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new tank setup- T8 confusion

1295 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  dwsmith43
here is what i have going. found a 55 gallon tank( 48x21x12 ish) and nice stand at a garage sale for 25 bucks. built a homemade hood one piece with a 3 in. devider in center. made sliding glass access for ea. side. could put one 48 in. twin bulb. or two 24 in. twin bulb fixture. lowes has afordable T8 fixtures. i am unsure of proper bulb size (lumens , K's, watts. all confusing). the tank will most likely be a fish only tank. thinking three fire mouths and three convicts. all sugestions welcome.
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without plants your options are easier, ... enough light to make it comfortable to see

with plants, ... single longer bulbs are more power efficient than 2 shorter bulbs to make up the distance (not counting CF bulbs)

T12, T8, T5, ... each is more efficient than the one before it, T5 more light per watt
with HO (high output) & VHO(very high output) bulbs, ... T5HO is the most light per watt you'll get
T5VHO bulbs has even more light, (near an extra 50% over the T5HO), but about 2x the watt usage

a 6500K spectrum is about the most favorable for plants as well


again, if you don't have plants, ... pick whatever you are comforatable with. if lowes has T8 that is very affordable for you, go for it :)

... hmmm, never looked at bulbs that are brightest to us, ... not sure what kevin temp to use for that, ... i think 5500K is expected to be most day-light like light, as colors drop to 3500K things start to get yellow (at least to me)

all these numbers, 6500K, 5500K, 3500K (and others out there) are general appearance numbers, they relate to a color range, an appearance, the higher the number the more blue it will appear, the lower the more yellow, when numbers get really low it will start to appear redish.
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I used cheapie shop light 2 tube 4' t8 fixtures over my 55g.

I also used 1/4 plastic grid (egg crate) lighting diffusers for a top.

the tubes I used were the 6500K.

Worked fine and was very inexpensive.

but you may want to make or get some kind of hood just to make it look nicer.

my .02
Sweet. Lowes has a 4' duel bulb for 18 bucks.hopefully will have bulbs also. I'll be ready to filter shop.
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