Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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isimek 07-18-2010 02:19 AM

Where do I put the light?
I just planted my new 55 gallon tank. I am using shop lights for my lighting. T-8's. 32w bulbs. 2 fixtures, each holding 2 bulbs, for a total of 4 bulbs. I am using egg crate for a cover on my aquarium. Where can I put these light fixtures? can I set them directly on top of the egg crate? should I hang them? how high should they be hung? I don't want to make a hood... ANY advice is welcome. I am completely new to this. Do you think this is adequate light as well? Thank you for all your help! :)

kitten_penang 07-18-2010 05:30 AM

i'm new too and i just put it over the tank so the light penatrates straight to the bottom while the tank cycles =)

JohnnyD44 07-18-2010 09:45 AM


You can set the light directly on the egg crate, as long as the egg crate won't fall into the water with weight added to it. I have my twin-tube sitting right on the glass for the aquarium. you should be fine

on a side note, where did you read that you need 4 bulbs for your aquarium? Most planted tanks will do just fine with half of that lighting, some even thrive with a single tube.

do you know the wattage on each of your bulbs? or what type they are?

congrats on the new plants :-) what kind did you buy? we love pictures!

isimek 07-18-2010 10:54 AM

they are 32w bulbs t-8's... 2 are daylight bulbs so they have a higher light spectrum and the other two are just regular old florescent light bulbs. I added 2 because from everything I read low light=1-1.5wpg and medium light=2=sometimes pushing 3wpg. 62w of light for A 55 gallon tank just didn't seem light enough to me, I wanted at least 1.5, preferably 2. I also read that since they were shop lights and I didn't have reflectors/a hood that I would lose a lot of light "power". I know, I probably looked FAR too deep into everything lol. But it did worry me that it seemed that everyone else's shop light fixture had 40w bulbs in it. I wanted to make up for that. I'll post a pic asap.

I have wisteria, sprite, penny wort, crypt, hornwort, a moss ball, amazon swords, jungal val, twisted val, dwarf lilly, dwarf sword, java fern on drift wood, and i think bacopa. Along with some drift wood and river rocks.

isimek 07-18-2010 12:19 PM

mordalphus 07-18-2010 09:34 PM

You're fine with just 1 of those lights. All of your plants are low to medium-low light plants.

isimek 07-18-2010 11:24 PM

what am I at now? medium light?

kitten_penang 07-19-2010 05:53 AM

btw too much light creates algae.Thought you might wanna know =)

sik80 07-19-2010 06:25 AM

with 4 bulbs your excess of light is likely to cause problems (probably algae) due an inbalance between available nutrients, C02 and light.

your tanks looks very nice btw

JohnnyD44 07-19-2010 06:43 AM

I agree with the others, which is what I was getting at, with all that light, you're bound to have problems, you could try and cut in half, or even quarter the amount of lighting you have.

As I stated before, I have two 32W lights on my planted 55G, all the plants are thriving and doing great...some of our members have a single 48" bulb over their tank.

sik80 brings up a good point regarding the inbalance of nutrients, what is your fertilizer schedule?

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