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Old 18-07-2003, 10:15 AM
JudyK
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

Thanks to everyone who pointed out that I don't have enough light for
the plants in my coldwater tank. It's Hagen kit tank 25 gal, 30" long,
16" deep. 12" wide. It came with 1 20 watt 24" Aqua Glo flourescent
light which gives me less than 1 watt per gallon. I am keeping small
native fish - 3 rosy red minnows and 3 of what I have tentatively
identified as banded killifish.

Ok, I want to upgrade the lighting for my tank so the plants do
better. Looks like I can't just get a brighter bulb for my hood. I saw
various options at Big Al's when I bought the tank a few months ago.
The kit seemed to be a much better deal at the time than buying the
parts separately, and now here I am buying more parts!!! Sigh...

Anyway, I saw glass tops which you could put separate lighting
fixtures on top of. I would like something flexible so that I could
add more light later if I decided to really get into this planted tank
thing. Would this be a good idea? I am thinking of staying away from
CO2 at the moment. So could I buy a glass top, maybe use the light
from my existing hood plus another fixture on the top? Would they fall
off if my kitten jumps on them?

I've been studiously reading the back posts on watts per gallon. Would
three 20 watt bulbs be ok? That would be 60 watts or about 2 1/2 watts
per gallon. Is that suitable for the size and shape of my aquarium?

Thanks!
Judy
http://jumaka.com/aquarium/index.html

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Old 18-07-2003, 10:15 AM
LeighMo
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

Ok, I want to upgrade the lighting for my tank so the plants do
better. Looks like I can't just get a brighter bulb for my hood.


Nope, it doesn't work that way, unfortunately. The fixture pretty much
determines what bulbs you can use and how much light you can have.

Anyway, I saw glass tops which you could put separate lighting
fixtures on top of. I would like something flexible so that I could
add more light later if I decided to really get into this planted tank
thing. Would this be a good idea?


I use glass canopies on both of my tanks. They do offer a lot of flexibility.
So far, my two monster cats have not managed to knock off the light strips.

I am thinking of staying away from
CO2 at the moment. So could I buy a glass top, maybe use the light
from my existing hood plus another fixture on the top


You could do that. Another possibility might be to buy a 55W power compact
upgrade kit, and fit it into your current hood. AHSupply.com has them.

I've been studiously reading the back posts on watts per gallon. Would
three 20 watt bulbs be ok? That would be 60 watts or about 2 1/2 watts
per gallon. Is that suitable for the size and shape of my aquarium?


It's a bit high, but will probably be all right. Are you planning to get one
twin-tube light strip, and use it with your current single strip? If so, make
sure they both fit on the tank top. The twin-tube is wider. And remember that
the handle on front of the glass top, and equipment at the back, may take up
some of the width of the tank top.



Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 18-07-2003, 10:15 AM
JudyK
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

Hi Leigh,

Thanks for the help again. It's very useful!

That upgrade kit looks pretty neat.

I went to Big Al's today and looked at all their stuff. I think I will
get a glass top ($20) and then I could either get a 55 watt compact
flourescent fixture ($180) or a double tube regular flourescent
fixture (2 x 20 watts and about $90) and use that one either alone or
as well as my current one (20 watts). They would all fit with the
filter and everything. Or I could make something.

Is there a big difference with the compact flourescent? The bulbs seem
to cost about twice as much as the regular ones. The one that comes
with the 55 watt setup is 9325 degrees K which seems pretty blue to me
(I'm a photographer).

I checked out the flourite too and it's $30 a bag. I think I'll use at
least part flourite for the bottom.

In case these prices seem high, I'm in Canada where our dollars don't
go so far!

I also got an introductory plant book and it recommends at least 50
watts for 25 gallons for just about all of them. I'm hoping to collect
some native plants that would go with the native fish. Oh, and my rosy
red minnow's eggs hatched so I now have about 50 teeny tiny babies
swimming around in a 1 gal tank.

Judy, proud grandmother
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Old 18-07-2003, 10:15 AM
LeighMo
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

Is there a big difference with the compact flourescent? The bulbs seem
to cost about twice as much as the regular ones.


I think the big difference with compact flourescents is that they are, well,
compact. g A long tube is bent in half so that it fits in half the space,
letting you get a lot more light over a smaller tank than would be possible
with ordinary straight flourescents.

One thing that people like about the AH Supply kits is that they have great
reflectors. That makes a big difference. I don't recommend the All-Glass
compact flourescents. The reflector is lousy, just a flat piece of metal.
Good reflectors have a parabolic or "barn roof" shape, to focus the light
downward.

The one that comes
with the 55 watt setup is 9325 degrees K which seems pretty blue to me
(I'm a photographer).


You can buy all different colors of bulbs. Most planted tank keepers prefer
bulbs in the 5000K-6500K range.

I have an All-Glass PCF with a 9325 bulb, and I find it looks really pink for
some reason. I didn't like it at first, but it's kind of grown on me. It does
give the red fish a nice warmth.

Oh, and my rosy
red minnow's eggs hatched so I now have about 50 teeny tiny babies
swimming around in a 1 gal tank.


Congratulations on the blessed event! :-D


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 18-07-2003, 10:15 AM
JudyK
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

Thanks Leigh,

The compact fluorescents that I was looking at at big Al's are
All-Glass ones. After what you say about the reflector and the bulb
that comes with it I am now more inclined to go with a regular
fluorescent setup - cheaper and there is a much wider selection of
bulbs available - plus you can combine different bulbs. The only bad
thing is that to get 3 bulbs on a 12" deep tank they don't have much
of a reflector.

If I put a hood over the handle of the glass top will it melt???

I'm still interested in the AH Supply kit but with shipping and tax
and so on it gets expensive. Plus I still have the limitations of the
compact fluorescent bulbs. They seem much more oriented towards
sal****er tanks.

My friend brought me some lovely sand from his property and I am
rinsing it out to put in the goldfish tank. I think it will look nice
and the fishies will have fun playing in it. The goldfish really need
a bigger tank too. More $$$$$$

Thanks again for the help!
Judy


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Old 18-07-2003, 10:16 AM
LeighMo
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

If I put a hood over the handle of the glass top will it melt???

IME, no. I think the handle is made of the same kind of plastic as the hood,
so if the light doesn't melt the hood, it shouldn't melt the handle.





Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 18-07-2003, 10:16 AM
JudyK
 
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Default Upgrading my lighting

Thanks for all the help.

Last night I bought a glass top and a 2 bulb regular fluorescent strip
light. I also got one plant bulb. My tank looks great now. I'm
starting out with just 2 of the bulbs on for now so I don't shock the
fish and plants too much. I also bought a bag of Fluorite and will
redo the tank this weekend. Then I'll get some algae eaters and some
more plants.

Had a very knowledgeable guy helping me at the store for a change so I
asked him lots and lots of questions.

Judy


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