55g lighting help
ok first off ive been doing alot of research but am still just confused about this stuff so sorry if i ask a question thats already on here somewhere.
so i have a 55g tank have been doing live plants and all that jazz but started researching and found out i need waayyyyy more lighting i have the 2 stock 19w 24in that are the black plastic hoods with the feed lid in the front. i want to do moderate to high light without having to drop 100s of dollars or getting co2 injection
i still dont know what i need t5..., t8..., 1...2...3 of them 24in 36in....48in i just dont know
i was wondering if anyone could shed some light that would be great for my tank
depends what kind of plants you plan on growing. i have two different light set ups but both running the same bulbs and everything on my two 55s. if you want a low tech tank with no co2 you can go with just 2 48in t8 bulbs either using a shop light which you can find at homedepot and such for around 20 dollars. which is what i have on one tank. the other tank im using a home made light fixture. i built a box and wired the two 48in bulbs in with the caps and ballast. this one was a little more expensive by 20 dollars or so but it allows you to make the light as wide or tall as you want it. like i said before its all about the plants you wish to keep. these t8 fixtures work well for what i have growing. jungle val, java fern, crypts, dwarf water lettuce an many more low light plants. its easy to make these lights. the stuff is easy to find or buy the shop light. bulbs are pretty simple too ive been using ge 6500k tubes. take a look around and figure out what you wish to grow and the needed supplies for growing what you want will come a little easier.
Hi kill switch and welcome to tropical fish keeping!
To get to your question, If you want moderate lighting you have some choices but its going to involve changing you setup as for your hoods are concerned. You will need to get rid of those hoods and buy some versa hoods for your 55. Then you can get some lights to sit on top of those. On my 55 had those with a Dual 48" T8 light strip sitting on top. Similar to this one Perfecto Quantum Deluxe Double Bright Strip Light - Black - 48 in. That put me into moderate lighting and I grew most plants except high light plants with no problems.
Other options could be getting a T5HO but without running Co2 you might have to suspend it above the tank a couple inches to help control algae if it becomes a problem.
You can keep your hoods... don't listen to these guys... lol You don't need new hood unless you go with a duel T8 setup.. or a quad T5 setup...
Petsmart sells a Aqueon duel T5 Normal output lamp for $90 that is a moderate light setup for a 55g. Its very sleak very small/thin light that will fit right over your existing hoods... You need a 48 inch long one.. I have on my 55g and a 36 inch one on my 30 gallon and the tank is wayyyyyyy brighter then using the 2x24 inch t8 hoods I had on before (same as what your using) and its way better for plants too.. You wont need CO2 with this light
Or you can go online here http://www.aquatraders.com/48-inch-2...re-p/52123.htm and buy a duel T5 high output setup which is a Medium/high light for $60 (plus shipping if you want faster then 5-7 day free shipping) . I don't know how BIG this fixture is compared to the Aqueon one from petsmart I mentioned above but its only a duel lamp like the aqueon so im sure itll fit just fine with your hoods. You will probably need to at least use a liquid CO2 they sell in bottles with this light
I also forgot about petsmart carrying them. They are the only store that does around me anymore and hardly go there. A dual T5NO will be a lil brighter then T8s I was talking about so you should have no problem growing most plants.
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