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[APD] 100 gallon tank lighting
I've been quietly lurking for a while but I could use some advice. I'm
setting up my first big tank. A friend is giving me a 5-foot, 100g (60"
x 18" x 21") tank and I'm not sure about lighting. The largest tank
I've run before was a 55g. I'm planning a heavily planted angelfish
tank (altums if I can find 'em) and mostly South American plants like
swords, cabomba, and valisneria. I'm not going to try stunts like
riccia carpets, but I may do a Lilaeopsis lawn. I need suspended
lighting or a fixture on legs so the tank doesn't overheat in the
summer. Overheating is a BIG issue for my tnaks because I don't have
AC. I will be running CO2 and I know how to fertilize properly. I
don't paticularly want crazy growth, but I want plants to do well enough
that algae is not a problem. I'm considering both fluorescent and metal
halide and I'm not a DIYer. My options are:
-- Current USA 260W 5-foot CF fixture. 4x65W CF. It would fit the tank
well and the look of the fixture is appealing. Not sure it's enough
wattage, though. It's expensive at about $425 to get the fixture and
buy FW bulbs and replacements are about $80/year.
-- Aquatraders (aka Jebo/Odyssea) 322W 5-foot CF fixture. 2x96, 2x65.
Fixture is only $250 with FW bulbs and fits the tank. It has more
wattage than the Current USA but Aquatraders has a questionable
reputation (bad ballasts, noisy fans) which makes me hesitate.
Replacement bulbs $100/year. Anyone got a Jebo/Odyssea/Aquatraders
fixture and like it?
-- Hydroponic 4-foot T5 HO fixture. Energy efficient, comparable price
to CF, cooler running with no fans, long bulb life. IMO this is better
technology than CF. I can get 4, 6, or 8 54W bulbs for total wattage of
216, 324, or 432 (yipes). Replacement bulbs are dirt cheap. I've been
looking at Tek-Lights because the reflectors are supposed to be the best
available. I only hesitate here because all the fixtures are 4 feet
long and I would have to hang it from the ceiling rather than having legs.
-- Metal halide pendants, 2x150W. I love glitter lines, but this is a
$600 outlay plus $100 bulb replacements and might cook the tank.
Probably out of my budget. If I would need fluorescents to lower light
intensity for part of the light cycle, the cost of the combined fixtures
So...what would you get? How much wattage do I need? Has anyone
suspended a 4-foot fixture over a 5-foot tank and how did it work?
Anyone seen other options (like a T5 HO fixture designed for 5-foot tanks)?
Thanks in advance,
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