Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bigfish93 12-28-2011 04:49 PM

Unsure about my new light
 
I bought a 40 gallon breeder tank at Petsmart today and the sale included the tank, a glass top, and a strip light. The reflector is 36" long (the length of the tank), but the actually fluorescent light bulb is only 24". I plan to make this a heavily planted and and I just don't think this would be a suitable light fixture. I would like some of your opinions though, before I go out and spend money on a new one. My plan is to replace the fixture with a double bulb 36" fixture to make sure the entire with of the tank is covered with light. It is a wide tank at 18". Also, does anyone have any recommendations on bulb(s) for planted tanks?

Byron 12-28-2011 05:14 PM

Depending upon your intention with respect to the type (species) of plants, the light you have can be sufficient. It is always best to have minimal than too much, and select plants accordingly. Algae will be less of an issue for one thing. But again, if your desire is to have a tank full of fast-growing stem plants, more light will likely be better. With what you have (using a good tube, more on this in a moment) your list of plants that will manage fine includes crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, most swords (the green leaf species), Corkscrew Vallisneria, Brazilian Pennywort (this is about the only stem plant I can think of that does OK in less light), and floating plants. My 33g is along this line, if you want to check the photos under "Aquariums" below my name on the left.

As for tubes, full spectrum or daylight are best. You can get the more expensive ones in fish stores (Life-Glo by Hagen, Ultra Sun by ZooMed, and Coralife makes one too) or check our hardware stores for "daylight" tubes with a kelvin of 6500K; GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make one.

Should you decide to upgrade the light, I would recommend a single-tube T5 fixture; this will take a HO tube and provide 1.5 times more intensity than the same length in T8. A dual tube fixture would likely be pushing the upper limit for a natural setup.

Byron.

bigfish93 12-29-2011 02:37 PM

Thanks Byron. I will stay away from the double fixture setup, but I may consider getting a 36" light. Before I do that, I will see if the 24" light provides enough light to all areas of my tank.

Only One Haze 12-29-2011 02:41 PM

If you dont mind me asking, how much did you pay for the setup? I ask because right now PetCo is having their $1 a gallon sale. If you are going to be buying a new light anyway you might come out cheaper to return the setup and get just the tank at PetCo and buy the lid and lights separately. Just wanted to throw that out there. It all depends on what the set cost you at Petsmart

rjwwrx 12-29-2011 06:29 PM

I don't know about other locations, but my local petsmart is having a 20% off sale on most of their tanks. This might make it less of an issue for him to return it for the better price. I don't have a petco in my state so petsmart is my only option.

bigfish93 12-29-2011 11:01 PM

I am in rjwwx's situation, as I don't have a Petco anywhere near me. The only pet shops around are petsmart and pet supplies plus. I did get a good deal on the set up (I think). Everything came as a "kit" for $89.99. Petsmart is the only place near me that carries the 40B, not even my LFS has them, and petsmart only had one, so I took advantage of their after christmas sale and got the tank. I absolutely love the dimensions of the tank. The tank is wider than it is tall, so you don't have to try to create depth when aquascaping because the depth is actually there. Thanks for letting me Only One Haze. If there was a petco anywhere near me, then I would definitely take advantage of the sale.

Only One Haze 12-29-2011 11:07 PM

Well $90 is a great deal on that. Even if you could get the 40B for $40 I dont know if you could get the hood/lid and lights for under $50.

I really like the dimensions of the 40B too. Just a great looking tank! Wish I had the room to get one myself. I'll have to stick with my 30, just dont have the space for the extra 6 inches front to back.


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