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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im looking to build a wooden rack system to hold 8 10 gallon vertical tanks. Right now I have rigged some spiral cf lights with aluminum reflectors and the plants seem to be doing well. I was just wondering if it really is worth the cost to get these lights ( 2x55w Bright Kit #30552 ) from AH Supply. Lighting the rack with my existing simple DIY setup will cost me around $60 ( 1 fixture above each tank, 8 in total ) while the one from AH Supply will run me $220 plus shipping. In peoples opinions is this cost worth it? Here is the drawing for my rack. I can get all of the pieces out of 2 sheets of 4' x 8' 3/4" ply.


Thanks,

Rob
 

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What wattage of spirals are you using?
I haven't tried them horizontally as you show in you're excellent drawing. but I have a vert ten with a 18w compact twist, and there is just enough light at the top, but hardly any at the bottom.
"worth it" depends on how much you are ok with spending...how much and how often you have money to spend on the hobby determine that.
If you only have 250 to spend...obviously you wouldn't want to spend over 200 on lights.
Explore you're options...perhaps a 4ft. shoplight would be fine...and would even be cheaper than the 4 twist bulbs set-up.
I have a row of 4 vert tens on one 54w T-5 HO, and the plants are doing great...If you shop around you can find a 2x54w kit for around a 100 bucks, and are about the most effecient light source around (some bulbs claim 100 lumens per watt). Another plus to this light source is the bulbs are fairly cheap...you can usually get a T-5HO bulb for around half of what you would pay for the same wattage compact. Over the years, this could end up being cheaper than the spirals in the long run.
Think about what you would/could do with an extra hundred bucks or so if you didn't spend it on lighting...think about the limitations if you don't...somewhere in between is a balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well due to the construction of the rack, I can't go with the 55w fixture as 2 of them end to end are about 4" too long. I can either use a single bulb reflector or a dual as shown in the new drawing. Would one 36w bulb above 2 tanks provide enough light for good plant growth?



Thanks,

Rob
 

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Yeah the 36w bulbs would work fine...otherwize if you wanted to use the 55w bulbs, you could overlap the ends, so the bulbs fit in the space.
I'm not sure about PAR, but if you look at Lumen output per watt, the 55 watters are a bit more effecient than the 36 watters. If the tanks would stay cool enough, I'd probably go with the 55 watters.
 
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