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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am contemplating installing a 2x55 watt power compact set over my 29 gallon. At the moment, I use ordinary fluorescents without a cover glass over the tank. Will a cover glass be necessary with the power compacts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I am contemplating installing a 2x55 watt power compact set over my 29 gallon. At the moment, I use ordinary fluorescents without a cover glass over the tank. Will a cover glass be necessary with the power compacts?
 

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Welcome to the forum! Most vendors will tell you that a cover is needed so as not to void any warranties and such. But, in practice, many planted tank folks run without a glass cover. It will give you some condensation issues within the reflectors, but they're not that bad to keep clean. I've been running without a glass cover ever since I stepped up to a 96w that heated the glass to much that raised my tank water that caused some deaths... You get the picture.

Brian.
 

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Brian, what do you use to clean your reflectors, and how frequently do you find it necessary to clean them? I have grown tired of trying to keep the glass covers clean, and am wondering if it would be easier to clean the reflectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't realize it was my first post to this forum. Hi, all. Great stuff here!

I rely on evaporation to keep things cool in summer, so a cover glass was of some concern. A friend suggested that PC bulbs run pretty hot and that splashing might cause them to shatter. I've never had any problems with normal fluroescents suspended 2-3 inches above the surface.
 

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I run glass between my PC's and the water surface to prevent such "splash-induced emergencies," to avoid hot bits of broken glass to fall into the tank if a tube breaks during routine maintenance, and to limit evaporation. I have 6 fans across the back of my canopy to keep things running cooler.

Cleaning the glass lids isn't my favorite task, but I'd hate trying to clean broken phosphorus-coated glass out of the tank even more.
 

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To be on the safe side you should have glass tops between any lighting you use. BUT the truth be told I hardly ever use them now. It is a pain to take them off and put them back on just about every night. But then I am doing it on at last three tank per night. I do put them on when the temp is going to drop way down at night. With glass tops on, it helps keep in heat but if you are having a heat problem keeping them off helps cool the tank.

Hawk
 

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Personally, I use baby wipes to clean off my reflectors. I typically forget to look, so I'd say I end up cleaning them every 2-3 months. There are other suggestions around the forum for harder deposits (Windex, if I recall?), so search around if you run into this.

Brian.
 

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What type of PC do you have ?
Ive got a caral life...and a JBJ fermosa...
They both have a plexi glass shield ...
Although my GE doesnt have that...

But im gonna be running my 75 gal without glass top also..

take care
 

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A flat piece of glass is much easier to clean than a faceted piece of metal with lightbulb around them. Reflectors are prone to scratching so use soft cloth or shammy. You should unplug and remove the lightbulbs before cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is what the vendor wrote when posed the same question:

"You should definitely use a glass or similar barrier between the lights and the water. This is the only really safe way to install lighting. It will also allow you to get more light into your tank since you lose a lot more light to dirty reflectors and bulbs than you ever will to a glass top even when it is dirty."

I've always heard that cover glass absorbs key wavelengths that are beneficial to plants. That's why I've never used one with ordinary fluorescents. The consensus seems to be that safety dictates the use of a cover glass with PCs
 

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quote:

Originally posted by William:
This is what the vendor wrote when posed the same question:

"You should definitely use a glass or similar barrier between the lights and the water. This is the only really safe way to install lighting. It will also allow you to get more light into your tank since you lose a lot more light to dirty reflectors and bulbs than you ever will to a glass top even when it is dirty."

I've always heard that cover glass absorbs key wavelengths that are beneficial to plants. That's why I've never used one with ordinary fluorescents. The consensus seems to be that safety dictates the use of a cover glass with PCs
I don't know that the great wavelength debate has been solved, so I believe there are still different parties wrestling over red/blue versus green.

On the other hand, safety isn't really too debatable. When the right circumstances line up, equipment damage, personal injury or death can result.
 

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I have an AHSUPPLY 55X2 Compact - one 6700k and one 5000k bulb as well as a 13 watt in the center of the hood above my 55 gal. - The lights are about 5 inches above the water with no glass.

I have used this method for about 2 years now without fail or problem
Just make sure you install a fan in your hood, it gets hot.

Good Luck!

Platy
 

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besides everything else mentioned in favor of glass, like mckee alluded to: you want something to stop the strip light from falling in the water from accident, child, cat, etc.
 
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