20 gallon tank light help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 11 Old 02-23-2009, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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20 gallon tank light help

I have a 20 gal talk that is sitting around that I want to start up and put lots of plants in and I have like 8 glo-light tetra I want to put in it. I need a light for it and see alot of 20g hoods are like 15w. Any suggestions on a light for a 20 gal tank?
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-23-2009, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bigk_54 View Post
I have a 20 gal talk that is sitting around that I want to start up and put lots of plants in and I have like 8 glo-light tetra I want to put in it. I need a light for it and see alot of 20g hoods are like 15w. Any suggestions on a light for a 20 gal tank?
depending what you want to spend?

you need to have


here Aquarium Lighting and Aquarium Lights for Reef and Marine Aquarium Lighting ? Drs. Foster & Smith

go crazy
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-26-2009, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well......Been there.....Done that.... Was hoping that someone could narrow it down a little bit that might have a good one they reccomend! I spent 150$ on my 55 gal tank light, so I figure 1/2 the gallons 1/2 the price.....but I could be wrong! LOL I did look at a single compact but it has a 10000k bulb so I would have to replace that which would be about 100$ total Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures But again looking for some ideas from someone that has one/could lead me toward a light that would give proper lighting for my situation
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-25-2009, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I think that I have narrowed it down, finally set up tank and it cycling! I think either a single or a double satellite. I like the idea of the lunar lights, they make my 55 gallon look great at night! Anyone have any suggestions on this issues? I want to keep light around 150$ max.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 02:58 AM
Personally I would build my own using ahsupply.com kits. I have a single current satalight on a 20 high, it does well but its REALLY crappy compared to the one I built for my 55gal. But I bought the current used and cheap, so really no complaining. I would not get a double inless you want to go with presurrized CO2 as well. The moonlight does not light much of anything, its just a single LED. It could be a good fixture with some modifications though. I plan to eventually replace the square pin socket it comes with with a straight pin one. All my other fixtures use straight, but this one has to be different. Also plan to rid out that LED and put a cold cathode in its place, then I will have a moonlight.

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I was thinking same thing about the moon light on the satellite fixture! I was wondering if it was more money worthy to buy a different light and then do something else for moon lights....
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 11:39 AM
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I think that satellite or for that matter double satellite will be total overkill on 20 gallon tank. You will have major algae problems with it. After having discussion with Byron I realized that overkill lighting could be more of problem creator than you think. So .. for 20 gal I would go with Single or double T-8 bulb fixture, and nice plant full spectrum bulbs.

I currently own double satellite fixture.. it's great and all but.. constant algae grow hinders my plant growth. also it is expansive to run.. my electricity bill went up by at least 30$ + it runs hot all the time.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 11:48 AM
i think the satellite might work as long as you regulate the amount of time the lights are on and swap some of the full spectrum bulbs out for normal bulbs. Wattage will still be high per gallon and it may require a bit of juggling to get the water, lights and plants balance but i think its workable.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 12:15 PM
I agree that there may be algae problems, with a 55watt bulb you are going to have 2.75wpg. On my 20gal with the single current fixture I run pressurized co2. I also looked more into the currents moonlight and how to make it better. I was thinking you could just cut the wires for the LED and use it to run a cold cathode, but looking at how the have it rigged up and the output of the plugin for the moonlight. You would have to remove the second plug in for the moonlight too and replace it with something with a much higher output to run a cold cathode.

If you want to stay low tech I would go with what was mentioned above or a 36watt CF fixture. If you have even a basic electrical understanding I suggest building one. $70 and you could build a 55watt fixture that would work much better than the current with a great moonlight. $85 and you could build a 36watt fixture with a great moonlight that would rival the 55watt current. Building a light isn't really hard at all. All they really consist of is a plug in cord, ballast, and light sockets. I found it really fun.

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post #10 of 11 Old 05-27-2009, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Im gonna take a good look at the DIY lights on the above mentioned page, took a quick peek at them before and kinda looked out of my league! But ill take a peek again after Mikaila's post!

I also looked at a all glass full hood, but it only has a 15 watt light in it that wouldn't be good for any plants would it be?

G/f likes that one because it matches tank but yet she wants driftwood and some plants in that one no decorations. So if the above ? is correct I think I have it narrowed down to the single bulb satellite or building one! Thanks all for your input has really helped alot and gave me some other options
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