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Results 1 to 10 of 17

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  1. Default Basic Lighting Questions

    0 Not allowed!
    I've nearly got all the parts to finally get my 20g up and going, but have still yet to pull the trigger on lighting. Either it's just out of budget, or someone on Craigslist snaps it up right before I do, and I lose out on a good and cost effective hood/light bar. However, I've been doing a little more research and have run into a couple of questions that I just can't seem to find answers to. As with most of my inquiries, I'm sure the answers are out there in plain sight...I just have knack for completely overlooking them in my search.

    In all of my reading I've discovered planted tanks need anywhere between 1-5 (or more?) watts/gallon, depending on what you want to have planted. What I'm confused about is where that wattage is coming from? I was lucky enough to get a free light strip in a box of goodies off craigslist and the label on the back of the strip says 30 watts. That would seem to meet at least some lighting requirements on low light plants for a 20g. BUT, most of the 24" light strips I've been finding say 17 watts (or similar) on their labels.

    Today at my LFS I saw all sorts of lights rated at 30+ watts. Now, this could seem like an idiotic question to some, but would those lights just not work in a light strip that is rated (or at least labeled on the back) at 17 watts? OR, so long as the light size (length and T-sizing) are the same, the wattage and K-value don't matter?

    I'm all sorts of backwards on this one. And if you can make it through my rambling, then my hat is off to you. I just don't want to keep passing on light strips or hoods that would work.
    First 29g Tank: In process

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Switchfoot55 View Post

    Today at my LFS I saw all sorts of lights rated at 30+ watts. Now, this could seem like an idiotic question to some, but would those lights just not work in a light strip that is rated (or at least labeled on the back) at 17 watts?
    They would not work, Unless you are overdriving a bulb [A different issue I won't go into here]. The ballast [The fixtures power supply] and the bulb must match.

    This link is not specifically related to your question but is a solid [& LENGTHY - You have been warned :-P] overview of aquarium lighting. It is best digested in chunks, Repeatedly, Over time. It will greatly increase your understanding of lighting an aquarium.


    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the quick response! I figured they wouldn't be compatible. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask just in case, lol. Thanks for think link too. I'll favorite it and spend the next couple days reading through it.
    First 29g Tank: In process

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    To simplify things. With a 20 gallon ideally you'd want twin T8 or T5 tubes that run (almost) the enitre length of the tank./

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for simplifying TD! That makes sense.

    I found this light on Craigslist today for 10 bucks. (description only):

    ” Good quality 55 watt fluorescent light with electronic ballast for high efficiency, long life, and no noise. Smart Lite 50/50 bulb 21" long. One half side is white and other side is blue. Ideal for all saltwater, reef & freshwater aquariums. Also beneficial for reptiles. Currently has a 6700K bulb. 10000k bulbs are also available at pet stores or online.”

    Worth it? Good setup? It looks like a DIY ballast and light strip. I know it's not the full 24” my tank is, but would the 21” work?
    First 29g Tank: In process

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Well, I went ahead and just got the above mentioned light. I figured for $10 it was worth it.

    It's a dual T5 light, 6700K with one bulb white and the other blue. Not sure if it'll be overkill or make my tank look weird? I'll build a little case for it in the next week too.
    First 29g Tank: In process

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