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Discussion Starter #1
I posted the begining of this in the "parts" section, this is more of an update/further questioning.

Anyways, Im finishing up a 3' tank (112 us gallons). I was looking at CF and VHO lighting slash trying to decide on which one.

I found a 36" VHO retrofit kit without bulbs for 159.99 US + SH (which is like 28 bucks to toronto)
also
I found a 4x96 watt PC retrofit it for 219.99 US + SH (25) WITH BULBS

Everyone says that VHO's are more expensive to run in the long run because the bulbs are more expensive to change, but When i looked at big als PC lights are much more expensive than VHO tubes.

What do you guys think I should get? The tanks going to be well planted, broms, orchids, various tropical vines etc... with a significant and well planted water portion.

I also found a 4x65 watt PC retrofit for 159.99 us WITH BULBS if anyone thinks that would be more appropriate.

If anyone cares, dimensions of tank are 3'w x 2'd x 3'h

Ill probably have substrate up to about 10 inches, incorperating the false bottom.

Anyway, thanks for any input, I cant wait to finish this thing off.
 

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tfraleigh,

How much light do you need to pump into this tank? 4x96 watt is going to heat things up pretty good. If you have a little technical ability, you might want to take a look at http://www.ahsupply.com/96watt.htm You could probably light that tank with just one or two 96 watt bright kits, and reduce the heat. VHO bulbs scare me as I’ve heard of endcaps catching fire.
 
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I was going to wire some CPU fans into the hood to cool temps down anyways.
 

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That will certainly help. I’m currently lighting my 65 gallon Reef with 4 x 96 watt PC with bright kits. This seems like a lot of light for a viv. Even with two six inch fans in the hood and an air-conditioned room, my reef runs about 80 to 82 degrees. With a viv I would expect that so much light is going to give you large temp swings from day to night, no?

How does your viv open? 4 x 96 watt PCs takes up a lot of space. You aren’t planning on going into the viv through the top are you?
 

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how bout a 150 or 250 watt metal halide fixture?
It would be cheaper than the PC or CF. Heat might be an issue though.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
lol, imagine how hard it would be to set up a viv thats 3 feet deep going only through the top.

Nope, Ive got double swinging glass panes through the front.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
twisner, I didnt like the idea of metal halides. They produce a lot of heat and i was afraid that even if i sealed it off a lot the humidity from the tank could cause issues. Also its hard to find bulbs that are in a range acceptable for plant growth?


Sorry about being so lost here guys, normally all of my other tanks are shorter but this is my first one of this depth.
 

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ok, i understand. I think i would probably go with the MH because they are cheapest, and i have a hydroponics shop downtown which would be able to provide good fixtures and bulbs. Also, it shouldnt be too hard to rig some fans and ventilation on that viv.
 
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uhhhh, you own a hydroponics shop? Your profile says your 14....

Uhm, way to get active in the business world?
 

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no what i meant is there is one downtown.
Its great for cheap LECA and coco fiber too.
 
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Damn... it would have been really cool if you owned it....
 

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twisner,

One problem with the metal halide and with almost any very strong light source is that the glass on top of the viv causes a red shift in the frequency of the light that passes through it. Some of the light is shifted far enough into the red that it is then internally reflected within the viv as heat. The heat builds up due to this greenhouse effect and then you are left trying to come up with ways to mitigate it. Using a fan in the fixture helps dissipate the warm air which is heated by the bulb itself. Unfortunately this does nothing for the heat building up within the viv. Since,as you know, our frogs don’t like the temps to go too high into the 80s, big lights are problematic.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
so on this subject, if I did get VHO's, does anyone know of a good place that sells the lamps for a good price? Preferably shipping to canada, even better IN canada!

Thanks
 

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My large tank is 36 x 24 x 30, which is about 115g. I put 3x96w PC's on it at first, but recently took one of them down; it was just too much light. Honestly, I really think you would do fine with 2x96w. Get one 6700k and one 5000k or something like that. AHsupply and hellolights.com have some great retrofit kits.

Luke
 

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I'm planning a tank with the same dimensions as lukes, only 6 inches higher, so about 140 gallons. For this tank, I'm planning to use 2X96 from AH Supply, and then also a 55 watt from AH for that will be on for 14 instead of thirteen hours; a half hour "sunrise" and a half hour "sunset" photo period.
 
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I guess Ill start with 2x96
Its porbably better to get less than you need and to order a smaller supplementary kit later than to order some massive setup for a lot of cash and end up only using half of it.

Im just worried the light wont penetrate the depth of the tank and the water section enough
 

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Don't worry, it will be fine. The 96w PC's are really strong, especially if you put in a reflector also.

Luke
 

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I can't remember if I already said this, but I strongly reccommend you ask Kim at AH Supplies' opinion. Her consultation is free, and boy, does she know lights! However, I think you'll be very happy with the 2 96's.

-Solly
 
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