Could I use this light...
Do you guys see any reason why this light would not work for my 55 gallon? If it will would it be okay to set it on top of a glass or plexiglass hood instead of hang it from the ceiling? And if two bulbs would be too much light is it okay to run it with just one bulb?
Sure, you could use a florescent shop light fixture, but you might need to 'play' with bulbs. Yes, a shop light works if one tube is not working or removed. No, you don't want to set the bulbs directly on glass or plexi, but you should be able to fashion some sort of bracket on the ends to raise it up.. or build the light into a simple 1x4 frame that sits on top.
You might also want to check on florescent light fixtures at yer local wallymart.
Ok thank you what if I put something under the ends to lift it a few inches off of the glass? I don't like the idea of it hanging from the ceiling. ; )
Should work just fine, in fact I just bought then $19 fixture at lowes a couple of days ago and please with it. And with 2 bulbs over my 50 gallon it doesn't seem like to much light especially for plants, also while there remember to pick up the daylight bulbs for your plants ;-)
Looks like you found you a fixture that will work. Just raise it up a little as AB as already said. I wish I had seen that before I bought my 48" fixture it was way more then that lol
You will be fine with 2 T8 bulbs. You can get a NO T5 fixture for there too. At home depot I'm pretty sure the T5's are actually cheaper then the T8 fixtures.
Ok thanks everyone! Now if I could just find a cheap glass hood I would be set!
I'd want to see it for myself, but from the photo I can't see why the ends of the fixture cannot sit on the tank frame; it would have to be exactly the length of the tank. With a glass cover underneath, it should be fine.
One problem with raising lights off the frame is viewing; without a canopy of some sort, the light will be quite bright when you are sitting in front of the tank. The strip of bright light will make viewing the tank itself more difficult. If that makes sense.
Byron that makes perfect sense to me because I have that problem on one of my small tanks that I use a desk lamp for it makes it hard to look at the tank when the lights on. I am going to go look at it tomorrow and hopefully it will work out.
I have seen very simple 1x4" DIY box frames (canopy) used to house shop light fixtures. There are plans on the web somewhere. Here's a start:
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