View Full Version : Looking for plant light tips and tricks

06-03-2010, 06:21 PM
So as I have posted a couple times in other threads... I am looking for a light option without spending more on the light than the entire set up. If this is possible. :help:

I am setting up a 75G, I am planning on keeping Swords, Ferns, and Crypts.

I am not planning on having a lot of plants. Just a few to blend in with the rocks and driftwood. The light is going in a canopy.

1. Spend close to 300.00 on an aquarium light.

2. Go to HD and purchase a shop light with 2-4 32W T8 bulbs.

3. Have my dad build me a light. <- I showed him my Current Nova HOt5 light and he said he could make me one if I could find the ballast to run the lights and the sockets. The only ballasts I found where 200+$.

What am I looking for in order to grow these plants?

Lady Hobbs
06-03-2010, 06:24 PM
I'd go with number 2. It's cheap to buy, cheap to replace the bulbs and over and done with.

Get the 6700k's.

My lights sit right on the rim of the tank over open water. Have never knocked one in the water yet.

06-03-2010, 06:28 PM
I'm thinking that one too... Just need some opinions.

I'm putting up a canopy and might find a way to put them in without burning the wood. I would also add a fan to keep from overheating the lamps.

Lady Hobbs
06-03-2010, 06:34 PM
The lamps stay cool but you could just have an opening in the back of the canopy for heat to escape. I don't see as these lights put out any heat and you can grab the bulb after being on all day long.

06-03-2010, 06:39 PM
Ok cool! Thanks Lady Hobbs! I think you may have made my mind up :)

06-03-2010, 08:16 PM
+1 on the home depot bulbs, just in case your mind was not entirely made up yet thumbs2: . Easy, cheap, and effective: what more could you ask for?

06-04-2010, 01:07 AM
Home Depot has four light bulb halogens that are 24" long and cost under $55. They are in nice cases for under shelf mounting. Two units would do nice on a 75 gal. Creating small stand off feet would be no big deal (also, must use a glass top - these bulbs are exposed.:22:

06-05-2010, 01:13 PM
have you checked out the lights on AH Supply? They go in a canopy and are cheaper than the ones that are encased.


06-05-2010, 01:34 PM

Id go for that...you could still mount it in a canopy if you wanted, or if not its fine just to be on the rim of the tank.

06-05-2010, 06:25 PM
Wow thanks for all the suggestions!

06-06-2010, 12:32 AM
Ok so I went to HD and looked at the lights... Hmm, they all have to be suspended and not flush mounted.

Looked at AH supply. Its a good idea and I could get a lot of wattage out of it but is still a little more than I would like to spend after getting the bulbs.

I think I'm looking into MCHRKiller's idea some more.

06-06-2010, 12:39 AM
Ok so I went to HD and looked at the lights... Hmm, they all have to be suspended and not flush mounted.

Nope, they don't need to be suspended. I built a hood a few years back and mounted those fixtures to it. You simply take the reflector off, run a couple of screws through the top of the fixture and into the hood, and then replace the reflectors. Rather easy to do. I'll look for the pictures of what I did.

06-06-2010, 03:53 AM
Cool thanks

06-06-2010, 02:47 PM
I looked around and unfortunately I can't find my pictures. Don't know what happened to them.

06-06-2010, 03:20 PM
Ok, thats fine. It does seem pretty easy to do. What do I do about the pull switch if I want them on timers... does it matter?

06-06-2010, 03:33 PM
Get the ones without the pull switch. :)

06-06-2010, 03:51 PM
Grr.... Those where the only ones I saw... I'm going to look again. If I could find the parts my dad said he can DIY a light for me.

06-06-2010, 03:54 PM
You can get the ballasts and sockets for T8's at HD as well. The only thing you would need then is a good reflector.

06-06-2010, 03:57 PM
I think that is what I'm going to look into. I showed my Dad the Nova HOt5 fixture and told him I needed a light like that on a bigger scale and he looked at me like I was crazy. But, only because it was really simple once you have the parts to make. It was more of a "are you doubting my abilities" look ;)

06-06-2010, 03:58 PM
Wiring ballasts to sockets and a plug isn't really that difficult. The trick is wiring multitap MH ballasts with a capacitor to sockets and a plug. lol

06-06-2010, 05:39 PM
::whoosh:: That was the sound of what you just said going over my head. LOL

06-06-2010, 05:53 PM
I believe she's talking about metal halide... I don't thats needed for FW. lol.

06-06-2010, 06:02 PM
Yup, but I was just giving an example, and you would be amazed at just how many planted tank owners are using metal halides these days.

06-06-2010, 06:38 PM
Gottcha! I have seen it in use but I don't need anything that powerful.