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Lighting for a 20 gallon

2987 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  IUnknown
I'm tired of DIY PC lighting. I've been wanting to upgrade my light fixture but there are very few options for hanging fixtures. I was excited with the 24" MH pendant that aquatraders had for $200, but it looks like its not a true HQI setup. So I'm giving up on my search for MH for a tank this small and will wait for Arcadia's 3 series if I ever get a 75 gallon.

So I've been looking into T5's. I like sunlight supplies fixture and Arcadia's over tank luminaire (with hanging options). I was wondering if any one has any info on what the best bulb combinations are, where the best places to get the bulbs are, and if I should go with 4 or 6 bulbs (currently running 110W on a ugly DIY setup).
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Greg,How much are you looking to spend on the T-5 fixture? There's a place on Middlefield Road in Redwood City, Innovative Lighting, that sells some nice looking Sunlight Supply fixtures but they start at $240 for a 4 tube light...

They mainly sell via ebay, but they will do walk-in sales. Check out their site to see their bulb selection.
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Yeah, I saw those Bill. I'm going to go by to take a look at the fixture. Now I'm looking into the bulbs. The selection is limited, but I want to find a combination that will look good for a planted tank.
The fixtures might seem great, but the reflectors are too close to each other and thus they don't give enough light spread. And since T5 bulbs are quite slim you probably won't get the coverage you were hoping for. If you're willing to spend the money, this( seems like a great solution.
maybe I missed the boat, but what was special about the aquatraders fixture for 200? you can get a real HQI fixture for 230 dollars at hellolights...not sure how the color is on the 5000K AB bulb, but you could probably get that instead of the included 10k or 20k bulb
I don't know a lot about MH, and no one really has any experience with them for smaller planted tanks. Two reasons I would probably go with a combo system over just the 150W MH,

-150W over a 20 gallon is a lot of light. I like the idea of having the 150W on 4 hours during the day and supplemental lighting for the rest of the day (healthy growth that you can maintain comfortably). You are limited to the color (although I like the AB 5,000K bulbs).

-My experience with the 70W MH showed me that the spread on MH is limited to 1.5'. I don't know how much better the 150W would be no matter how high you raised them. The combo system would help with the plants on the edges. The Arcadia selection chart gives the same impression,
Not only that but the cone shape of the lighting is hard to aquascape on a tank this small. It works great on bigger tanks, but to risky for me to keep experimenting on this smaller tank.

The coralife combo system is 15" wide and my tank is 13", do you think this would look funny? I'm also looking at the Ocean light + T5 which is 13" wide.

The thing I like about the Tek-T5 fixture is that it is silent (convection cooling), and you can stage the lighting. I'll have to ask about the issues that were brought up if I check them out this weekend.
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