Hood Upgrayedd Question

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by Darclon, Jun 13, 2010.

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  1. Darclon

    Darclon Plankton

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    I have a 29 gallon African Cichlid tank that I want to upgrade from PC lighting to T5 HO.

    [​IMG]

    The specs are currently:

    Tank dimensions: 30"x19"x12" at 29 gallons
    Current USA Satellite 2x65 watt Power Compact. I received much of this used setup for free, the light included. One ballast is fried and the working light is a Sunpak at 10,000k.
    Marineland Penguin 350 HOB Filter
    Marineland Stealth 250 Watt Heater
    2 liter DIY CO2 with my brewing yeast.
    3 Tiny Yellow Labs
    1 Pleco
    3 Danio minnows (starter fish that I just left in for now)

    The issues that I am currently experiencing with my Current hood (besides the one burned out ballast) is that it is occasionally tripping my GFI and the light penetration seems lacking in my opinion. This hood is no longer covered by any warranty so rather than replacing the ballast for ~40 bucks + a new PC light for ~40 I think that I would rather convert to T5 lighting for my tank.

    My tank only has a few plants (3 anubias, 4 Wisteria, and some Microsword I'm attempting to grow) so I don't believe that I need a top-tier lighting system. I am also trying to keep the price somewhere below $150 for the new setup so that my wife does not kill me.;D

    However another issue is complicating my decision. The previous owner had modified the hood so that it will fit within the wooden hood, resting on two shelves that are nailed to the inside. There is also a lower shelf that allows the hood to rest on the aquarium rim.

    [​IMG]

    The modification to the light fixture involves removing the light toggle switch and closing the circuit. You can see the holes where the switches were, below.

    [​IMG]

    Without removing side switches on the heatsink the fixture will NOT fit within the wooden hood. Obviously doing that modification would void any warranty that existed on the light. So outside of routing a channel to accommodate the switches, that particular mounting method for attaching a new hood is out.

    Here is another angle of the hood.

    [​IMG]

    I realize that the light is mounted extremely high but the wooden hood was built specifically for this height. The reason I know this is that there are two holes drilled on the left and right hand sides of the wooden top for the intake fan and exhaust.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the amount of light spilling from behind the hood here as well.

    Soooo, does it make sense to try and find a 30" T5 light that does not have side switches or connections or should I look at 24" setups and hang the unit from the top of the wooden hood.

    I was looking at these units and appreciate ANY information concerning them:

    1) Current USA Nova Extreme 30" 2x24W T-5 10,000K - Freshwater:
    Current USA Nova Extreme 30" 2x24W T-5 10,000K - Freshwater - Lighting - T-5 Fixtures at BigalsOnline

    This is a really good price but I don't think it will fit unless the switches were removed.

    2) Aquatic Life 2x24W T5 Linkable Light Fixture FW - 30"
    2x24W T5 Linkable Light Fixture FW - 30" - Lighting - T-5 Fixtures at BigalsOnline

    This unit mayyyy fit without modification but I'm not sure if the location is desirable.

    3) Fish Need It T-5 HO 4 x 24w
    2Ft/4Bulbs fixture

    Would this work with the hanging kit as described above? Would it be a decent option?

    4) Catalina Aquarium 24 inch SILVER SOLAR T5 HO - 2 X 24W
    Catalina Aquarium

    Plus hanging kit. Or could I get the 30" model and fit it within the wooden hood?

    Any info concerning the hood (or my current tank setup) is appreciated.
     
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  3. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    im not sure on the lighting part because i dont no anything about freshwater planted aquairums,but what i do is 3 labs in a 29g will not work, yellow labs get around 5inches and also can get aggresive. they can be kept in aggresive and peaceful fish tanks,u will prolly not want to keep more than 1 in thier inless u no that 2 of them are females and one is a male, do not put 2males two 1 female so make sure its 1 male to 2 females(recomended is 1male per 3 females i believe). also be careful of what u put in thier with them they will nibble the plants depending on what type thier are a few types that they wont but i forget the names of them. if u go with a 2 light bulb fix. i would take my guess and lower them more because that looks pretty high up, and the tank will not be so dark.
     
  4. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Go with the Current or Aquatic Life, the other two fixtures do not have the best reflectors to maximize your light output.
     
  5. Darclon

    Darclon Plankton

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    Even the Catalina? Any suggestions on mounting the Current 30"?
     
  6. bje

    bje Long-fin Bannerfish

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    Illinois
    Yeah Catalina uses very cheap components as well. I wouldnt bet on the ballast lasting very long.

    with the canopy you have, had you considered DIY light setup? you could just get your own ballasts, reflectors (recommend SLR), and mount it in the canopy. ive seen people make DIY fixtures out of acrylic, plywood, etc.

    i recently paid $23 for a brand new fulham workhorse5 ballast and i believe SLR reflectors are about $25 new online. depends where you go and what brands you go with. something to consider
     
  7. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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  9. Darclon

    Darclon Plankton

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    Thanks for the help all. I'm going with the Nova Extreme and plan (eventually) on an LED DIY retrofit for the old fixture.