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Lighting - Am I on track?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gilmith, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Gilmith

    Gilmith Junior Poster

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    Back in the hobby after a little time off-

    I'm upgrading a 100 gallon 18" h x 18"w x 72" L tank

    I'll be adding a CO2 system (high Pressure) and am shooting for the 3 watt per gallon mark

    But this is a big tank....... but I'm not sure that applies 100%

    DIY hood so I'm looking to retro mount something into that or go topless.

    Would like to spend around $300

    Compact fluorescent lighting seems like the way to go and AH Supply (http://www.ahsupply.com/ ) seems to get good marks all over but I'm looking for alternatives.

    3 55 watt kits (2 bulbs) = 330 watts = 66" = $195 w/o shipping or bulbs.
    Bulbs going to be about $120 for 6 55 W

    Anyone have any suggestions or alternate confg's that would complement this setup? or be more cost effective?

    Thanks....
     
  2. Simpte

    Simpte Prolific Poster

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  3. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Lighting - Am I on track?

    Gilmith,if your reto fitting a diy hood ah supply is best inmo.kim is a great guy to do business with.sometimes he has damaged reflectors,(very small scratches) on hand that can save YOU $$.otherwise look at CORALIFE freshwater fixtures,nice light for the money.regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  4. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Lighting - Am I on track?

    I think one of Gilmith's questions, and now mine, is about WPG. If 3 WPG is considered "high light" on a 55 gallon tank, what is its equivalent on a 100? A 200?

    (My guess is that something around 2 - 2.5 WPG would be the equivalent on a 100 gallon, and that 3 wpg would be roughly the equivalent of 3.5 - 4 wpg on a 55, but I have no experience with large tanks like that.)

    Bill
     
  5. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Lighting - Am I on track?

    i think because of the dimensions of this tank in order to get good light distribution,you would have to stagger the lights to get by with 4 55watt fixtures.or setting plants that don't need much light on one end and center light over as much as your light will cover.a six foot tank is expensive to light no matter what.i think a 100 gal would make for a perfect plant tank.not to high and plenty of room for lots of plants,ummmm! regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  6. Gilmith

    Gilmith Junior Poster

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    Re: Lighting - Am I on track?

    Thanks for the ideas and the info folks-

    I'm gearing up the tank slowly - so I still have some time to shop. I have to win my Co2 tank auction on ebay. Yet too

    Playing with the numbers on 2 36" fixtures vs. 0ne 72"

    I have some concerns about 2 36" stand alone fixtures because the braces on my tank are at 24".

    AH is looking better all the time - I found a good source of Soilmaster for the substrate, so i can shift some budget there. (I did the math on getting enough EC shipped in and it was more than I payed for my first car).

    Again thanks for the thoughts.
     
  7. DavidR

    DavidR Prolific Poster

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    Re: Lighting - Am I on track?

    Here's a consideration: DIY T5.

    3x80w will be more than enough, and is what I would buy for my 100g (5') if I were to go high light. Each 80w light is 5', just perfect for your tank. I had my 100g lit with 5x55w AHS kits. I was not very happy with them on this particular tank. It is currently lit with 3x55w AHS kits. I'm still not all that happy. I do love my T5's on my 75g.

    Standoffs (6), endcaps (6), reflectors (3, better than AHS), and bulbs (three 6k Kelvin) = $217.50

    You will need electronic ballasts, which can be cheap (Workhorse) or expensive (Icecap). It's your choice. It will also allow you flexibility for power options; each bulb with its own power cord, or all 3 on one power cord. You could easily get 3 Workhorse ballasts (same as AHS) for $60-80 off of ebay.

    All of this (except for the ballasts, but you can get them here as well for about $45 each) is available at: http://www.specialty-lights.com Did I mention free shipping? I bought my T5's from them, and they were a pleasure to deal with, and shipping was fast!

    Regardless of the path you choose, I wish you the best!
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Lighting - Am I on track?

    I really like the T5's, you do need that much light with them, 2w/gal is plenty.

    They give a better spread over the tank, it's also only 18" deep, so this will matter more.

    Other wise 2x 96w PC's and bend the reflectors outward to get a better spread at the shallower depths.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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