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Old 08-17-2013, 12:50 PM
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Default 29 gal salt water conversion

Hi, I am just beginning to get into this hobby, I found a 29 gallon salt water aquarium at a yard sale and bought it. I have a couple questions about converting it for dart frog use. First, i assume it is safe to use after a thorough cleaning? second, it came with an "all glass aquarium" hood and fluorescent bulb, its about 24" long, but i cannot find any information about if it is T8 or T5 or anything. so do you think that this is sufficient lighting for the viv? also, i have heard that fluorescent bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months, i don't know how old this one is, but i assume it is much older than that.

if you really need to change them this often, it seems like LED's would be the way to go. greater initial cost, but less replacement and less hassle. unless you have to change LEDs frequently too.

Thanks in advance for any input.
-Charlie Q
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: 29 gal salt water conversion

A couple good rinses and it should, vinegar should remove any calcium buildup. Its a t8 or t12 bulb (its possible its t5, but incredibly unlikely) if it says all glass aquariums on the bulbs its a t8. the definitive way to tell is measuring how wide the bulb is. the # in the t represents diameter in 8th of an inch, so a t5 is 5/8", t8 is 8/8", t12 is 12/8". Should be sufficient for most plants but the top corners of the viv will have some shadows, might not be a big deal depending on plants you have. In general the bulbs should be fine for about 2~3 years, they will experience a spectrum shift after about 6~8mo (usually a smaller one in the first week) and after a year or so will loose a bit of PAR output but mostly that's an issue in reef tanks where every little bit counts and the bulbs are overdriven or deal with a lot of heat and that takes a toll on lifespan. when you're dealing with a single normal output bulb that is probably slightly underdriven over plants that aren't particularly finicky you should be fine for several years. The biggest reason I would opt for LEDs is the colour. ime, florescent lights have great growth and appear brighter overall than LEDs but they also wash out shadows (part of why they appear brighter) while LEDs produce a tighter beam/spot light effect that really makes shadows stand out and intensify colour contrast. For me, I run a 14w 5k spiral fluorescent lamp as a main light on a timer over my vivarium and I have a 4x1w "bright white" LED (about 6,5k) with 60* optic lens that I turn on when I'm enjoying my tank because it looks really cool because of the spot light effect it has, even when the other light it on it gives the general appearance of a sunbeam hitting the forest floor.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: 29 gal salt water conversion

Thank you so much for your help!
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: 29 gal salt water conversion

welcome, glad it was helpful
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