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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I have a tough one here.... I have a 75 gallon Hex (6 even sides) that I want to plant, and do right. It is 25 across (from each flat side to the opposite) and 30" high. It sits on a rock "ledge" on my fireplace. A set of stairs (log home) go behind the tank. So basically, you can walk around all but one side of the tank. The side you cant walk around is the stone chimney. I can stand on the rock ledge and get over the tank to plant it and take care of it. I have a Eheim canister w/built in heater. I ordered a CO2 system and a tall driftwood and some plants from Florida Driftwood. As far as lighting goes, the type of tank came with a strip, and I have added another thing to hold a 2nd light bulb. I don't think the wattage is high enough. 30 watts total. Can anyone recommend a light bulb to go in this fixture that would be better? Any recommendations on planting arrangements, keeping in mind that you can walk around this tank? Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I think I have a tough one here.... I have a 75 gallon Hex (6 even sides) that I want to plant, and do right. It is 25 across (from each flat side to the opposite) and 30" high. It sits on a rock "ledge" on my fireplace. A set of stairs (log home) go behind the tank. So basically, you can walk around all but one side of the tank. The side you cant walk around is the stone chimney. I can stand on the rock ledge and get over the tank to plant it and take care of it. I have a Eheim canister w/built in heater. I ordered a CO2 system and a tall driftwood and some plants from Florida Driftwood. As far as lighting goes, the type of tank came with a strip, and I have added another thing to hold a 2nd light bulb. I don't think the wattage is high enough. 30 watts total. Can anyone recommend a light bulb to go in this fixture that would be better? Any recommendations on planting arrangements, keeping in mind that you can walk around this tank? Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked on aquabid. Boy, am I confused. Any recommendations? I don't know what I need without spending an arm and a leg.
 

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Try innovative lighting once more. I had the wrong address in there. I have done some business with them in the past and they are very nice and will help you through most problems. I guess it is nice for me that they are only 5 minutes away.

Something else to think about. There is a very debatable theory on depth of tank and the need for metal halides. Somebody else can discuss this though since I don't have the background.
 

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All I can tell you is what I have heard and I don't have any personal experience with this situation. But, what I have heard is with a good reflector from possibly ahsupply, the difference in light between a 20" deep tank and a 30" deep tank is going to be very little. I am sorry if I have opened a new avenue of worms with this topic. Maybe somebody with a little more knowledge in the subject could help explain this or argue this.

With that said, I think I can safely say though is that you won't go wrong with MH. The cheapest setup I found so far was 385 at innovative lighting. I am a penny pincher though and am just trying to provide you with some other options.

BTW, what do you plan on putting in there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your help. Can the metal halide fixtures sit on top of the acrylic, or will they be too hot?

For fish... neon tetras, koi angels, corydoras, and some Amana shrimp.

For plants... Jungle Val, sword plants, pennywort, dwarf sag, cabomba, hydroplila, mayaca and moss on a driftwood.
 

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So much for spending an arm and a leg
. Should be a good setup. You will want to replace that lunar light though with 5000 to 7100 Kelvin Power Compact though because freshwater plants don't use light in that particular range.

Side thought: I wonder if you could run the MH and one power compact during the day and at night time run the lunar light so you could stare at them. The days I am up past 9PM(very rare), I always wish the lights were still on so I could stare at the fishies.
 

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Sorry you are getting confused Ms. Parker, but I think we all started out that way. I am going to send you to a website that I have used a lot to gain a lot of knowledge. It is rexgrigg.com. Just to warn you, the website doesn't beat around the bush and can be offensive to some people. Aside from that, it covers all the basics on lighting, substrate, etc.

Very cool place to put the tank! That is one mamouth fire place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks bellisb925, for sending me that website. I understand the light issue a little better now. Im still a little confused on the "lunar" light. Isnt that to run at night and ok for freshwater? And isnt it the actinic bulb I want to replace with a 6500K bulb?

Yes, the maintenance should be alot of fun! I have one of those python cleaners, and that will work great. I can easily stand on the same ledge and reach the bottom. There are stairs that go up behind the tank, so it is easy to climb on the ledge and kind of neat to view from that side too.
 

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you can run the lunar light at night or 24/7 or not at all. It draws so little power that it wont matter if it is left on all the time. And being an led, it shouldn't burn out while the fixture is still usable.
 

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A lunar light is to run at night only. It is a dim light to enable you to observe the tank after dark. It is cool to see some fish that are more active at night such as catfish. It has nothing to do with plants and is fine for freshwater or salt.

I don't think you would have to have a Metal Halide for your tank, although it is a good option. Mainly you want around 3 watts of light per gallon of water, and this can be done with power compact flourescents. Metal Halides come either as a spot light type of fixture or as a kit to be installed inside a wood canopy. If installed inside a canopy you must have a good fan as these create a lot of heat. In a spot light fixture or some type of overhanging fixture, the tank is open top.

For retrofit power compact flourescent kits check out www.ahsupply.com

The kelvin is the color of the bulb. 5000 to 7000 kelvin is considered full spectrum and is the best for freshwater plants. Actinic is a blue light and is used for marine corals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for clearing the lunar issue up. Someone previously said (in another thread here) that I needed to replace the lunar lights also.

I have ordered a Coralife Aqualight Pro with a 150W Metal Halide and 2 - 65W Compact Fluorescent (which I will replace with a 6500K), and will keep the lunar. Here's hoping it works. I will have to consider having a canopy built (oh, honey...) to hide the glare of the bulbs. Will see if I need it after its up and running.
 

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This is what I get for trying to answer posts when I have the flu... I didn't follow the whole conversation here very well! You already bought your fixture...

Everyone elses advice to you was pretty on target, I didn't mean to interfere! I am not familiar with this particular fixture. What type is it? Is it designed to sit on the tank or hang above it?
 
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