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Thread: lighting & lumens

  1. #1
    michael1975
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    lighting & lumens

    Hi everyone,

    I have yet another lighting question. (I used the search function and read up on previous comments...)
    I recently purchased a 100 gallon aquarium that is roughly 49"x21"x27". I want to get artificial lighting for it--ideally without breaking the bank. I intend to put highland nepenthes in there. The aquarium store that sold me the tank has a fixture with four bulbs at 6500K, at $240. (They couldn't tell me the lumens.)
    I went to Home Depot and saw a 4' long double fixture for about $120. I think the 2 bulbs cost around $60. As usual, there was nobody there that really knew what they are doing, and as you can see--I'm clueless too.

    Today, I spoke with someone at a local plant store who suggested I buy a T-5 fluorescent bulb fixture. They have one at $135 which includes four 2 foot bulbs at 8000 Lumens (6500K). The salesman then suggested that, given the size of my tank, I upgrade to a fixture with 8 four foot bulbs at 40,000 Lumens for $400. --Apart from being out of my price range, wouldn't 40000 Lumens fry the plants?

    So my question, is the $135 setup the best way to go?

    Thanks for your time.

    Michael

    ps. From what I've seen, the price for the tank was pretty good--$100 for 100 gallons. If anyone lives in the SF Bay area, I'd be happy to pass along the store info. if you're interested.

  2. #2

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    Uhh...if youre not even putting fish in it, just leave the top open. Go get a normal 4' fixture or two form walmart for $8, then thow in some bulbs that are $8 for a two pack. Cut some plexiglass to fit and epoxy it to the lights if you want a "cover". That whole thing should cost about $50 and will be fine. Hell use three 4' fixtures if you can fit them. Then you won't need plexiglass and it would be good to allow cracks for heat to escape. Another alternative is doing the same, but putting a sheet of plexiglass over the top, then laying the fixtures on top of that.
    Z polski y dumny
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  3. #3
    rattler's Avatar
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    for lighting that lil bit......2 or 3 T8 fixtures plus a bulk pack of bulbs.....your out? $44 via Home Depot if yah go with 3 fixtures..........few more $ for some silicone and plexi........
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
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    I bought 2 light sockets the type with 2 wires preattached,
    I am putting them in dish reflecters ontop of a wood board top.
    I will cut 2 holes for the reflecters and use mylar film onton of my heavly painted board. I am going ot wire the sockets to a cord ( I have everything i need) then I have spent $25 on a 10 gallon terrarium setup
    Now what should I grow in it when I am done(I am like almost done)
    After I setup my spare 10 galloner then I will do the same with a 55 gallon tank

  5. #5
    rattler's Avatar
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    to much work when a 2 bulb 4 foot fixture costs about $8 and bulk pack of bulbs is $20..........take me longer to build the dang thing than my time is worth........
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
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  6. #6

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    I think you can get more output from compact flourscents,
    If I do a tank I will do a 4 bulb 4 footer. But heck I have time so I would maybe do the socket type lighting.

  7. #7
    rattler's Avatar
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    when your using a 4 foot shelf.....CF's make no sence
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  8. #8
    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    If you want to save money, getting the most lumens out of the lowest wattage is what you want. The price of the equipment is negligible. It's the usage that will cost you.

    I would look for something that uses HO (high-output) T5's and good reflectors, like this: http://www.specialty-lights.com/250525.html ($170 with standard tubes)

    This is 10,000 lumens, 108W, and extremely well-reflected. I can't imagine this not being enough to make plants grow like mad. I have the same thing but with only one tube, and it's blinding.

    If the $135 fixture you mentioned uses HO T5's, I go for it. If not, I'd bet the wattage is pretty high and will cost you later on.

    Shop lights seem cheap, but you'd need 3-4x the wattage to produce what this fixture produces.

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