums, 6700k spectrum. They are plenty bright with a good color adn only $4 each) in this fixture and it is almost enough light to need CO2. It is really enough light to grow most plants.

HTH
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I dont know if you know but Aqualight has came out with a 12" that has 2x18 watts
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Wow thats more expensive than my 24'' Coralife fixture. I might as well get a Nanocube.
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Old 09-30-2005, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I used the bonus light socket too. Whole thing is about an hour and only costs as much as the bulbs.
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I have the Coralife mini on my All-Glass 5.5 gallon. It doesn't span the length of the tank. Under the fixture (under the brightest light) I have some ambulia and bacopa. On the other side of the tank, where it's a bit dimmer, I have some crypts ("petchii").

I'm only using one of the 9 watt bulbs, and Excel. It's working well for me, but one thing I don't really like is that with this hood, since the light doesn't hit the whole tank equally, you have to aquascape from side to side rather than from back to front.
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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How much excel do you put in it each day?
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I started out with half a ml, but now I use 1.25ml of Excel daily. At first I wondered if that was too much, but it seems to be working out well. The ambulias all have new sideshoots. The crypts are doing great also! The bacopa has a small amount of hair algae on some of the stems, but it's easy to remove by hand.
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Old 10-08-2005, 04:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I used an AH Supply 1x13 watt kit on a tank I made for my girlfriend. It's growing some crypt wendti, kliner barr sword, tenellus and some 4 leaf clover (forgot the latin). It's sitting in a hood about 1" over the glass and lights the tank pretty well. For a higher light, CO2 tank I'd likely just use two, staggered and potentially twisted slightly so one side isn't front lighted with the other side back lighted where the two bulbs don't overlap.

The tank gets some trace+macro nutrients and Excel whenever I change the water or think about it. The girlfriend really just overfeeds it, but there had never been an algae or growth limitation problem with this lighting level.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I know that nobody will agree with my suggestion, but I just use the All-Glass 16" fluorescent strip light that's made for this size tank. The fixture uses a 15" 14W T8. I'm very partial to normal-output fluorescent lighting but I know most people are not. I'm also inclined to believe that 14W over 5.5 gallons is sufficient for growing most plants. The only drawback is that you may need to replace the bulb every year to maintain optimum plant growth.

Oh yeah - if you go this route, best thing would be to get a glass canopy cut for you at a glass shop (and make sure they grind down the edges). I got two pieces (one to rest the light on and a narrow piece to use as a "lid" for feeding or whatever) cut for just a few bucks. The Versa-Top glass I originally got didn't even fit correctly and the black flexible "hinge" that held the two pieces together obstructed some of the light. So the pieces I later got I ended up leaving separate.

This size strip light will also fit perfectly over a 4-gallon 'long.'

-Naomi
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