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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey,

I am brand new to aquatic plants. I am searching for the correct lighting. My LFS told me I should have 2-3 Watts per gallon. I have a 65G hex tank and each inside wall measures 12 inches wide. If I measure corner to corner it is 24 inches which is the max length of a lighting fixture that I can use. I am hoping someone here can help me figure the right lighting to grow plants and for fish. also i should mention that this is a freshwater tank. Thanks in advance for any advice.

is this something that I should be looking at? http://www.aquariumpros.com/p-CUR1603,LFpr.html
or something like this http://www.aquariumpros.com/p-ENE53102,LFps.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks! do most of these lights come with their own timers or will i have to buy one seperately? they are so damned expensive and i would hope they come with everything.
 

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To be a 65 gallon tank, that tank has to be about 40 inches tall. Is that what it is? If so, I strongly recommend using a single 250 watt HQI pendant fixture hanging above the tank. You can raise it to reduce the intensity if it is too great, or switch to a 150 watt bulb if you just want to grow low light plants.

A linear tube fixture only 24 inches long just isn't going to provide enough light for such a deep tank.

EDIT: I just read your other post where you say the tank is only 26 inches deep. Since the area of a hexagon with 12 inch long sides is about 2.6 times 12 squared, or 374 square inches, that tank is only a 42 gallon tank. It is still rather deep, and I still doubt that a 24 inch long linear tube fixture would give enough light for anything but low light plants, if that, I suggest using a 150 watt HQI pendant suspended over the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wow, i just thought about it and yea, it cant be 65 gallons. i got ripped off! well anyway, thats besides the point. the problem is, the tank is in a room with 20 foot ceilings so hanging something isnt really an option for me. it is true that my tank is 26 inches deep though, what lighting should i use? I have a glass top so i can set it on there or i can try to mount it to the top with it raised off the glass. HELP!

also, there are 2x65 watt bulbs in those fixtures...that still isnt enough?

i guess the lighting that would ultimately satisfy my needs and wants would first of all be able to support my plants in that deep of a tank, also it would have a timer, and lastly i would like to try the night time LED's so i can see them at night (pretty much the only time im home on throughout the week). If anyone can point me to the right product i would be grateful.
 

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There are ways to mount a light stand that arches over the tank to hang such a fixture. Have a look at some of Amano's set ups for some ideas. Hardware stores sell a type of tubing for electrical use called EMT. This can be used to make the arching light support. You can attach it to a wooden stand with Omega Clamps, or a wrought iron stand with zip ties or Velcro wraps (though this might look a little tacky- it would be at the back of the stand). You could make it freestanding, too with pipe that is more for water type of plumbing. Tees or 90 degree fittings can be used to make feet.

That is a very deep tank for that small a surface area. It will be hard to get proper circulation in there (I see you are addressing that in your other thread). May I suggest you stock this tank very lightly, and keep a sharp eye on the water quality?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
ok i found some pendant lights that should work. most of them are around 300 dollars for a 150W hqi pendant. this is a bit pricey. are these for marine tanks? should i be looking at something else for freshwater plants?
will something like this work? http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10961/product.web

or something like this is nice since it comes with a stand. http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl3684/cp19840/si3349560/cl0/currentusapendant150whqiwithhangerbrushedaluminumfinish

just when i start thinking about going HQI i read this:
I prefer vho! I Had All of them regular tube, t5, hql, hqi

Why vho instead of t5 les tube need 2 instead of 4 for the same watt you and up saving money on long term, vho have there own reflctor inside the tube so no need to add some in the hood, saving place and money. Only one ballast needed in vho and cheaper to run then hql and hqi.

Hql only have have 6500k to yellow a hated the look it gave to my tank. lot of heat and energy.

Hqi I love the light it give and the shimer is just real cool. But if you are sitting on your couch or anywhere lower than the ramp you get blind by it, it always give a glaire in tv an computer screen or anything that reflect light and had vist from cop twice because they think i am growing stuff. More heat comming from it so it heat up the water and the livingroom. Nice in winter pain in the but in summer. Cust a lot more in elcetricity.

If i ever have my aquarium in a wall i will go back for hqi no doubt about it but for apartment i prefer tube.
the tank is in my living room and if this HQI is going to heat up the room and blind me while im sitting down on my sofa watching TV then im going to be pissed off. what is this vho option? again, are their any options with a strip fixture that i can set on top of my glass top? this lighting thing is becoming a real pain in the rear.

this is intriguing.
Then of course you have the cost angle to consider. My mercury vapor pendant from Lowes cost $60, plus a $10 bulb. For $70 I have a fixture that puts out an appropriate spectrum and is rated to last 18K hours. So the bulb will be shining in five years at approximately 75% lumen output, which is way over what the tank needs anyway. Halides start degrading heavily after a year, so must be replaced and are more costly. I would imagine T5s follow the same line as fluorescents, having to be changed yearly to keep their color spectra and output. I'll go with my slightly imperfect mercury light over a perfect hqi or T5HO at roughly two to three times the price. Granted, you could do what I have over my other 10 gallon and use 4 CFs, but you end up handicapping yourself by trying to be too simplistic. It's all about compromise. I can point you at affordable or perfect, not both.
would something like this work?

is 26 inches really that deep? is the depth the main problem here? those CF lights that are spoken about alot seem nice because they have the lower heat output and are less dangerous (they spoke of fire hazard with MH).

just came across this thread http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/sale-trade/53648-2-metal-halide-pendants-150w.html
good deal it seems...but does it work for my tank?
 

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Any halide (HQI) would be the best choice for this tank. But if you don't want to heat up the room forget it. Also when you are sitting on the sofa you better wear thick dark shades because there will be a lot of light spilled from the HQI fixture.

The 2x65 watt compact fluorescent fixtures surely look nice. But you will be paying for a nice looking housing, that's all. You will not get actual 65 watts of light from each bulb. The design of these bulbs is stupid and it wastes a lot of the light. Obsolete technology, but since these fixtures/bulbs can be found anywhere people still use them.

The only way to have an enclosed fixture that runs cool is to use fluorescent tubes. You have 2 options but both of them involve DIY (which you don't want to do as I understand):

1. VHO:
http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewI...ting-Saltwater_Aquarium_Supplies~vendor~.html

These VHO bulbs have questionable parameters. They are advertised as 10,000 Kelvin or something but they are not. The actual light from the is not 300 watts. You wil be using 300 watts of electricity, though, hhah. Wasting power. Still - an acceptable choice if you want to pack a lot of light in a small space.

2. T5HO
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5...00K_Midday_Sun_T5_HO_Fluorescent_by_Giesemann
The special bulbs that you can get are made in Germany and work with the special reflectors designed specifically for them. You will be using much less wattage. When running the bulbs are as warm as your hand or a little bit more.

If you decide to do DIY please let me know. You will not believe how nice of a DIY fixture I can help you make. If you have time this Sunday come to the club meeting. I will be installing a 6' monster light (5x80W T5HO) that anyone will agree looks great, performs beyond anything you can buy, and costs very little.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
ok, you are making me think that DIY will work best and cheapest right?

How much am I looking to spend if i go the DIY route? Also, the tank is in a corner of a room that is a big open cube of dimensions 20'x20'x20' so would the heating of an HQI pendant really matter? I could always make a DIY shade that extends from the bottom of the pendant so that people wont be wearing shades when sitting near it. my guess is that the nearest you could sit to it would be about 5 feet. thanks, im trying to decide which way to go quickly because there is this hqi lighting for sale on ebay for 100 bucks shipped. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270264997712
what do you think?

oh yea, i live in arlington so meeting with you on a DIY project wouldnt be a problem.

ok i just got home from my LFS and they have a really nice solution to my lighting problems. it was really nice to see it in person and verify that it would not be a problem to the living room that the tank is located in. it wont bother me while sitting on the couch and watching tv!! very excited about that. the only issue is the cost. the store is selling it for $372 and i bet i can find it online for cheaper than that...who knows? anyway, its a coralife aqualight, 150W and is sold with a 14000K bulb but is that the right bulb? the guy at the store mentioned using a 6700K bulb...im confused?

also niko, ive narrowed it down to using either this type of light or doing a DIY with your advice. I have never done something like building a light fixture before so I bet that i would be dependent on you somewhat. let me know what you think.

ah, i found the light...look how much cheaper ($294) it is at bigal's...wowzas! http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl3684/cp19840/si1379105/cl0/coralifeaqualightadvancedhangontankmountfixture
 

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http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...aluminumfinish is the one that would appeal to me, just because it seems to bury the light bulb further back in the reflector, which reduces the light spill over. I'm reluctant to recommend anything though, without having tried it first. The HQI lighted tanks I have seen did not appear to have enough spill over to be much of a problem. In any case, it is going to be a lot of $$$ to spend without seeing one in operation first.

Here is another one that looks like a good buy: http://tinyurl.com/58haew.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...aluminumfinish is the one that would appeal to me, just because it seems to bury the light bulb further back in the reflector, which reduces the light spill over. I'm reluctant to recommend anything though, without having tried it first. The HQI lighted tanks I have seen did not appear to have enough spill over to be much of a problem. In any case, it is going to be a lot of $$$ to spend without seeing one in operation first.
you are right, it is alot of money. i did see it in operation and it looks like the spill over is at a minimum. i like the light alot. also, your link doesnt work.
do you mean this one? http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl3684/cp19840/si3349560/cl0/currentusapendant150whqiwithhangerbrushedaluminumfinish
i have considered this but havent seen it in operation. the coralife aqualight i have seen and its nice. like you said, the aluminum finish one looks like it does bury the light well and that is a big plus. either way, im going to have to trade the 14000K bulb for a 6700K bulb. do you think that a store would trade those bulbs for free? i mean, the 6700K is cheaper so i dont see why they wouldnt.
 

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$300+ dollars for 150 watts from a coralife fixture?! That's insane man! I bought a coralife fixture, 4x65 watts (260 watts total) for $230 brand new from a LFS (That Pet Place). Do what you will...
As for the 6500 k lighting, sounds good to me. I use 6500k in my coralife and I'm only running 130 watts for a 10 hour period. the other 130 watts for me, was overkill. This is for my 55 gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
$300+ dollars for 150 watts from a coralife fixture?! That's insane man! I bought a coralife fixture, 4x65 watts (260 watts total) for $230 brand new from a LFS (That Pet Place). Do what you will...
As for the 6500 k lighting, sounds good to me. I use 6500k in my coralife and I'm only running 130 watts for a 10 hour period. the other 130 watts for me, was overkill. This is for my 55 gallon.
the reason is that my tank is so deep. anything i read says that for over 24 inches you need something like a MH/HQI and those are more expensive than your CF.
 

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wow. this one is half the price. http://www.fishneedit.com/150w-metal-halide-pendant-lig.html
and i wouldnt have to mess with swapping bulbs because i can order it with either 6700K or 8000K, I wonder which one is better?

why would this one cost only 134 dollars when the coralife aqualight is about 300 dollars?
This is a fixture that Tom Barr is using and recommends highly. It may be that after a lot of months of usage some problem will come up, but apparently not yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
ok so if its good for this Tom Barr guy (i dont know who he is) then its good for me. its wayyyyy cheaper so thats a huge bonus and the only disadvantage is that i might need to build a hanger for it to adjust the height. i can start off by mounting it to the side of the tank and see how that works.

who is Tom and can i have his contact so i can ask him about the light?

also, my hex tank has a glass top on it now with an open gap in the back for filter equipment, etc... to fit through. should i operate this fixture over open water or leave the glass top on? the guy at the LFS told me to take the glass top off because "they are crap" and they only lock in heat.

thanks hoppy, you are a big help to me.

ok, after searching i found tom barr. yes!!

check it out, http://www.barrreport.com/trades-swaps-sales/4410-good-light-ebay.html?highlight=pendant+light
http://www.bcaquaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10941

looks good for my setup. ill just have to buy some conduit to build my hangers.
thanks again hoppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
the light spill doesnt seem so bad from the sides and thats what im most worried about due to the way the light will be oriented in my room and the location of my furniture and TV. the light coming out of the front seems worse and thats why it has that small shade that fits in the slot. i think it will work and its much much cheaper so why not?

thanks for the links.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey, I still havent decided on lighting...LMAO!

maybe you can help me. there are 6 options.

1. a 24" long 2x24W T5HO(1x10000K bulb, 1x6700K bulb) made by current usa and is about 70 bucks with shipping.

2. 2 of these above (T5HO) fixtures shipped for $130 from marineandreef.com.

3. a 24" long 55W CF fixture and enclosure and bulb 7800K or 6700K shipped for $119 from AH supply.

4. Same as above except its a fixture for 2 of these 24" 55W bulbs and enclosure shipped from AH supply for $163.

5. The same HQI MH pendant that we spoke of that im worried about spill off, it is 150W and will probably cost around $150 shipped if they ever get it back in stock. it is from fishneedit.com.

6. from home depot, a 100W MH fixture made by lithonia and sold for $80, I will also need to buy a single ended screw in bulb for this and of course hang it over the tank. I dont know how bad spill of would be here, the light looks pretty burried in the fixture so that leads me to believe that this would be a good light for my room. link here http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100626328

Ok, so I need expert advice because these all seem like good solutions to me. I just want to be able to grow different plants so if I dont have lighting for the HIGH light demanding plants then its cool. I also dont want to be in a situation where i cant get LOW light demanding plants to grow because I messed up and didnt put enough light in. Somewhere in the middle is good for me. Obviously cost is an issue so the cheaper the better, as long as it meets in the middle as stated above...meaning I want it to grow plants!:)

Please help me.

also, dont forget the tank is 26 inches deep bare and hex shaped with 12.5" sides. What a poor choice i made years ago when i bought this but im stuck with it now so oh well...gotta make it work.
 
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