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Thread: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

  1. #1

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    26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    Hey guys, I just found this board, however I have been designing my first saltwater tank which is a 55 with a 40 breeder sump, and was planning on using a deep sand bed, live rock and a algal screen filter as my only filtration. This is going to be a FOWLR tank. I am a college student so everything has to be done as cheap as reasonably possible.

    The sump sticks out the back further than the display tank, so I made my 1.5" return go horizontally accross the back of the 55 tank and the screen will hang from it into the sump, to create a waterfall. I was planning on flowing about 1000gph and figured 2 sections 13.5" wide would work for the screen, but it is a 26" drop, so I am looking at a ~27"x26" screen.

    My issue here is I am not sure where I should start with lighting this, and I can realistically only light it on one side (welll... kinda... it would be akward and funky to light both sides) And with the size of this screen it would seem I would need a TON of light. So does anyone have any recomendations on cheap lighting, or on the design as a whole or any aspects of it? I am pretty good DIY kinda guy and am willing to attempt about anything.

    Thanks in advance for your time!

  2. #2

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    With a fixed amount of light, is a smaller screen better than a larger screen? I could drop the top of the screen down, and perhaps lower the screen size to maybe 27"x10", that might increase the flow pressure some, since there would be more weight pressing down on the water at the top of the screen. Would this be more effective if my light is limited?

    Here is a picture that shows my situation to some extent, I will try to get a better one later, the screen will hang off the 1.5" pipe that goes the length of the top tank:



    This is my faacebook album of the project, should be visable to everyone who has a facebook account, sadly I dont know how to make it visible to the general public: http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?s ... 0423081766

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    Smaller screen with brighter light are always better than vise versa. And 2-sided is always better than 1... for the same wattage, 2-sided provides twice the filtering. You really only have room for 1 sided, however, unless you turn it 90 degrees and make it narrow.

    It looks like you can fit CFL's in there... the utility light version:


  4. #4

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    I saw these today 24" 17w Grow Light, they cost 10 bucks each at the local wally world: http://www.conservationmart.com/p-431-l ... oogle_base

    They have them in several color temps, not just grow lights, or would grow lights be better? Or would CF lights with utility reflectors be better?

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    That's only 17 watts of light, which would be good for a 17 gal tank, and only if all parts of the screen were within 2" of the bulb; preferably 1", since it's a weak bulb.

    I'd do 2 or 3 CFL bulbs instead.

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    Sorry I should have made it clear I was thinking more than one of them. I was thinking more like 4-6 of them. Would the CF have better light projection?

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    Ok if you stack them up one inch apart, it would work. The last 2" of the bulbs don't do anything, so you can make the screen shorter.

  8. #8

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    What do you think of adding something like this to them? http://www.stagelightingstore.com/Rosco ... ory=552363 It comes in strips the right length, The minimum order looks like 2, and I think 24"x40" of reflector would be sufficient, although I plan to call them and ask some questions about it.

    Here is their page for their reflective media sheets: http://www.stagelightingstore.com/Stage ... ve-Media_2

    My other option for lighting both sides (the funky version) is to cover the wall and the back of the fish tank with aluminum foil (or the above listed material if it is somewhat water resistant) and overdrive 24" t8 bare bulbs (~$2 each) with a 48" shop light ballast from wally world (~$10).


    EDIT: While I was thinking bare bulbs for water resistance... I guess I could just use the 48" fixture, take it apart, cut it down by 24" and then put in the 24" bulbs. Each one would produce easily produce 3x-4x the light of the other fixture I was looking at and would cost about $14 each... hmmmm

    Either way.. would 2700-3000 bulbs or "grow" bulbs be better for algae growth?

  9. #9
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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    What about the SunBlaze strips from Sunlight supply? You can daisy-chain 10 of them together, T5HO 24" 24W lamps

    https://www.aghydroponics.com/product-p ... 960315.htm

    And you can get their reflectors too but they're not very reflective. I would laminate that flexible stuff to them.

    Also I would strongly suggest making a good acrylic shield if you're going to hang your slot tube in the open along the back of the tank like that. Plus a union for removing the tube and cleaning.

  10. #10

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    Re: 26.5"x26" cheap lighting ideas?

    I wonder if 24w T5HO bulbs put out more light than 17w t8's overdriven to 32w....? Anyone have a guess on that? The dual T8 fixtures will cost me $11 each, not sure how much bulbs are (for T8 or T5HO), or even if I can get them locally.... I have read that the light range prefered is sub 3000k, anyone know if that is superior to "grow" bulbs with the high red/blue content?


    On a side note, how do coated/baked screens compare to just scratched screens? I was fooling around and decided to bake used carbon onto a screen, seems pretty viable, but would have worked better if I had a bit more carbon:


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