Equipment & Supplies • Lighting upgrade for 125 gallon

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Lighting upgrade for 125 gallon

Postby koslonc » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:08 pm

Hi all.

I want to upgrade my lighting system on my 125g mixed mbuna (no plants) tank. I only have 2 17w fixtures on the tank right now and it seems very inadequate. I was looking at possibly getting 2 of these 36" units:

I've been reading mixed reviews on these fixtures - but willing to take the risk if they meet my needs. I like the timer options it provides with respect to daylight, actinic, and LED lights on separate power cords/switches. I don't have any experience with T5HO, so I have the following questions.

Does this seem like the right amount of light? I was thinking it might be overkill, but I could always run each unit with only a single bulb of each type if it is too much light.

Also, will a unit like this produce too much heat if placed directly on the glass tops, spanning the plastic center braces?

Thanks in advance for your advise/suggestions.
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Postby John27 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:22 pm

Here is my opinion,

Without plants, HO lighting / otherwise is a waste of money, and in most situations so are any "aquarium" fixtures, my opinion, of course.

What I would do if I were in your shoes, is use one or two 48" shop light fixtures, enclosed either in a DIY Canopy (Canopy + Shop lights would cost less than that fixture, even if you bought a pre-built one), or just some sort of a shroud around them, or if aesthetics aren't super important, just suspended above.

As far as heat, the bulbs don't produce much heat, but the ballasts inside the fixtures do. Usually it's not an issue, I have lights sitting on my glass tops right now and I have no issues with heat.

It sounds to me like you just want a lot of light to see your fish, if that's the case, shop fixtures. Additionally you can do a Cold-Cathode blue or white from a computer store (Micro Center / Best Buy) for moonlighting, which is a very inexpensive way of doing it, or an LED Aquarium fixture.

Now, as far as if you decide you DO want that fixture, and all the more power to ya, no I don't think it would be "too much" light, that would be a personal preference thing I know of people who have this kind of lighting on their Cichlid tanks and haven't heard of negative aspects to the fish.

Just be prepared to see how dirty your tank REALLY is :lol:



Edit: Thought it said $189, not $89, okay in that case it would be cheaper than a store bought canopy but probably not as cheap as a DIY canopy, either way I personally think two $10 shop fixtures would be just as good.
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Postby DrgRcr » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:32 am

I agree with John27. I did two 36" twin bulb T5 normal output fixtures from home depot on my 125, total of 84 watts. I run one 10,000k daylight and one actinic in each fixture and it looks good IMO, but that's all subjective. In hindsight, I would have done T8 fixtures. The bulbs are cheaper and easier to find.
125g Mbuna-Labs,Rusties,Acei,Afra,Fuelleborni, Syno Multi
72g All Male Peacock/Hap
55g-WC Metriaclima Elongatus Chailosi
20g Tang.- L. Multifasciatus
40br,20g,10g,5.5g-Various fry/growouts
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Central NJ

Postby nlui220 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:05 am ... riplight36

I bought 2 Coralife 36" T-5 fixtures solely for the slim profile on top of the glass top. It's nice and puts out very nice light. Like DrgRcr, in hindsight, I would shop around for nice T-8's due to convenience and price.
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:31 am
Location: New Jersey

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