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I have a 29 gallon tank with four juvy pirahnas and a couple of plants (Amazon swords) Currently im using regular blue gravel and a 18 watt bulb.. Been running this for about a year no problems but minimal growth in the plants..I want to change substrate over to eco - complete but this seems impossible without tearing everything apart??.I also want to upgrade to a power compact lighting system but Im not sure what brand to buy as i have seen prices vary anywhere from $$50 - 150..Im looking to get lighting about 2watts per gallon so my swords will take off... my tank is 30 inches long..the current hood is approx. 29 inches long - reg. flourescent....I would just like to hear ur guys suggestions on a good deal on a power compact lighting fixture and any other worthwhile suggestions....
 

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First off, the amazon will require 2.5 wpg (watts per gal.) or better, also it needs to have weekly ferts added to the water, something that has iron in it. I With a 18 watt bulb that a year old your gettting less than .25, those bulbs need to be replaced every 6 month, were as the cf need to be change every year. I use florish excel, and have had great returns, also look for some fert tabs that you can stick in the gravel. As, far as repalcing the grave with eco complete it is a complete breakdown of the tank but if you do it right you can get away with just a mini cycle afterwards. Eco cpmplete is only good for 18 months and then it just gravel and your back to adding ferts.
Here's what I do. Save all the water, leave the filter dirty, add a air driven box filter with just floss and let it run for a month and get good and dirty. remove the everything from the tank, after you removed all the old gravel and added the new put the saved dirty water back into the tank and get the dirty filters up and running.... you should have enough bac. colony that it will just do a mini cycle......

As far which light fixture to get I like the Odyssea lights, you can find them on ebay and also at aquatraders.com.... been using them for 3 years now no problems, except changing the bulbs.
 

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personaly Ive read lots of negative feedback on odyssea lights. they are definatly cheaper than others, but buyer beware.
 

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The CF lights are great....... the T5 HO's and the metal halide lights I read bad things about.... but the CF is just an Aqualight knockoff and works great. Now with a 29gal tank he could get a 65watt single bulb aqualight on ebay... for a reaasonable price......
 

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im using 96 watts over 35 gallon and am having great results with the amazons without ferts being added. Guess the fish are fertilizing enough :)

just checked the math... thats 2.75 watts/gallon.
John
 

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The CF lights are great....... the T5 HO's and the metal halide lights I read bad things about.... but the CF is just an Aqualight knockoff and works great. Now with a 29gal tank he could get a 65watt single bulb aqualight on ebay... for a reaasonable price......
sorry to highjack your thread. What is wrong with the T5. I was thinking of upgrading to T-5 instead of CF. They last longer and are less hot.
 

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there nothing wrong with T5 HO lights. The topic was Odyssea lights fixtures. As far as them lasting long T5 bulbs still need to be replaced every 6 months compared to the 12 months for CF light bulbs. Other than eletric use, this is the major cost in lighting, but if you search the internet, you can find great deal year round, with CF light you just need to make sure of the watts and the pin config on the bulb.
 

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I also have the same question, and I'd rather not create a new topic. My tank is 55 gal, and is 20" tall, and 48" wide. My friend has a Current USA Satellite Dual Power Compact Strip Light W/Lunar Light, but she's been having problems with one of the lights not working, even after replacing the bulb, so I'm afraid of purchasing that same brand. Her lighting system worked great until it crapped out, so now I'm looking for a good/reliable brand that's a dual power compact strip. Any suggestions? Or should I just make another topic about lighting?
 

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I had good luck with the Oddysea CF lights, and I also have aqualight..... It comes down to really how much you want to spend......I did a little more research and found that the oddysea light are a knock off and have lighter gauge wire in them, that is why they are cheaper......Ithere than the fact that they are not a long time name in this hobby and charging an arm and a leg for that name.
 

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I don't really care too much about price; I care more about quality and longevity. I'd rather spend more on a product that's going to work well and last for years versus buying a cheap product that will malfunction/die after only a few months.
 
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