Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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spot 07-10-2011 07:13 PM

Need help with lighting a new 125g planted
Hi everybody, this is my first post here. I'm going to be setting up a new 125 gallon planted tank (I have a 30 gallon now but it is not planted). I've been reading lots of information from Byron over the last few days and it has really helped me a lot, but I have a few specific questions, so I decided to register :)

Anyway, my first question is about lighting specific to my tank. It is 72" long and most of the lights that I've found online only go up to 48". The ones that go up to 72" that I've found are T5 and very expensive, and after reading Byron's articles I decided I want to go with T8 anyway. What is the best way to achieve ideal light in a tank my size? (And cost is kind of an issue too, I'm moving to a new house, which is the reason I finally will have room for this tank :) )

Also, I want to have a lush look to this tank, and I'd be interested in hearing opinions of good "cover" plants, that will fill out the spaces between the "featured" plants, if you know what I mean. I've been looking at a lot of different kinds of plants but I start to get confused with soooo many options!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

Byron 07-11-2011 11:13 AM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. And thank you for the compliment.:-)

I'll respond on the lighting issue. This is tricky. I have a 5-foot 115g and the store had a 5-foot fixture, dual T8, that takes two 4-foot tubes. For a 6-foot tank, I can think of three options.

First one depends upon the tank design. It will almost certainly have a cross-brace at the top in the middle; this may be wide enough for two 3-foot dual-tube T8 fixtures.

If you are good at woodworking, you could build a tank hood incorporating the fixtures and use shop light fixtures,

Third option is T5 HO single tube, if you can find it. I would not use dual-tube T5 HO, I tried this in the 4-foot tubes over my 5-foot tank and it was too bright. I don't know how they make these, I think tubes max out at 4-feet, so presumably this would be a similar two- or three-tube affair. As you say, it will be expensive, and the T5 tubes are considerably more expensive than T8 so long-term there is added cost.

I would think the first option is probably the best. A glass cover sits down inside the lip around the frame, with the fixtures up on the frame. Just depends upon the design of the cross-brace.


spot 07-14-2011 05:38 AM

Thanks for the advice! I would like to go with the first option, but the issue of the cross-brace comes into account. As the empty tank is now, it has no cross-brace (if I'm correct in what that means). I assume that in building a hood for the tank, I would have to incorporate one, and as I have virtually no experience with that sort of thing, I'm having a carpenter friend of mine build it for me. So I should tell him to build in a cross-brace that would allow for two sets of 3' dual-tube lights?

Christople 07-14-2011 10:05 AM

If your tank has now cross brace it will most likely bow... I think. Yes it is the part in the middle of the top where a hood sits on.

Byron 07-14-2011 10:43 AM

That is odd, I have never seen tanks over 4 feet without a cross brace. Even with thick glass, there is considerable pressure from the water pushing out. Can you post a photo of the tank perhaps, so we can be sure we're talking of the same thing?

spot 07-14-2011 06:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think I attached a picture from my phone... sorry for the bad picture, it's in a really awkward spot in my kitchen and I don't have anyone to help me move it yet haha... The top of the tank is open facing the wall that you see in the pic... sorry it's sideways.

This tank was holding water for quite some time before it came to me... do you think it's not safe?

Byron 07-14-2011 06:39 PM

Well, that sure confused me for a few moments, until I realized the photo was on its side:lol:.

No, there is no cross-brace. I hope that tank was well made. The glass must be fairly thick. I think this tank will need a custom hood, which your friend can make i think you said. I've never done this, so you might want to post a thread in the DIY section, asking about lighting and such. I know others here have done this and can offer suggestions from their experiences.

spot 07-14-2011 06:59 PM

I will do that. Thanks again Byron :)

Christople 07-14-2011 07:41 PM

try and fill it in your drive way and see what happens

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