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I have a 55g setup and I want to add more light. I purchased a setup from the LFS that included only a single 40w florescent and I have obviously need for more light. I have been reading everything I can find and looking over many previous posts and just want to make sure I know what some of the shorthand means. VHO (Very High Output), MH (Metal Halide) PC = (Power Compact or also Compact Florescent) am I right so far? OK now for the ones I am iffy about what is NO and LOA mean. Also I was gliding through the lighting section at Loews and came upon 48" florescent aquarium grow lights are these any good? They are obviously not as bright as a 40w white florescent. Is there any good source that explains what each light is best and what combinations work well? I didn't want to mortgage the house to get MH lights so I was looking at doing the PC lights. Currently I have a 55 predrilled with tidepool sump 70 pounds mostly cured Fiji from Premium Aquatics purchased two weeks ago already starting to show signs of growth even under that piss poor 40w florescent. One of my issues my stand is the new modern stand and hood from All Glass. The hood is nice and tall but the opening is a little restrictive on lighting options. I was looking at mounting the PCs inside towards the back 4 - 13 watts if I can fit them on each side with maybe 2 - 96 watts in the middle. Will I need a fan? I really love reading about everyone's setups and look forward to being able to post photos when mine is mature.:confused:
 

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Hello Bloop,

Glad that you joined us!:)

We should organize a "55 Gallon Support Group"!;) The 55 does present certain problems for lighting and other applications due to its narrow footprint.

You are correct in your nomenclature. NO is "Normal Fluorescent", what you have, and LOA is "Lights of America", being a company that makes lights primarily for household use. The one most often referred to is a 65 watt outdoor light that some use for aquarium lighting.

The AGA hood can be used for installing fluorescent lighting, whether NO, VHO, or PC. It isn't an ideal design, made primarily to simply cover the common striplights placed on top of the tank.
It can be used to attach the lights to the top lid itself, (some modification may be needed) but a metal reflector should be placed on spacers 1/4 to 1/2" away from the wood.

VHO tubes with water proof end caps would be attached to the lid with the ballast wired remotely underneath the cabinet.

IMHO, the Ice Cap 660 electronic ballast with 4x110 VHO tubes gives a great light setup for the 55. You may have to use 46.5" bulbs as I'm not sure of the available length inside the hood.

Here are some good sites that can help explain lighting better than I:

http://www.candybass.com/lightingtypes.htm
http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/lighting/
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/iss...002/Feature.htm
http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/...s/2/default.asp
http://www.reefs.org/library/talklo...dle_090599.html
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merc...y_Code=Lighting
http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/index.html

Looks like your 55 is a nice setup.
Again, welcome to TRT!
Dick:)
 

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bloop, when I first got my 55g set up, I used NO lighting, I had 4 40 watt bulbs. I found this to be sufficient for the mushrooms. I spent a hundred+ dollars replacing NO bulbs and clips for the ballest. Then when I relized I wanted too keep alot more than shrooms, I went with the VHO set-up FD mentioned. Now I keep with sucess, a variety of LPS, softeis, a couple of acro frags, and a derasa clam. I wish I wouldn't have spent the cash on new no bulbs, now I have perfectly good bulbs sitting in my basement collecting dust. HTH
P.S. VHO atinic looks really good, IMO
 
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