Help a new 50 gallon owner! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-25-2010, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mddittman View Post
OK, moving right along!

I did more research and the Rena XP3 will be delivered Monday. I had the water conditioning guys out today, my unsoftened water was around 9 and the iron was 1.5, before going through the softener. I will take him a sample this weekend after we've run the water through a couple cycles.

The hood and light fixture was in storage so they were really dusty but they're cleaned up... I took the advice given in my thread in the Plant section and bought T8 bulbs since it will be planted. Unfortunately, the bulb that was in it was a T12, and the T8 just loudly flickers on and off so it seems like the lighting fixture is incompatible with my T8 bulbs (although the T12 lights right up and stays on). Can anyone recommend a 48" fixture that will definitely work with a T8?

The hood is in "OK" shape, for being from the early 1990's; there is some hard water/etching on the glass so I may replace it with new glass or Lexan, and one of the plastic tabs for one of the hinged plastic lids was broken and replaced with a (now rusty) nail or screw. If anyone has a suggestion for an all-in-one solution for a T8-ready fixture and hood, all-in-one, I'm all ears!

The tank is 48" x 12.5"... apparently it's a 55, not a 50 gallon tank.
My 33g fixture does the same with a T8 tube but only for a couple minutes; it remains on the rest of the day. I have a Life-Glo 2 tube and a note came with it that this is normal (but only for a couple minutes). If longer, then perhaps a new fixture would be advisable, rather than setting fire to the place.

I bought two new fixtures last year to replace 15-year wear-outs and chose All Glass. They have electronic ballasts (instant on, and I mean instant). I've been running these for over a year now and I highly recommend them. The tubes that come with them are garbage (purplish), they went straight to recycling; I bought the full spectrum/daylight tubes. These are fixtures only, not hoods. I have glass covers on my tanks, you can buy those from fish stores, the front panels slide back for ease of feeding. They sit down inside the tank frame on plastic rails. If you go this route, make sure the tank is filled before you cut the middle rail, as the frame expands with the pressure of the water.

A note on the water softener; find out how it softens, most use chemicals and salts which can be trouble depending upon what they are.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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