Lighting upgrade - Page 5 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #41 of 51 Old 02-17-2012, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PonyMan View Post
Do you have to have glass tops or can you just use these lights with an open tank? Thinking the humidity/moisture may accumulate on the light itself without glass tops??
I would reccomand glass tops, to keep the fish from jumping out and it helps with evaporation.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)
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post #42 of 51 Old 02-17-2012, 08:36 PM
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Glass tops would be required, a shop light would not be hermetically sealed.
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post #43 of 51 Old 02-17-2012, 11:33 PM
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I used to have a 2 bulb 48" custom VHO rig in the canopy of my 110g. Ive since rewired it with a regular ballast and only 1 T12 but..

originally the reflector, nor anything this side of the inline ballast was grounded. I got zapped MANY times by touching my arm to the bulb/socket when I was working in the tank. The new rig got a grounded reflector and ballast, all contained in the hood. Still no glass cover though, but now everything is on a GFI at least. If you have the option, a glass top is the ONLY way to go. If not, grounded fixtures and GFI are a must, and a retention system to keep the light from falling in the water. which ive also let happen.

for a standard 55g, the glass tops arent terribly expensive and readily available (for the modern style 55g, anyway). No reason to zap yourself or your fish ;)

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #44 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rjwwrx View Post
I ended up finding a decent looking fixture at wal-mart for ~$15. Lights of America dual T8 shop light. It's stainless steel with black endcaps. I took several pictures of how it sits on the tank because when I went looking I could never find any. I'm really happy with it and I don't think it looks bad at all. I'm running a GE 6500K daylight bulb and a GE 5000k sunlight bulb.








Would that get hot enough to melt the plastic on the Versa top?

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #45 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 09:07 AM
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No way. The bulbs don't get very hot. I can grab the bulbs even after several hours of being on. The only part that even gets very hot is the top of the fixture by the ballast. I'm pretty sure one of the main things the glass tops are designed for is to hold strip lights so I think they'll be fine.
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post #46 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 09:20 AM
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What bulbs are you using in this fixture rjwwrx? I just bought this fixture and am looking into the bulbs for it now.
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post #47 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 09:33 AM
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I am using a GE 6500k and a GE 5000k. I like a little warmer look so went with one 5000k. I think it brings out the fish colors better, for my eyes anyways. Picked them up at lowes in two packs for aroud $6 I think.
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post #48 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rjwwrx View Post
I am using a GE 6500k and a GE 5000k. I like a little warmer look so went with one 5000k. I think it brings out the fish colors better, for my eyes anyways. Picked them up at lowes in two packs for aroud $6 I think.
This is a good combo. As you've mentioned, the 5000K adds a bit more warmth to the hue, that's fine. As I've written elsewhere, tubes with a Kelvin between 5000K and 7000K are usually good. Whether you go warm or cool within this, up to you and your preference for hue. The plants will do well whatever.

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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post #49 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 02:26 PM
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OK so I found both bulbs rjwwrx suggested but I also found a plant/aquarium bulb too. The plant bulb was like 1900 lumins(?) and the other two were 3050 lumins. Which would be the better bulb??
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post #50 of 51 Old 02-18-2012, 03:25 PM
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Generally the plant bulbs are much weaker light, which you see by the difference in lumens listed. Best bet is to maybe try one out mixed with either the 6500 or 5000 bulb. However it probably isn't needed. Anything in the Kelvin range that Byron posted would be sufficient.
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