Need lighting and hood advice...
I'm a brand new aquarium owner and I'm trying to set up my first aquarium which is a 125 gal model...measures 72 in long by 23 in high by 18 in front to back. Equipment wise what I have is the aquarium itself, stand, and two used filter/pump systems...a Fluval 404 and a Fluval 304 (hopefully they work). My plan is to set up a fresh water cichlid tank with whatever plants a cichlid tank will allow.
My next step is to purchase a hood/lighting system. And as I don't know a thing about what kind of equipment is out there, or what exactly I should be looking for, I'm writing in here to get some advice before I drop any $$.
What I know so far is that I'm looking for whatever light/hood system would be appropriate for a planted cichlid tank with a nice looking night moonlight option. Both Fluval systems move water into and out of the tank via a 1.5 inch hose. So whatever I settle on would need four openings to accommodate these hoses.
Here's some pics...
Each of the three openings measures 21 1/2 x 16 in, and each recess measures 22 1/4 x 16 1/2.
Well, that's about all I know at this point. Can someone give me a brief overview of maybe lighting / hood systems in general, and then suggest a direction I should looking at?
Many many thanks!
Depends a bit on what cichlids. African species are notoriously hard on plants. Quite a few american species do well with plants.
If you go unplanted you only need enough light to admire your fish in which case some T8 tubes would suffice.
If you want to go planted I'd say go for dual T5 or T5HO over the entire length.
You can get three glass lids that fit into each of the frame opening. They are a pretty standard size
I would suggest two 36" light fixtures, each one of these fixtures having two T5HO bulbs. If you use 6500 to 6700K bulbs, this will give you good enough light for low to mid light requiring plants which are some of the easier and hardier plants to keep. Often you can find used 36 inch fixtures as they are a lot more common than a 72 inch fixture.
+1 to the above advice. Some fish will rip apart any plants you may put in there so my advice is also based on the assumption that fish you stock will not do that.
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
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What do you think about three pendant lamps hanging from the ceiling?
Each with one of the ~$35.00 LED "flood" style lamps. You want a pendant light shield or shade to cut the glare from the sides. That wa, effectively all the light will be in the tank. You can adjust the hanging height so that the bottom is fully lit, but part of the surface isn't, or the entire tank is lit, but light - and shimmering light at that, lights the floor.
Depending on the plants you want to keep, you could get away with a couple shoplights suspended over the tank.
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