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Suggestions With Lighting


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hi all, i recently purchased a new used tank from craigslist. it is a 20g long tank that came with a incandescent light strip. the tank with the lighting was 20 dollars. i thought it was a pretty good deal and ive always wanted to get a long tank so my black butterfly moore can have more room to swim, i am very happy with the buy since the tank was in pretty good condition.

but here is the question. i dont want to use the incandescent light bulbs that came with the light strip because i dont think it would look as nice and would not be bright enough, and i worry they might not perform as well as the florescent bulbs. i dont want to get a florescent light strip because they dont come cheap. i would very much love to cut my cost down to the minimum. i have looked into coralife mini compact florescent 50/50 light bulbs and i was thinking of re-placing the incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs. would the compact florescent light bulbs fit the light strip i currently have? if i chose to use the compact florescent light bulbs, would it be sufficient to light up my 20g long tank? (i will not be keeping any live plants)

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this is the incandescent light strip

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incandescent bulbs that came with the light strip

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the coralife mini compact florescent 50/50 light bulbs i mentioned earlier

would i be able to use the compact florescent light bulbs with the incandescent light strip? feel free to give me suggestions =] THANK YOU!

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Hmm, that is an excellent question. I'm no expert because I've never used incandescent. My guess is that you could do this, but you must take care to look out for the wattage and volts. You won't want a bulb that requires more than the strip can put out, and you won't want a strip that puts out more than the bulb can take.

My boyf Thomas probably knows a lot better than I do on how to advise you-- I will have him sign in and take a look at this thread when he gets home from work.

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the incandescent lights are what normally crack, or melt (depending on which one you may have) tank lids because of heat output. the compacts run alot cooler, though i havent used the coralife minis. as joy said, just check the wattage and volts. if you are diy handy, what i am gonna be doing for 2 of my tanks is building my own. you can pick up shoplights in diffent sizes at the hardware store as you know, normally comes in white metal. doesnt look to great, so, build a box (with no bottom) the size you need so that it sits atop the tank, stain or paint to your liking and screw the strip to the inside of the box so the light shines down into the tank. you can pick up plexiglass and attach it to the underside so that the water evaporation doesnt affect the lights. cheap, easy to do and heck of alot cheaper than buying from the store. i got a friend who is wanting to use metal instead of wood, just an idea for ya.

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You don't even need to go so far as to build a casing, if you don't like. I have a shop light over my 50gal and it is the best, most inexpensive fish tank fixture.

hey stop bursting my bubble joy lol but yeah ya dont need to encase the light. just more of a cosmetic thing. check into what size you may want, 2ft, 3ft, single bulb, duel bulb, t5, t12 and i know that lowes sells different size plant and aquarium bulbs. can you tell that i used to work for one of the big boxes lol

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hey stop bursting my bubble joy

Just saying emptywallet. I do everything as cheaply as possible with little care for cosmestics. :P Side effect of being a poor college student with an excessively expensive hobby.

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lol oh i hear ya joy, dont worry. i try to make things as nice as possible for as cheap as possible, and trust me i hear about spending money all the time. as a matter of fact, shes talkin bout it right now, but as usual, im not listening lol

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thank you for your reply, joy and emptywallet! i thought no one would ever reply my question maybe because it was a stupid question?

lol anyhow i guess using the compact florescent light bulbs would not work because first of all, the light strip indicated that it only supported maximum of 25 watts, and the compact florescent bulbs i was looking at are 20watts. so that may not work. second of all, i didnt have a glass hood either so if i were to purchase a glass top with 2 compact florescent bulbs (which would be a waste of money) and would sum up to around...40ish dollars. lastly, if i were to carve out a sheet of acrylic (spelling) as my brother suggested me, would cost me around less then 20 dollars in addition to the 2 compact light bulbs i said i was thinking of getting, that would also sum up to a new hood with a florescent light strip, which was what i bought couple days ago =] and i am very very happy about it! it looks great with my newly purchased 20g tank!

i like to make my own things, but not with electronics, and i dont know anyone that can help me with building a new light =P after all, i am an economics major! if my brother was still here in the states, he might be able to help me build one, he is pretty talented in hand crafting =]

here is a picture of the new tank, couple days after the purchase with a new hood =] enjoy!

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once again, thank you guys for your input!!

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very cool. sorry i didnt even notice the day you posted this thread. sounds like you got a good deal on the tank, ive been looking for a tank like that for a while now. sorry we didnt get back to you sooner for the advise before you bought that lid, but it does look good. those fish have lots of room to grow in for now. check out the diy section on the board and everything is trial and error, thats the fun of tinkering, as long as it dont get too costly lol

some of the strip lights that you get come with a whip attached so that you just plug it in, ready to go. no wiring or anything (just for future ref). as for the wattage max, it listed 25w max so, a 20w bulb would have been fine as you are under the rating. thats the good thing bout flours, they put out more than incan bulbs as less wattage use.

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some of the strip lights that you get come with a whip attached so that you just plug it in, ready to go. no wiring or anything (just for future ref). as for the wattage max, it listed 25w max so, a 20w bulb would have been fine as you are under the rating. thats the good thing bout flours, they put out more than incan bulbs as less wattage use.

thank you for the great advice emptywallet! i should have looked more into the DIY section. but i guess i just couldnt wait. i didnt have it planned out right. my planning to purchase the 20g long was only a week ago. i saw this deal on craigslist and i told my gf to help me pick it up because the tank was located close to her working place ( i have a very thoughtful and caring gf, she didnt like how i purchase all these gear for my goldies, but she was still very supportive). the tank is in very good condition with no leaks whatsoever. having that been said, my inspected the tank and she didnt know that it was an incandescent light strip, she didnt really know what the difference were...so she bought it and took it home. the night the tank got home...i started to think about the lightbulb problem, so i created this thread, hoping that the compact lightbulbs would light up the long tank, since they are more powerful. i thought about purchasing the glasstop and lightbulbs online, but i didnt want to wait and i didnt get comments for couple days, so i just went on and got a new hood, i was so excited about the tank, i couldnt wait!!

i know i could have cut the cost down if i did more research on how to diy or learn more on hardware..but i just couldnt wait till i get the new home set up for my telescopes!!

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haha no worries man, im glad to see that you are excited about the hobby and taking care of your fish. just my 2 cents, see if you can find another tank or something and ask your girl to pick out a fish for it. maybe asking her to do something like this will get her interested and she might even be thankful that you asked even if she doesnt want to do it.

geez, now im givin love advice. i should start a column lol

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haha, you know what, ive been trying to get her into this hobby every since i started! she just never got into it. i dont know why. i got her to do water changed for me, going to local fish stores with me to look at gold fish, and even offered to get her a 10g tank and she STILL turned me down lol. she likes dogs more than anything in this world lol! thanks for the advice tho lol and yes you can definitely start a love advice column lol

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Hmm, well the way I sucked my boyf into the hobby was by getting him interested in the science/engineering bit of fishkeeping, like the nitrogen cycle and the aquarium-- now he's a fishkeeping DIY machine!! I just played off of his natural interests. I tell people that I have a fish tank in order to keep my fish, and he has fish in order to keep a fish tank. :D

Edited by thoughtsofjoy
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I tell people that I have a fish tank in order to keep my fish, and he has fish in order to keep a fish tank. :D

:rofl Excellently put ;)

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