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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 301
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 06:29 pm:       

I've got a big, oddball size tank. Its a 150 gallon that is 48 inches long and about 2 1/2- 3 feet deep. It has been full cycled for over a year. The pleco which resides in this tank is getting bigger and at some point down the road I'll be looking to re-home him in a longer tank.

With that said, the long term goal for this tank is a heavily planted discus tank. Since my planted 29 gallon tank is doing so well, I'm starting to get a surplus of plants. I'd like to start putting some plants in the big tank now since I have extra plants and extra money (for a change).

I do not have a great understanding of the differences between lighting. (i.e. ho lights, metal halide lights, etc.) I do understand watts per gallon so I know about how much light is needed. I've been looking around the website of Docs Foster and Smith for lighting. I stumbled across this light:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=12113&N=2004+11354 4

It is God awful pricey but will it work for me?? Taking into account that the light is advertised at 492 watts, my tank is pretty deep, it will have CO2, and I'd like to have it heavily planted would spend 700+ dollars on this light pay off with sufficient lighting for plant growth??
Joe
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1040
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 07:11 pm:       

If I were going to spend that kind of money on lighting I would probably spend another 100.00 and get this fixture.

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=GL1233

I spent considerably less on my lighting for a tank that has a similar height by using DIY metal halides. On the other hand, my lights are hidden behind a wall so ugly doesn't matter.

As always, what you want to grow will play a big factor in choosing your lighting. Metal Halides are nice when you have a tank that deep to get some punch down to the bottom but not absolutly necessary.
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 464
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:13 pm:       

WHOA!!!!
I have a single 130watt power compact bulb going in my 2x130watt fixture and its really bright in my 48" 90 gallon. It seems to be enough light using the single bulb....I had some live plants that were dying and when I installed this new fixture they started coming back and new green leaves are growing. I also started adding co2 supplement also....

For that kind of $$$ I would get this:
http://bigalsonline.com/catalog/product.xml?product_id=30972

I love my Current USA fixtures. I thought fixtures like that HQI were for reef. I would get the fixture above and use dual daylights for freshwater. I am a beginner but I know for sure 3watts per gallon is OK in a 24" deep tank. I have two 24" deep tanks and my live plants are growing just fine.
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 302
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:22 pm:       

Hey Erin, thanks for the speedy input. I am trying to stay somewhat within a budget considering I still have to buy the CO2 unit. Honestly, I'm pretty uncomfortable spending 700+ dollars on a light, let alone 800+.

I am trying to get the most wattage for my dollar here. 500 watts divided by 150 gallons is about 3.3 watts per gallon. Understanding of course that I don't quite have 150 gallons of water in my tank and taking into account that the tank was a little deeper, 500 watts seemed like a good number to shoot for.

As far as plant selection, I'm not picky. I don't plan on entering any contests or anything. I have two Amazon swords (which are propagating themselves right now), something PetSmart called "Frill Plant", which may or may not be Mayaca Sellowiniana, some micro sword that seems healty but isn't really growing, and some Anubias nana in my 29 gallon. Once I get the big tank going all of these will probably get moved so I could scale back on the number of tanks that I have around. Aside from these, Anacharis, Java Moss, and something that I could get to grow to the top of the tank to "frame" it are the only things that come to mind that I might want to add.

But with that said, I would also like to have the ability to grow whatever I want should the plants really takeoff and I get the urge to put something fancy in there when I get Discus.

I do appreciate the link to the other light, Erin, but I'm going to consider that one out of my price range for now. Do you think that the light that I listed would get the job done?? Again getting the necessary wattage down to the bottom is my primary concern. If I could find something cheaper I would go with it. But this seemed to be the best light that I could find with around 500 watts that was under 800 dollars. The lunar lights were a plus too, I'll admit.

Thanks again.
Joe
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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 303
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:34 pm:       

Hey FF, (sorry about the double post. I was writing Erin while you were posting).

Typically, the HQI fixtures are for reefs, I guess. I bought a Coralife light from my LFS for my 29 gallon. The owner of the store replaced the blue coral bulbs with regular bulbs and the light works great. With Flourish Excel supplement and a cheap $25 CO2 system from PetSmart, my plants are growing out of control. I just figured this light would be about the same.

However, I do like your light better. More wattage, cheaper, and some lunar lighting. Being non-metal halide would the light be strong enough to get to the bottom? I just measured the tank its abot 29-30 inches deep.
Joe
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Erin
Advanced Member
Username: emc2

Post Number: 1074
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 01:34 pm:       

Joe, i think you missed the gist of what I was saying. :-)
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 305
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 03:50 pm:       

Was your gist, "Metal Halides are nice when you have a tank that deep to get some punch down to the bottom but not absolutly necessary."??
Joe
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1044
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 04:23 pm:       

No. That is a quote.

What I was trying to get across was that a 700 dollar fixture is not necessary. On the other hand, if your going to spend that kind of money then you should go for the true high quality fixture. In the end it will be money better spent.
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 483
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 11:03 pm:       

Well...I cant answer that. What I was really trying to suggest is using 2x130watt dual daylights. It was such a drastic change tho.

If your going to spend money buy that fixture with two MH bulbs in it place dual daylight bulbs in it.

I havent had my latest plants living for more then two months....Listen to what Erin says over me I am just growing wings.

Remember Discus require high temps....is there anything that can thrive in high temps and desires such strong light? Think out this before you spend mucho deniro. Be sure to provide feedback when your done researching!!!
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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