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Light suggestion for 120 gallon

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by heavensabvus1, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. heavensabvus1

    heavensabvus1 Junior Poster

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    I'm about to upgrade my current 65 gallon tank to my dream tank -- a 120 gallon (4'x2'x2'). I have a mixture of plants, and, of course, would like to add a nice foreground. I will be moving all existing equipment/inhabitants over, but will need to change out my light fixture. I intend to use T5 HO lights on it, which are 48" long, 54 watts each. I can choose from the following for this tank:

    4 x 54w = 216 watts
    6 x 54w = 324 watts
    8 x 54w = 432 watts

    What wattage would you recommend for this tank that will allow me to have a good shot at growing whatever I'd like to try? Thanks.
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    To The Simple Life

    Hi,

    My choice, the 4 x 54w = 216 watts would be fine. You can grow just about anything and life will be simple. :cool:

    The 6 x 54w = 324 watts are still manageable, but make sure you can turn off two bulbs independently without losing a good spread on the lighting.

    Good luck,
    Biollante
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    What B said. How much are you looking to spend? You can get some very low light T8 lights with a nice spread at Home Depot but they'll look pretty ghetto.

    A nice alternative is something like the Tek 5 lights with a suspension kit. I'm using a 4 bulb T50HO unit over a 60"x18" tank. Actually it's over two ~40 gallon tanks but it's doing very well. For the 24" width tank you might have to either raise the light up a bit to even it out or consider a 6-8 bulb fixture to get a nice spread. You probably aren't going to want all bulbs on for any real period of time though if you do go with one of those.

    -
    S
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I chose the 8X 54W, but only use the outside pairs, so 4x 54 W on my own 120 Gal of the same shape.

    I adjust the lights to about 8" off the surface of the water.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    BTW, the 8X 54 fixture is 18" wide , while the 4x54 fix is only 12", so I have a wider spread, even if I never use the other middle 4 bulbs.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. heavensabvus1

    heavensabvus1 Junior Poster

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    Thank you for all your suggestions. I actually have T5 fixtures here already in the 4x54w (14" wide) and 6x54w (8x54w wide) because I use them to grow regular plants and they're great. The 4x54w has only one switch and the 6x54w has two (as does the 8x54w). I have tons of herbs, lettuce and tomatoes growing in the closet where the T5s are their only source of light and they grow amazingly well. Unfortunately, those fixtures of set up to be used hanging from something and on my tank I'd rather have something that has legs and sits on top. One thing about the regular grow light fixtures that is different from the aquarium fixtures is that in the regular grow lights they space the bulbs apart further automatically. And they're a lot cheaper for the same wattage. If you spray painted the fixture black, you'd have the same thing and they look very nice. Oh, except there is no splash guard on the grow lights. Only issue is they have to be hung and I'd prefer not to do that. But I think the aquarium light makers are ripping us off because it's basically double the price for the aquarium fixture vs. the regular grow light. I can get a 14" wide 4x54w grow light for $150 if I shop carefully, including four 6700k bulbs.

    I think because of the spread of the lights, the 6x54w (18 inches) in a regular grow light would be good or the 8x54w (18 inches) in an aquarium light is a good idea with 2-4 of the lights off. What I really wish is that I could find a way to make legs for the cheaper grow light. It really does look very nice, especially if you painted it gloss black and just be careful of splashes because of the lack of spashguard. This is my dream tank and I've saved a long time for it so the price on the lighting is not an issue, but I am definitely not wasteful and if I can find a less expensive, equal alternative, I will definitely take it.
     

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