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Re: Lighting (getting very frusrated)

Lighting seems to be the biggest source of frustration for me in my tanks 
(more than algae at this point). Particularly a 29 gallon and a 55 gallon. I 
have off-and-on considered A&H *retrofit* kits. I still can't figure out what 
they are supposed to retrofit, because they don't seem to fit in standard 
light strips.  I've spoken to someone from A&H a few times with the intention 
of coming up with some clear answers and purchase the kits necessary to 
upgrade both tanks, once I can figure out how. Overall, they were not very 
helpful. I can handle the electical and construction part, I just don't have 
the imagination or experience to figure out what to do and what I need. Last 
time  they were actually very abrupt and said they didn't have time to talk 
with me on the phone. So much for A&H.

So, looking at the pre-made light fixtures I've contemplated the Perfecto, 
Oceanic and CSL Britelite. The Perfecto, on the downside, does not seem to be 
servicing their units or offer parts for them, in case of problems, since 
they are discontinued. On the upside, they greatly improved on the reflectors 
of their other strip lights, as its polished aluminum. I don't know, would 
that help it reflect much better, since this is also a narrow strip (approx 
4-1/2"), flat-topped reflector? Now I've read that the All-Glass requires a 
special light bulb, available only from them (appeared today on list). I have 
heard good things about the Custom Sea Life Britelites. However, these 3 fall 
short of the A&H kit, only because of the reflector. I'm sure the reflectors 
A&H uses are available elsewhere?

One thing I would advise is plan in advance. Setting up several tanks in the 
past 1+ year has been a big expense. Much better to do it right from the 
start. Meanwhile I have purchased lighting that I don't think is doing a 
whole lot for my tanks. 4 NO flourescents over a 29 gallon should do an o.k. 
job of lighting it, yet placed in Perfecto strips, it's inadequate and 
lighting over the tank is not uniform. If money were is not a problem, 
there's units that cost several hundred dollars in PetsWarehouse catalog. I 
think the Phazer Units from Red Sea look pretty decent.

Temporary modification on the 55 gallon tank included constructing one of 
those raingutter compact flourescent strips at 
http://members.carolina.net/hyrb/lighting.html. Unfortunately, this strip on 
the front of one side of the tank is so bright, that many plants tend to lean 
towards this light, the taller of which shade the lower-growing plants 
nearby. Maybe I should just make a bunch of these and place them over the 
whole tank?



> Ok, I have been wanting to set up a planted tank for
>  quite awhile now. The only problem I have is getting
>  the light. I can't seem to get enough lighting. I need
>  60-90 watts so atleast 3 bulbs. I can't even find a
>  set up that fits under my tank that has two bulbs
>  unless I have to have an electricain come in and wire
>  it up. I just wat a cord that plugs in to my wall.
>  This is getting to be very frustrating. Please help.
>  PS I got a large canopy that is about 4 inches deep.