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Wife just bought me a 75 gallon tank for Christmas. Now I need get some lighting. Thinking of 4x55 AH supply kit or 6x40 t-12's via shoplights. Since there are soooo many options, I am curious what others are using and some success stories to help me make a decision. This empty tank is killing me. Thanks
 

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hello deduke11

well the first thing you need to do is to plan what you want:
1.- if you want a very planted tank or not
2.- what kind of plants, a very demanded light plant or medium etc

and other thing that we need to know is heigh of your tank, because it depends to choose the system lighitng, for a 75gal it most have more than 20" (50 cms), i see you`re thinking in a fluorescent light system,, and it work well, and at least need 150 watts for it,

good luck with your tank, and congratulations for the excelent present your wife gave to you :D

a c u a m a n :D :D :D
 

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There's a lot of options you can go with, here are a few-
1) Coralife Aqualight: 260w PC, built-in fans, no need for hood, questionable reflectors and ballasts-but people have had great success with them.

2) AHSuplly 4x55w: Great ballasts and reflectors, but reflectors tend to confine light to the area right under it...may need to "unwind" the parabolic reflector to get more spread.

3) T5: Can be used with Workhorse ballasts(cheaper) or any electronic ballast, special made relfectors are great(parabolic shape, but more wide spread), more effecient then PC due to shape-no restrike, less heat and takes up less space. Cheaper in the long run.

4) ODNO: Needs electronic ballast, least effecient out of all of them, lots of heat output, very intense, cheap method of lighting.

Hope this helps!
 

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hello daduke11

well in that case, i suggest a MH lighiting sys, because you`ll need a 2w/lt aprox if you want a very planted tank with a high demanding plants, and for planted tank MH is better than Fluorescent, it will be fine with 250 w in both cases, f and MH.

I don`t recommend T12 because they will be out of stock soon, they aren`t to efficient, so T8 or even T5 is better, are more efficient, works better, more lms per watt.

see you

a c u a m a n :D :D :D
 

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I'd go with the 3-55W PC at www.ahsupply.com

They also sell pre-finished hoods which involve minimal DIY to install the lights.

If you are just starting out, I'd stick closer to 2 watts per gallon rather than more. You could later add a fourth 55W but I doubt you'll need it. Put the third lamp in the center and place any -really- light demanding plants under it.

TW
 

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I started with a DIY hood with 2 110vho bulbs. It worked good. About 6 months ago I changed to a JBJ Formosa Deluxe with the optional flib up leg stands.

The DIY hood I built probably cost me about $150.00 with parts and labor. The JBJ cost me about $220 with shipping and handling.

If you have a little extra money, I would suggest purchasing a ready to go hood. Unless you like the idea of DIY.

The only downfall I have found with the power compacts in the JBJ is that the fans used to cool them are a little noisy, but you get used to them. I have my tank in the Office so its no big deal. If it were in the TV room or dinning room it might get a little annoying.

With this setup in my 72 gallon I now have about 3.6 watts per gallon. You can see why I am now working on adding Co2 to the tank.
 

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I have PC lights over everything except my 75, which I set up for ODNO with 4 T-8 bulbs. I have 3 powercords and timers and I light them up in a morning/evening rotation. with 4 hours in the middle for noon. It's not of any benifit to the plants, it's just a 'wow' factor. The tank is planted with crypts and anubius so it is not a very demanding tank.
 

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GG,

Are these Home Depot Commercial Electric shoplights? If so I have this exact setup, sans bulbs, over my 40 breeder. It's a cheap alternative and I have great results. I am going to be buying a 75 soon, possibly a 90 and I'm going to be running the same lighting with one additional bulb.
 
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