[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Lighting for a 55G tank

>I am a newby to aquatic plants. I have added several plants and fish over 
>time. The set up has been going now for about 6 months.I'm tiring of trial 
>and error. Plants go in....get thin, transparent leaves, no growth on bottom 
>with compact growth at top. So I pull out. I think, no I know, I am >deficient on lighting.

You are correct -- no doubt you need more lighting. Remember that stepping
up the lighting will also result in increased nutrient intake, so you will
also need more fertilizer(s) and CO2. 

>I have a 36" wide x 15" deep x 22" high-55gl show aquarium. For 
>lighting I have a 55 w smartlite and a 15w power glo. According to the calcs 
>on the FAQ lighting I should have about 175 watts of Lighting. Most plants I 
>seem to be attracted too have high light needs. My question is this. How to >I get this much wattage with current set up? Build a new top with 3 

If you have an All Glass tank the easiest way to go may well be to get one
of their Power Compact Flourescent (PCF) hoods. They have assemblies all
made up and ready to go that will fit their tanks. Not sure on pricing, but
they should be readily available. PCF will get you enough lighting on your
tank should you choose to go that route. It's probably going to be the
easiest way to do it too.

> The fish store told me to go to metal halide. But qouted me >$250 
>for reflector, ballast and lamp. Your input would be appreciated. Thanks to 
>everyone for the great site and mailing list. Really is insightful

Your fish store probably sells marine stuff too, right? Just about everyone
who wants *serious* lighting for salt water either gets or thinks about
metal halide. It's my personal favorite for freshwater too, but it comes at
a price: either serious $$$ or serious time for DIY. You can save a *lot*
if you go the DIY route, but it will take some expertise with electrical
and construction work (all of which you can get help for with the List
archives, articles on the Krib, and by posting here) as well as a chunk of
your time. If you go the commercial route you've probably already seen the
big price tags :-)

MH also tends to lend itself to open-top tanks. You can get it in hoods,
but I think that looses some of the neat stuff you can do with MH. You
might also find a 55G to be difficult to light with MH. Each MH fixture is
good for roughly a 2 foot square area, and with a 55 being only 12" wide,
you will have some spill over with an open top setup. I don't think a
single fixture could be made to light the whole 4' length of the tank
evenly, so you end up with a tradeoff: spillover or shadow areas.


Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator