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Want a new lighting set up
I would like a new light fixture for my 75 gallon tank. One thing im wondering is, if I get one of those fixtures that hang from the ceiling or reside a few inches above the tank, do you need a cover for the tank? You know, cuz normally your not supposed to have the fixture be over open water...
Next, what fixtures and light bulb combos would be best? I'm not looking to spend more than 200 dollars...
Hanging light fixture have built in splash gaurds. If you're hanging a top is not really necessary but it good to reduce evaporation. Currant USA units are nice and I posted this thread about my new Deep Blue unit... if you can find one. I think they make them for freshwater as well. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...fixture-58225/
I am not fond of hanging fixtures because you waste a lot of light intensity (less gets into the tank when it is dispersing all around the room) and that means you need more light than otherwise which not only costs more to buy, it costs a lot more to run every day. The other aesthetic issue is that you have this blinding light above the tank and when you are sitting tank level to view it, you have bright light in your face. This sort of fixture works fine in fish rooms and such places, but over a display tank (assuming this is what you have) it is in my view not a good choice.
The other thing to watch is brightness; you don;'t want more than necessary. Over a 70g, assuming it is like my 4-foot 70g, two T8 tubes are sufficient. I noticed in the linked light there are 4 parallel tubes, but of course that fixture is for marine tanks which are different in the type of light and the intensity.
On open-top tanks in general, I do not recommend this; a lot of water evaporates and it goes into the walls and ceiling, much like in a bathroom when the shower is on, and that is a concern for your house. Second, many fish will suddenly jump, even those normally not considered as jumpers, especially at night or when the light goes on or off. Third, dust gets into the water faster. Fourth, the space above the water is not as warm and humid as it sometimes needs to be, depending upon the fish and plants.
Okay, sounds like I really shouldn't bother with a hanging fixture. That's cool. Then, in your experience, what bulbs produce the best results and are in the color range I need?
The fixture linked above has 4 Power compacts, its a bit different then if it had 4 linear bulbs.
I forgot to mention that I'm running a regular fluorescent tube set up. I have two single tube fixtures, 4' each.
I like my Aqueon triple tube fixture with three four foot flourescent tubes. If three tubes prove to be too much,I can remove one and the other two remain lit. I use it over my 80 gallon tank which is same length as 75 gallon.
It was around one hundred and twenty five dollars plus shipping from DoctorsFosterSmith.com
Keep them on the tank frame though, for the reasons I mentioned previously.
I was reading this post and was wondering what the difference between the full spectrum and cool white bulbs were. What do the cool white bulbs do for plants that the full spectrum cannot provide? I saw you said that you use a full spectrum an a cool white. Does this mean I should use them in conjunction with one another, or is one type of bulb sufficient enough?
The colour temperature (spectrum) of the sun at mid-day is approximately 5500K. Cool white is slightly more "bluish" than this, and warm white is more "reddish." The kelvin for cool white is above 5000K, and for warm white below. Kelvin alone is not a totally reliable guide, as different tubes with the same K rating can produce quite different light depending upon how they're made.
Aquatic plants absolutely need red and blue light; they reflect almost all of the green (which is why we see the leaves green--except for red leaf plants which obviously reflect more red light). Without sufficient red and blue, they cannot photosynthesize. Increasing the blue at the expense of the red will at some point slow down plant growth but not algae, which although a plant is better able to use any light.
The "daylight" tubes made by GE, Phillips and Sylvania seem to be the best. The kelvin is around 6500K, which is a combination of full spectrum and cool white. I think this is more critical in low-tech methods than high-tech, because with low tech you are not interfering as much with the nutrients and thus the plants have less room for "variables," if that makes sense. The higher the light and higher the nutrients pumped into the aquarium, the more likely the plants will find what they need. In low-tech or natural methods, one has to ensure what little is there is adequate.
While I have regularly written that I use full spectrum and cool white, it would be more accurate to say that I use full spectrum daylight.
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