Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   T5 questions. (

rye 05-22-2008 03:16 PM

T5 questions.
I have been planning the aquarium and am starting to understand some concepts of the plant stuff.

I struck a deal with my son, since he wants fish he can feed shrimp or guppies now and then. I have a 125 with a pleco and a few mbunas in it and he is going to put them in the new 75 and the 125 will be for the planted/community tank.

Both tanks had the black plastic hoods, so today I ordered a see through canopy for the 125.

My next concern is lighting. I am shooting for middleish lighting. I saw some fixtures that were pretty affordable, but had a few questions.

They do not come in 72" fixtures (the 125 is 72" long), can I use two 36" fixtures or will the mounting hardware get in the way and I really need to try and find a 72" fixture?

Both are T5...Are these safe to set right on the glass or will they generate a lot of heat and cause problems?

These are the two types of products I was looking at:

As near as I can tell, there is no difference between the top ones and the bottom ones that are double fixtured except for the lights that they come with.

The top ones come with a 10,000k bulb, is this too many K's? and a 'pink plant bulb, which I have never heard of.

I know I am asking a lot of questions, but the LFS doesnt carry this type of thing and I will have to mail-order it, and dont want to accidently get something I cannot use because I couldnt really get a good look at it or didnt understand how it worked.[/i]

okiemavis 05-22-2008 07:06 PM

A 125G tank should come with two middle braces, which means three 24" lights should work best. That's what I have running on my 72" tank.

You should look into compact florescent instead of T5. The whole watts per gallon thing is extremely outdated as CF is so much more powerful than T5, so you can have less watts per gallon, but actually far more light. Essentially CF is more bang for your buck, and the bulbs need to be replaced much less often. I'd get three of these if I were you:

rye 05-23-2008 07:58 AM

thank you for the advice, those look good to me, you are right about the middle braces. just a few questions on them (the compact fluorescents).

It says they are 24", does that refer to the length of the bulb or of the fixture? In the picture bulb is not as long as the fixture.

I see they have a 24" 65w and a 24" 36w that is much cheaper, do I really need to go with the 65w or would the 36w fit my needs? the tank is 72x18 125 gal and I am aiming for 'moderate' light.

Lastly, I see that they also sell legs for the fixtures. Do the lights get hot and that is what the legs are for? If not, what are they for and do I need them?

Thanks for you guys' help, I'd be way more lost than I am now without y'alls advice. I know these are newbie questions, but I dont know who to turn to.

okiemavis 05-23-2008 04:41 PM

You could go for the 36 watt, but I don't think it will provide enough light. Also you'd have to switch out the light bulb for a freshwater one, as the one that comes in the fixture is meant for saltwater and has actinic. You want something with 6,700k-10,000k spectrum lights. That would add about another $25 in cost to each of those lights. I popped your tank dimensions into this website and that's how I came to the conclusion that 108 watts of compact florescent wouldn't be enough:

Also, the more you get into freshwater plants, the more adventurous you will become I think. I'm very much of the opinion that it will be cheaper in the long run, because you won't be tempted to upgrade later when you want more. Believe me- this will happen! I promise!

The length is the length of the fixture, not the bulb. The bulb is a bit shorter. If you're looking for bulbs replacement bulbs, be forewarned: there are about a million types out there, square pin, round pin etc etc. So you'll want to make absolutely sure that you have a compatible bulb.

The lights do produce some heat, but it's nothing much to worry about unless you already have a very warm room. It may produce enough heat that your heater won't run much when they are on, but nothing substantial, unless you're doing something really crazy and sensitive. The feet are mostly used if you want it over a tank without a canopy. Do you have a canopy right now? I just use three glass ones, and you can place the lights right on top. Here's the ones I have:

rye 05-24-2008 05:40 PM

that is a great website, thank you and thanks for the info. I have ordered a canopy that is just like the ones you showed but is 72" long, but have not recieved it yet. I can easily exchange it though, I hadnt thought of your idea of using three shorter ones, I like that idea a lot, thank you, and will go ahead and exchange them out when the one I ordered comes in. Thank you also for the info on the lights

I see what you are saying about it not being enough light, and if aquarium plants are anything like aquarium fish then you are right, I will most definitely only be satisfied for a short time before I want to upgrade! ha ha. I am going to take your advice and go with the stronger ones.

Speaking of upgrading...after i get things set up and have had the tank going for a few months I am already looking at CO2. I have two 20 oz tanks from when I played paintball and a friend of mine who is a welder used to fill the for free and I'm sure still would. The reg looks to be the most expensive part. ha ha the tank isnt even close to setup and already I'm thinking of upgrades.

I just want to say that everyone on this forum has been very helpful to me and patient with my questions. Thank you very much okiemavis and everyone else.

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