Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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125aquarist 05-03-2009 11:08 PM

fluorescent lighting ?
 
hello
i am in the process of setting up my tank, i have a question..i noticed that the lighting for a freshwater tank is normally fluorescent. i dont plan on having live plants in the tank and will be stocking it with cichlids..can i just get some of these inexpensive fluorescent lights from HD or Lowe's? why or why should i not go this route?

MBilyeu 05-03-2009 11:25 PM

Yes you can, but somehow you have to make sure that the bulb is covered to protect it from water evaporation. If you have a glass top on your tank, then you have a few different options on what type of fixture you can get depending on how much work you want to put into it. Just make sure that your bulbs are a temperature of at least 6500K otherwise your tank will look orange and faded. You may have to buy a fixture and a separate bulb.

125aquarist 05-03-2009 11:35 PM

yes i do have glass tops that will cover the tank, what exactly do you mean when you said about how much work i want to put into it..im a little unclear on that.. the main reason i was thinking of going this way is to possibly save money, i think i can acquire these rather cheap..thanks for your help.

WisFish 05-04-2009 08:09 AM

Yes. If you're not planning on having plants you can go with any "color" fluorescent bulb provided the wattage is what the fixture calls for. Even with plants I just use GE daylight bulbs from Menards (Lowes equivalent in my area)

MBilyeu 05-04-2009 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 125aquarist (Post 192686)
yes i do have glass tops that will cover the tank, what exactly do you mean when you said about how much work i want to put into it..im a little unclear on that.. the main reason i was thinking of going this way is to possibly save money, i think i can acquire these rather cheap..thanks for your help.

Well, for example the cheapest fixture is the shop light type, but that does not come with any sort of plug or switch. What I have done is wired in a cord that goes to a timer that is plugged into my power strip. That gives me the control for turning in on and off. Most shop light fixture just come with a positive, neutral, and ground that you have to wire yourself because they are meant to be hardwired into a ceiling. Then you have to think about how it is going to sit on your glass tops, because you can't have the bulbs in direct contact. Whenever I have used this type of fixture, I built a canopy for the tank to properly house it. Your hardware store should also sell a type of all in one fixture with on/off swith that is meant to go under kitchen cabinets. This would be the easiest because you just have to put in the correct bulb and then plug it in. I don't know if this would work well though, because from what I remember the switch is on the side you will want to set on the glass. If you don't want to build anything, then I would spend the extra 10 or so dollars and go with one of these:

All-Glass Single Strip Light- 24" (Black) at Big Al's Online

Quote:

Originally Posted by WisFish (Post 192709)
Yes. If you're not planning on having plants you can go with any "color" fluorescent bulb provided the wattage is what the fixture calls for. Even with plants I just use GE daylight bulbs from Menards (Lowes equivalent in my area)

Yes I should have said anything marked daylight instead of a kelvin temp because some daylight bulbs are as low as 5700K, but look just fine.


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