Lighting for a 55 gallon - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 07:11 PM
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Here is a link to another thread started by one of our members, showing her 55g planted tank with the same light fixture you have (2 18-inch T8 tubes). As you can see, it is possible.
One has to select plant species carefully, as has been mentioned already. And I agree with what others have said about the various plants.

Good tubes will help, and as noted in the linked thread, she is using Life-Glo which are about the best in this situation. They should be replaced every 12-18 months. UltraSun made by ZooMed is about the same, and slightly less expensive.

If you decide to upgrade to open your options a bit, the next step would be a single 48-inch T8, but that would only be minimally above what you now have, so if upgrading is decided, I would go one better and get a dual-tube 48-inch T8. Do not get T5, that is much more intense lighting and will cause other problems.

Glass cover sets are made for the standard sized tanks; the glass sits down on the inside lip around the frame. The light fixture then sits on top of the frame (end to end) so it is not actually touching the glass cover which could fall into the tank if it was. I have this arrangement on my 4 and 5-foot tanks.


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]

Last edited by Byron; 10-04-2012 at 07:14 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 01:41 PM
Originally Posted by Boredomb View Post
I wouldnt cut that center brace. Its there for support. It helps the top rim from letting the glass bow. Its possible if you cut that the glass could bow. It may not but I wouldn't chance it.
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I'm preaching to the choir, but there's a thread about that somewhere. A 55 we bought used had the center brace rusted out, and after reading the thread I measured that the tank was 1/4" wider at the middle than the ends. I used a threaded rod, fender washers and nuts to brace it.

I'd like to know if anyone is using these LEDs. I use them on 2.5, ten and twenty gallon tanks, and to supplement a 30 with a single tube light.
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post #13 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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I spoke with the electrician at my work and he said he may be able to change the fixtures of my fish tank lighting so I can get higher wattage bulbs in there.

He said he would let me know by Monday after he looks at a few of his 55 gallon tanks at home and see what he would have to do and if it is possible.

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