Lighting, Hoods, Strips....Enough!
I am new here but participate in many other forums (fora?) and I want to apologize for a question many of you have seen many times before. I have spent a lot of time searching, but I must be at such a low level of understanding that I have to ask even more basic questions.
I just picked up a 55 gal tank of Craig's List. Just the tank, nothing else, but it is cleaning up nice. It has a plastic piece that goes from side to side across the top of the tank in the middle.
So, do I want a hood, a strip light, or what........ and do I want a 48 " lighting system, or two 24" systems, with the plastic piece in the middle supporting the ends of each "thing".
I have learned I want a 6500K and maybe a little more blue, bulb (if I have two), but I can't figure out what it is I want to put them in.
The hoods I find on the web seem very expensive for what I remember them doing, from my previous smaller, tank.
Any and all help appreciated.
I am going to have plants, gouramis and cory cats, plus a few colorful specimens.
I'm having a problem finding a question in your post, you seem to know pretty much what you need so I will just gleen over it quickly.
You can go many different ways with your lighting fixture, probably one of the easiest will be using just a florescent shop light over a glass hood or suspended high enough in the air to be safe from the water.
Correct you want a bulb rated at 6500k for optimal plant growth, which you should be able to find at the hardware store.
Hoods are kind of pricey any way you look at them, you might be able to cheap out a bit more thought by buying a piece of acrylic at the hardware store and putting hinges on it, but your price will probably come pretty close to a commercial made hood still.
Uhmmm... you are right. My question I guess was Do I need a strip or a hood or both. I think I may have figured out that a hood is an all in one, while a strip would sit on top of a clear "cover" if you will. Thanks for your "gentle" comments.
The All Glass hoods work great for 55 gal tanks and are as cheap as anything. They keep down evaporation better than almost anything else and provide a very secure lid for jumping fish and/or escape artist critters. Here is a link to a photo:
Aquarium Hoods & Canopies: All-Glass Versa-Tops
I am not pushing a particular supplier, just the photo of the hood. You can buy just the glass "canopy" and then add the light fixture of your choice. For a 55 gallon tank you will get 2 sides (4 pieces of glass total) that fit on either side of the middle divider and sit flush.
I got a 48" full hood and lighting fixture for $94 (that includes shipping) off the internet. The company said that it would arrive in a week, but it got here in 5 days in perfect condition. It is a single bulb fixture. I will find the link if you are interested.
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