Dendroboard banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so I've just picked up a new 50 gal tank and I'm just about ready to head over to home depot. I'm wondering what everyone would recommend as far as lighting for this tank. The dimensions are 35½ x 16 x 18.

Next I was thinking about getting a plexiglass cover for the top. As far as air circulation goes, I've read that darts usually don't require more than opening and closing the cover for feeding / watering. Any suggestions for the cover design?

Thanks in advance,

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
For lights, look into the following (just be mindful of the heat that a CF creates):

http://www.ahsupply.com/96watt.htm

I would stick with glass and avoid plexiglass because it will warp big time.

Sincerely,

David

digitalflipkick said:
Alright, so I've just picked up a new 50 gal tank and I'm just about ready to head over to home depot. I'm wondering what everyone would recommend as far as lighting for this tank. The dimensions are 35½ x 16 x 18.

Next I was thinking about getting a plexiglass cover for the top. As far as air circulation goes, I've read that darts usually don't require more than opening and closing the cover for feeding / watering. Any suggestions for the cover design?

Thanks in advance,

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
If you use a flat sheet of plexi for the cover it will warp, even the thickest stuff HD carries. You're best bet is glass.

As far as air circulation about 2/3 of my tanks are 100% glass covered, and these don't require misting, other than to clean up the tank now and then.

If you make a little screen section for the front part of the top though, it will help keep the glass fog free...which you will appreciate with a tank of this size. A 1 to 2" wide section down the length of the tank should do it.

You can find the materials to make this screen portion at HD or other hardware store...usually in the screen door section. If you can't find the stuff, just tell a salesperson you want to build a replacement window screen.

As far as lighting it all depends what you're willing to spend, and what plants you want to grow. If you're content with pothos, creeping fig, and maybee some fittonia, you might be able to get away with one flourescent bulb.
If you want to grow bromeliads, orchids, and other light loving plants you'll want more.
A 96 watt Compact flourescent would light that tank real well, but borders on overkill, and may heat you're tank up too much.
A 55 watt, or two 36 watts might do the trick. On my 40 breeder,(2 inches shorter than you're 50) which I have my mantellas in, is lit by two 36 watt compact bulbs, and the plants grow like mad.
A 55 watt puts out more light per watt than a 36 watt though (more efficient)
Check out AH supply for the CF kits (look on the links page)
If you want to keep it cheap, two 36" t-8 bulbs should be sufficient, or if you don't mind an overhanging fixture, just get a shoplight.
Have fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
What kind of glass do you use? What thickness to keep it from warping?

Luke
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
For a lid of this size, I would recommend 3/16 thick. Glass (whatever kind) will not warp under normal use i.e. keep the blow torches off and you'll be fine.
If you go for the CF lights, make sure the bulbs don't touch you're glass, or it (the glass) will break from the heat, unless you get tempered glass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Brian, very useful information. I think I'm leaning toward 2 36 watt bulbs. What would you recommend as far as a hinge for the glass top?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
I would personally use two 4' shoplights with t-8 bulbs, but then you will have an overhanging fixture. However you could get the bulbs and fixtures for about $25. They also dont put out a smuch heat as cfls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Why do they have to be hanging? Can you not just put them on the top of the tank?

Luke
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
I looked at specs at natural lighting .com, and a 55watt cf (21 inches) 5500k put out as much light as two of the 36 watt 5500k bulbs.

The two 36's would light the tank more even, but with a little more heat.
With one 55w bulb, you could put it on either end, thereby creating a warmer end and cooler end, and a brighter side, and shadier side. It might look more natural, and the animals could thermoregulate themselves a little.
You would have to plant it accoridingly though, but that shouldn't be a big deal.
Either way will work.
As was mentioned, a shoplight will work as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
Darkside I am talking about a 4 foot shoplight and the tank is 35 1/2", so it will have 12.5" of extra length. I am suggesting to use them as they are by far the cheapest route, but if he has money to spend the compacts are a good choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Ah good point, missed that...there are several shorter versions at HD also...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I actually ended up getting a 36" T12 with 2 30 watt bulbs. It was $20. That should be fine, no? I'm trying to keep it on the simple side as I've somewhat new to the hobbyand this is my first tank of this size.

At Lowes, when I asked about getting the lid cut, the guy told me I shouldn't use the glass they had for something like that but I have a feeling it might have been because he didn't feel like cutting it for me at 9pm. Ha... Anyway, there's a good glass place by my house I'm going to tomorrow to try to get a tempered lid made. If all goes well with that, then it's on to planting!! I'll post some pics to show you guys how it's coming along.

Thanks again for the help everyone,

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
I agree with the guy at Lowes because they do not file the edges, which are extremely sharp!

digitalflipkick said:
I actually ended up getting a 36" T12 with 2 30 watt bulbs. It was $20. That should be fine, no? I'm trying to keep it on the simple side as I've somewhat new to the hobbyand this is my first tank of this size.

At Lowes, when I asked about getting the lid cut, the guy told me I shouldn't use the glass they had for something like that but I have a feeling it might have been because he didn't feel like cutting it for me at 9pm. Ha... Anyway, there's a good glass place by my house I'm going to tomorrow to try to get a tempered lid made. If all goes well with that, then it's on to planting!! I'll post some pics to show you guys how it's coming along.

Thanks again for the help everyone,

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
I wouldn't get tempered, you really don't need it unless you're having the bulbs touching the glass, which you shouldn't anyway.
The reason I would stay with regular glass is if you ever change you're mind, or want to add a misting system, you can cut or drill it.
With tempered, what you get is what you got, if you try to cut or drill it, it will explode into a million pieces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, I'll keep that in mind. You wouldn't happen to have a picture or diagram of the screen strip you made would you? Just curious as to how you handled it.
 
G

·
Ive bought the 36" 2 t-12 fixture as well for the 30 gallon im in the process of setting up make sure you buy cool white light bulbs though and not warm. You could also buy Hagen life-glo t-10's to put in the fixture and have better plant growth. i havent planted my tank but im buliding the stand and hood tomarrow i let you know how the plants do once i get them in...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, same here. As soon as I have the glass lid made I'm set. So hopefully tomorrow I get to put everything together. I'm psyched!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's how it all worked out...

So here's a pic of the finished tank... The top worked out well, I had 4 pieces of glass cut to quarters. I just slide the front 2 back when I need to open it.

 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top