Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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spike0544 10-07-2010 05:48 PM

Shop lights
Anyone ever heard of using shop lights for an aquarium? I have a 55 gallon and I was considering using a shop light with two 40 watt bulbs. Would this work for a planted aquarium? I don't really want to spend a fortune considering what I have already put into it.

kitten_penang 10-07-2010 06:24 PM

are they white and 6500k lights? they should be ok

spike0544 10-07-2010 06:29 PM

The cost of the lights is not really my concern, it is more the cost of the double strip fixture. Home Dept $15, LFS over $100 dollars. Also is 64-80 watts enough for a 55.

Angel079 10-07-2010 06:43 PM

I use shop lights on all tanks, never had a issue. And then stock the fixture with some GE bulbs from Lows called "Natural Daylight" they're 6500K and you're all set.
On my 55g I ran only 1x32 watt @ 6500K on the normal 4ft shop light and that worked brilliant!

kitten_penang 10-07-2010 06:48 PM

it actually depends on the plants you'll be keeping? they should be enough to keep the alive and well.just make sure the lights are the white daylight type

Byron 10-07-2010 07:05 PM

As kitten and Angel pointed out, it is the tubes not the fixtures that count. And I agree with Angel that over a standard (4-foot) 55g, I would have only one full-length (48-inch) tube fixture, with a daylight T8 with a kelvin rating around 6500K.

Angel079 10-07-2010 08:23 PM

Here's the tank of mine I ref to with only using 1 bulb New 55g - 55 gallon Freshwater fish tank
You can see the first pic's when I set up then tank, then it grew, that was not the issue but so did algae real well. If you then look at the 3rd to last picture there that's how it started thriving after I took 1 bulb out and only left 1 remaining.
Over this change Byron and I had a long post here somewhere's and even thou I was 'scared' at first I can really only advocate for less lights. By now all my tanks are set up that way and all plants are thriving soooo nice (hence the fact I sell plants on here now lol) and in my personal observation my fish seem to do much better with the dimmer lights, cause its only natural to them (Apart from the dim lights I also use Pennywort for a floating cover).

spike0544 10-07-2010 08:58 PM

Thanks for the help guys, great information. Looks like I just need to change out the one bulb that I have. There is a lot of mixed information on the net. I have read I need up to 5 watts per gallon on some sites.
By the way your tank looks great, very inspiring. Do you have any suggestions on plant selection?

Angel079 10-08-2010 07:47 AM

What you have to keep in mind when choosing any light for any tank:
If you have moderate lighting (like what we're talking about here) then to balance this properly with nutrition and co2 (your fish) is very very simple.
Double your light and likely the co2 from your fish won't be enough so you will have to substitute with a liquid possibly, that's getting kinda tricky.
Triple the lights and you will need higher amounts of ferts (the plant nutrition needed for good health) AND a co2 system. While adding it all is easy part, BALANCE this is hard, done wrong this can/will easly & quickly turn your nicely planted tank in a neat little show case of algae.
So in short and simple: Less lights is easier to maintain AND have great plant growth AND happy fish.
FYI naturally fish are used to dim waters not bright high output 5x flood lamps from the stadium :-)

Thanks I'm always happy if people like my tank :-) You can gladly browse all my tanks here for ideas:

As for your plant selection: What fish do you have and what plants do you already have? Or is there something in particular you see on one of my tanks you like?

kitten_penang 10-08-2010 08:03 AM

angel!!! nice you have MTS real bad ^.^

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