Hi, guys --
This is my first post (so pls forgive any oops), but I've learned sooo much reading the posts.
I recently brought home a used 70(?, per the former owner) -- interior measurements 47x17x18 -- tank with beautiful handmade stand & canopy. The tank does not
have a center brace and, since it's a double glass one, there is basically no rim.
The wood canopy (interior: 48.75x23.5x6.5) has two fans (3" diameter, if I remember -- its wrapped up right now during setup) on the back -- although I still need to confirm that they work -- and, since the stand and canopy were made to accommodate a deeper aquarium as well as the 70g, there is an opening along the back, along the underneath of the canopy (about 4" wide and going the length of the tank). Other than two openings (with magnetic covers) in the front that allow for feeding and wc (but not much else), the canopy has solid sides and top. The canopy sits on the wood trim of the tank, so there is no edge there.
Installed inside the canopy is a Aqueon LED fixture that would need bulbs (the single bulb got broken during the move) if I decide to keep it. Since getting the tank, I've seen the not-so-good reviews for this fixture/bulbs for a planted aquarium, and the few java plants that came with the tank have a lot on algae on them, so I want my lighting choice to be a careful one. The Aqueon is installed about 2" above tank top, so prob about 4" above the water.
BTW, the canopy needs to stay, or I will have to give a couple of my more stubbornly inquisitive cats swimming lessons
At this time, I don't see myself going the Co2 route -- I'm fine with low to moderate-light plants and I'm guessing there will be live plants in maybe 1/3 of the tank.
To deal with my high-ph city water, my other tanks have a lot of Mopani and Malaysian wood. In experimenting with various T8s on my other tanks, I've noticed that the color of the wood and my large Koi Angel (who will be moving to the 70g) looks downright strange with some -- Floramax is ok, kinda.
And, of course, I'm on a tight budget.
Soooo....it seems that the only way to go is something that can be attached to the underside of the canopy. (I checked out compact fluorescents with a gooseneck clamp, but it seems they generate a lot of heat plus I'm guessing the canopy would not be tall enough.)
I found a T5HO strip that could be retrofit under the canopy, but everything I see on T5HO says the tank needs a glass cover, which I can't do because there's no edge. Plus, I'm not sure about the heat -- or about the constant noise of fans...
If, indeed LED is the only way to go, can I use some combination of the Aqueon light bulbs (there's room for three bulbs), at least for a bit until I can afford a better LED fixture (I take it there are no other bulbs that will fit an Aqueon?). What would be a better LED fixture that can be attached to the canopy?
As a side note, my LFS has a used dual tube T8 hood -- I have to check on the exact dimensions though -- while it might be able to sit on the top edge of the trim piece that the sits the canopy on the tank (with a similarly-sized piece of plexi underneath the hood), I'm concerned it could be problematic to remove it prior to taking off the canopy; is there some way to hang it?
Sorry for the long-windedness...