View Full Version : cheapest home depot diy hood and lights for these plants:

10-29-2010, 07:24 PM
4-6 plants of each in a 55gal, 4ft long tank
1. Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis) - Picture 1
2. Anacharis - Picture 2
3. Ludwigia ovalis - Picture 3
i believe they require from low to mid levels of lighting,

can anyone link me to a pretty cheap diy lighting guide that would be sufficient enough to keep these plants healthy, but not overkill and expensive. also i have no glass cover over the top of the tank... and if possible, i thought it would be rad to hand the lights off a chain from the cieling and hover it about 6in above the tank

also the guy who sold me the plants offered to sell me a 65watt 4ft long hood with lights for 40... would i be better off just buying the already functional hood?

10-29-2010, 09:14 PM
what size bulbs does his light take?

home depot sells one under the brand lithonia, its a twin tube t-12 48" 40wx2 @6500K. I just gave mine to my friend for her tank but I used some aluminum tape(hvac/r ducting tape) on the inside to reflect more light downwards. The plants grew alright and that was directly on the glass top, I upgraded to a t5ho unit from coralife 36" 39wx2 and the plants have taken off, with little to no Co2.

Id go for his unit if its a T5ho, if not spend the extra at HD and get the t5 fixtures, you can always change the ballast and endcaps later down the road to get the high output.

10-29-2010, 10:20 PM
65 watts wouldn't really be sufficient for a 55g tank, especially with the plants you mentioned. You want to be shooting for at least 2 watts per gallon.

If the hood is a glass hood, I would go for it. If it's a plastic hood with a small window for a strip light, you might have issues with getting enough light through. Typically the plastic hoods with the stock strip lighting isn't sufficient for a planted tank. A glass hood would be ideal, that way you can put however many lights you like over the tank.

10-30-2010, 01:13 AM
I had a twine T8 fixture forom Home Depot, about 60 + watts and 6700K. I attached it to my canopy. Worked great for the plants I liked, but I tend to favor low light plants. You might look at getting more wattage and 6700 to 10000K of light if you like more than low light plants.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/966/thumbs/Shop_light.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=18698)

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/966/thumbs/55_gallon_tank_-_after.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=18697)

10-30-2010, 01:31 AM
I bought a T8 fixture, cost me $18 i use Natural daylight bulbs they have a 6500k rating and use 32w they cost me $8, all bought from HD. all used on my 55g heavily planted
my plants are growing like wild fire with that lighting.

10-30-2010, 04:21 AM
I just bought materials to make one for my 125. Total cost was like $40 before bulbs. Though I am using spiral CFL's, not strips.

Using 8x100W bulbs, 5500 and 3700(wanted to see how it looks, my other one I made was all 5500)

11-03-2010, 01:00 AM
I went to home depot and got an all weather outdoor .... hood? lamp? light fixture for 20 bucks... also they didnt have any t8 plant lights so the guy working the lighting section said a daylight light would be better but perhaps not that great for the fish in the tank... anyone know anything about that?

is the weatherproof lamp fine to hang above my tank without anything covering the water??