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I would like to plant my 30g that is 36x12x16. I currently have some old lighting i am using but i want to upgrade to better lighting as well as a glass top. I would like a medium lit tank with at most diy co2 and flourish excell. It houses a 6" solo fish so its not going to be super fancy. I would like a carpet like mico swords and some other plants. My goal is about 2wpg.


Some fixtures im thinking of:
current usa ho t5 2x24w (30")
coralife 65w pc (30")
currentusa 65w pc (30")

Im thinking probably one of the pc's.
Substrate will be eco compleate or something similar.
 

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I personally have the Current PC fixture. I used it for a nano salt tank (20L), and I am now going to be using it with a planted 30. I got a new bulb for it and I am hoping that it will do well for the planted tank. It was great for the 20L. Look forward to hearing your progress as it sounds like we are both shooting for similar results.:)
 

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I'd go T5 lighting over PC lighting. I started using T5 lighting about 6 months ago and I'm never using PC bulbs again. T5 bulbs are more efficient (depending on if they use individual reflectors), last longer and run cooler.
 

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The thing about the T-5 light is that I haven't seen any in a 30" length, and the 36" fixtures would fit but then you would most likely have a little over 2.5 WPG. Something to consider for certain though. However, IMHO the PC doesn't create that much heat, the 20L that I ran it on previously did great. It never got the water too hot, and the corals were thriving. I took it down because I moved, and didn't set it back up because I was really busy with school otherwise it would still be in operation.
 

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He's going to have the same problem with PC lighting, since standard 65W PC bulbs are only 22" in length. And because of that, he's going to be concentrating all the wattage in the center portion of the tank (giving that region the equivilant of 3 WPG).

Probably the best solution would be a T-8 fixture with two 30w ~36 inch bulbs. Like T5's, they will run cooler and last longer than PC bulbs and would cover the entire length of the tank.
 

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Probably the best solution would be a T-8 fixture with two 30w ~36 inch bulbs. Like T5's, they will run cooler and last longer than PC bulbs and would cover the entire length of the tank.
I may wind up doing that myself depending on how the Current fixture does with the new set up, that would be 2 WPG, and there wouldn't be any worry about the light being "concentrated" in any one area. It would also be much cheaper to maintain. You could also mix bulb colors for the most pleasing look. Only thing, aren't most 36" bulbs 25 watts? I do know that there are some T8's that say 30watts, but aren't a majority marked 25? Just 10 watts difference total, so it may be negligible, but I am also newer to planted tanks so not certain on that. Look forward to hearing what you (sean-820) think you will go with and your results.
 

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the ballast was rated 2x30 watts as well.
Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't that mean that the bulb will be run as a 30watt bulb regardless of it being marked 25? Similar to how the 55watt and 65 watt PC's are interchangeable. That would be sweet.:D
 

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Hi Sean-820,

How about another alternative? I recently installed a DIY light on my new 30 gallon tank with your dimensions. I researched T5 options but couldn't find a fixture or a kit that would give me good, even light across the full length of my tank. Based upon my research and my previous experience, I went with an AH Supply kit. I called AH Supply and talked with Kim and he suggested the 2X36 watt system and I couldn't be happier. The two 36 watt bulbs with the excellent 34.5" MIRO reflector fully cover the 36" length of the tank with no "dark spots". The brightness is really good, my red plants in the tank are really intense without any CO2 except for the addition of Flourish Excel.

I had originally thought about using the AH Supply 1X96 watt kit like I use on my 45 gallon tall (same footprint as the 30 gallon but 24" tall) but Kim said it would be too much. He was right, I glad I went with the 2X36 watt he suggested.

http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm

I just wanted to give you another alternative to consider. Don't let the DIY part intimidate you. You can buy pre-built cabinets from AH Supply if you don't want to build your own and the wiring is simple. Hope this helps!
 
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