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Old 03-24-2014, 10:06 PM   #1 
KeshiaB's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Melbourne, Austrlia
Help picking out new lighting...

My current lighting setup is inadequate (a simple LED light block) and I need to upgrade. However, I need to keep my upgrade as cheap and simple as possible.

I'm considering this light:

Aqua Nova Aluminium T8 Aquarium Light NSL-300 - The Aquarium Shop Australia Nova Aluminium T8 Aquarium Light NSL-300

Will this work for my current setup? Would I need a hood or anything on my tank? At moment I only have a glass cover...

My other option is to get a plant light bulb for a desk lamp, however, I'm not sure where I can buy one of these, any suggestions?

My current setup is:
Tank Setup Date: September 2013
Tank Size: 30 Litre (8 gallon)
Heating: 50W Marina submersible heater
Filter: Hagen Elite Hush 20
Substrate: White gravel
Plants; Hygrophila, Bacopa, Lace Fern (recently added), two Crypts
Lighting: 1.6 Watt LED block (28 LEDs)
Lighting Duration: 10 hours daily
Residents: Blue male VT Betta, several red cherry shrimp (I think around 20, they keep breeding!) and what I think are ramshorn snails at an unknown amount (they were hitchhikers on my last plant)
Products Used: Seachem Prime, Flourish fertilizer, API Master Freshwater test kit
Maintenance: Once weekly water change (40-50%), dosed with Prime and Flourish on water change
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:55 PM   #2 
peachii's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tennessee
If you truly want as cheap as possible, get a clip on desk lamp with a neck that is bendable at Wal-Mart (or equivalent store) usually in the school section for desk lamps and black. Then get a pack of 6500/7000 k CFL bulbs in the light section. Light for less than 20.00, maybe even 15.00.

And yes, that light will work. Looks quite nice.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:15 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Jan 2014
I second peachii. A clip-on lamp plus a 4 pack of 6500 K CFLs will cost you a little over $15, and you will still easily get 2 watts per gallon, enough to grow all of the plants you mentioned.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:24 AM   #4 
Join Date: Jan 2014
I third everyone hahah.

My 10 gallon planted is lit by a desk lamp that I already had with a 10 watt 6500k cfl in it using a power outlet timer to time it during the day.

Total cost since I already had the desk lamp, about $10.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:11 PM   #5 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
Another vote for the desk lamps!
I've been doing the desk lamps over a plexiglass sheet for almost three years now, I can attest it works great for even higher light plants. :)

The bulbs that Peachii has mentioned are usually sold under the "daylight" heading, I like the 20 watt CFL (compact fluorescent) which is the equiv of 75 watt regular bulbs.

I've grown just about everything in terms of light requirements (some plants just don't work with my water and lack of CO2) but they're getting plenty of light. :)

My avatar over there on the left shows a plexi and desk lamp setup on a 20g long live planted. :)
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