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Better light for hooded tank?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by D-Gray, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. D-Gray

    D-Gray Junior Poster

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    I am new to planted tanks. I got lucky that my 20 gallon tank hood came with a T8 light that meets the requirements for my low light plants. My weeping moss already seems to have tripled in size but it's higher in the tank. My lower plants just do not look great. According to a lighting chart my current light should be good for the depth of my tank. However, more light is better so I was wondering if anyone else has had to find a better light that will still fit on the hood where the existing light is.

    I have a 24" light box that is kind of the standard aquarium hood light. It's the light box that sits over a clear panel in the middle of the hood. I kind of need to keep using the hood, I have a cat, keeps the tank warmer the winter than if open, and tons of evaporation from the dry heat in the winter.

    The watt of the box is not high enough to upgrade bulb. So I thought someone else has sure to have had this issue before and could recommend a higher replacement that still fits.


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    I did this once by gutting the hood and buying a AH Supply PC bulb and reflector. I had to mount the ballast on the back of the hood, but the rest worked great.

    The light however did not work so well - Because of how close it was to the tank I had unbelievably high light in the center section, and the top corners of the tank were nearly dark.

    If it were me I would do one of two things. Get a Fuge Ray type light (Led, Med light, adjustable by raising and lowering) or any LED lamp you can suspend. Start with it 2-4 inches above the tank then if you want to cover the tank buy an all glass top. This will help with light spread and be pretty cheap.

    Or buy a hood and put any kind of retrofit kit you want in there. I personally like this look because the tank looks more finished to me, like an entertainment center or something, but I understand it's an "Older" style.

    Whiskey
     
  3. D-Gray

    D-Gray Junior Poster

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    Thanks Whiskey.

    I am not DIY when it comes to anything electrical so swapping out the fixture would be my last resort. I had thought about having to go the glass top route. At least I can still get one that opens so I can work on the tank without worrying about splashing the light and breaking it. I read a ton of reviews on different lights, mostly led, that would quit if they got splashed a little.

    I looked up Fugeray lights and found a Finnex Fugeray light that comes with different mounting brackets. It occurred to me that I could just leave the mounting brackets off and sit it on the clear panel. That would still be about 2in at least from the water. So this is looking best at the moment, I can always keep the brackets and mount it differently later or with a clear top.

    In the meantime I found a temp fix. My aquarium came with this really cheap solid plastic hood. It had a string of led lights that clipped on under it. It had no door in the hood and I wanted to be able to work on the tank without having to remove the hood, so I got a classic hood with the big door in it. I got out the LEDs and put the string of led lights under the white strip of the current fixture beside where the T8 bulb is. It defiantly made the tank a notch or two brighter. While I decide on a new light or new hood and light I can see if this perks up the lower plants any.
     
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