newbie lighting question

tedr108

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I am building a canopy for my 50G tank (will have 2 x 96w CF lamps, which will be on timers and on at different times).

My question: I am trying to decide how high to build the canopy. I've read/been given conflicting information and cannot decide how high above the water the lamps (bulbs) should be. I wouldn't mind having the lights 4 or so inches above the water, so I'll get fewer water spots on the reflectors. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

tedr108

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Thanks, Gerry, that gives me a good idea of what I can do.

Out of curiosity, what are the low, golden-leafed plants near the front of your tank in that picture? They look cool to me. I'm trying to get HC going and it is finally kicking in, but I would like some mid-height plants like yours also. My "mini" (12" max) corkscrew vals are basically taking over much of my tank with their runners going everywhere -- soon to start pruning ... I tossed my Japanese fans, so I'm looking for another low to mid level plant.
 

raun

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Nov 7, 2007
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I have 4x65 CF lamps about 1 inch above my glass top, which is probably 2-3 inches above the water. I upgraded the airflow on my fixture as a precaution so I wouldn't cause a big temperature difference on the glass top.
 

Gerryd

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Ted,

They are cryptocoryne wendti for the most part, both red and green varieties.

Mostly red. They stayed small under the flouros, but when I went to MH they grew 2-3 times the height.
 

tedr108

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Gerry: Thanks for the info on the plants.

Raun: Thank you for the reply. I probably won't have glass over my tank, not sure if that is good or bad, but I kind of figured there would be more oxygen in the water that way. If I ever find out that it makes no difference whether there is a covering over the tank or not, I'll probably put some acrylic over it (at night at least) to 1) keep in the heat at night and 2) protect my lights from evaporation. Like you, I am already planning on installing a fan in my new canopy -- 2 x 96w CFs produce a lot of heat. No big deal during the winter (if you want to call CA weather winter), but during the summer I may have problems keeping my water cool enough.
 

Mooner

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Mine are 6"-8" above water level. Just make sure your light is spread out front to back.
 

tedr108

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decision

I've decided to make my hood so the lights are about 4" above the water. That should avoid most splashes and hopefully evaporation spots on the reflector. We'll see ...