light choices for 20g long ?

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Hi! I am setting up a 20g long tank for a pair of azureus. I will have a glass top cut for it. I have a 24" Fluorescent aquarium reflector. It holds one long bulb (18"). It currently has a 15W Repti-Glo bulb. Is there a bulb that I can get that will be enough light for the plants in this Viv? If not, what should I get that will be reasonable in cost. I can't use shop lights, as this is for my classroom and I wouldn't have a way to hang them. Thanks for your help. I have been reading and reading on this forum and you all have been very helpful.

I would suggest a 24" or 30" (can't remember how long the 20gallon long is) ESU bi-light or a exoterra same dimensions.

Both use screw in compact flourescents you can get in low wattage bulbs with 6500k temps. Buy the bulbs from a large hardware store. Buy the fixture at a large pet store or online.
hey fran,

it sounds like you are not too far into the project, so i would like to point out that a 20L is hard to plant. by the time you make a false bottom or leca layer, then add substrate, you have less than 10" for plants. if you can cheaply upgrade to a taller tank, even an extra 6" really opens up possibilities for planting.

i made two 20L's for some of my first tanks, and will not do it again. if you decide to go with the 20L, here's what has worked for me: creeping fig and selaginella are great, begonia prismatocarpa will work, and i have java moss and java fern growing out of one dripwall. some smaller episcias will work if you really take the time to keep them pruned properly. beyond that, i haven't found many plants which look good. even pothos and scindapsus picta grow to the top glass, so that you get a landscape of stems. cissus amazonicus would also work.

hope that's helpful,
Thanks so much for the input. I was going to cut the eggcrate and pvc pipe tomorrow, but maybe I'll change my plans. I was going to use the 20g long because it is a tank that I already have (previously a home for salamanders and spring peeper frogs). This is a school project and I am on a tight budget. Maybe I'll see if I can pick up a 20g high tank used.

Do a vert tank with the 20L.

As far as shop lights, you don't need to hang them. You can let them sit on top of the tank. If heat becomes an issue just get a couple pieces of wood to prop the lights up on.
Would a 20g long made vertical be enough ground space for a pair of azureus? I thought they were more terrestrial. Also, isn't it difficult to then make the front/door? I'm not very handy at all. Would it just involve silicone or would a drill be involved? It would certainly take up less counter space, which means I could have more tanks in the future! I do appreciate all the suggestions!
No the vert will not have enough floor space for the Azures. And the balancing act of the shop light wth kids is asking for trouble.

Skip the false bottom just use a simple setup with leca or gravel.

Plants like vinning philos and pothos can be rooted right into the rocks/clay balls.
Use shapgnum moss as a substrate with some leaf litter on top. Some nice size driftwood and a couple coco huts won't break the bank and will be fun for you students to observe the frogs interact around.

What are your plans for a lid?
Thank you so much for all your help! Smile No, the shop light idea wouldn't work for school. I already had to give away my classroom beardies because the fire inspector didn't like the heat lamp, so I want this to look very safe! So you are saying that the plants will grow right in the clay balls? I won't need any coco fiber? Does that also mean no screen between the clay balls and the moss? I assume that I'll have to be very careful about what plants to use in this type of set-up. I am going to look into the possibility of a 20 gallon high instead of the long, if I can find a good deal. For a lid I was going to have a piece of glass cut to fit and then cut in half. I planned to silicone the back part where the light fixture would sit and just put a knob and maybe a hinge on the front half.
Okay, I still need help with the lights. I got a 30" Bi-Light, as recommended. It fits on the tank perfectly. I went to Home Depot to get the bulbs, but was a bit overwhelmed. I think I found the right kind of bulbs, flourescent, twisty kind, but I didn't know what wattage to get. The guy from Home Depot didn't know either. When I got home I looked on the light fixture and it said maximum 150 watts, but is that too much? It sounds like a lot. This tank is a 20g long, so there isn't much height. The background is coming along nicely by the way. Today I made a sign for my classroom door. It has a picture of a blue poison dart frog. At the top it says Blue Poison Dart Frog and along the bottom it reads: "Coming soon to a classroom near you!!!" I think my students will get a kick out of it! Thanks for all the help.
Well Fran since things very through out the country from these stores.

I buy screw ins called n:vision the bulbs are 23 watts that are equivelent to a 100watt out put.
You want the package that has an indication of daylight (typicall 5500-6500K)

On the packages I buy there is a candle flame in the upper left hand corner with an indication triangle below pointing to a sun icon.

(This example is for my house light which is softer but, you will get the idea.)

[Image: dsc01866ta2.jpg]

Is it me or did it seem like part of our discussion from this thread previously disappeared?

The wattage maximum on the light fixture box is in regard to heat lamps. Can you post a picture of the bulb pack you bought?
Okay, thanks so much!!! I didn't actually buy the bulbs because I wasn't sure what to get. I thought I would wait and find out. I did find the right ones, as I see from your picture. They were daylight bulbs too. I just wasn't sure what wattage to get. Now I know!Thanks!

That's the wattage I use at least. I suspend the fixtureI know there's a lower wattage as well though I imagine the out put is not a strong. But since your not pushing the light so far maybe the lighting is suffiicant. Is the fixture you bought two fixture or three? Heat is to be considered with both sizes especially with putting the fixture directly on top of the tank. You may want to experiment with the lower wattage first just IMO on that.
You'll have to make that call.

Do you have a PDF book I recommed the one on the right side of this link page by Greg and Amanda.

As I teacher you understand about being well educated. Learn before you jump to far into the hobby, and maybe add the latin name to you PDF announcement classroom sign to get the kids use to using that as well.
Thanks again. Maybe I better start with a lower wattage, since it will be sitting on top of the tank. The fixture holds 2 bulbs. I have been reading about PDF and considering them for my classroom for about 2 years. It was one of the reasons that I kept spring peeper frogs (along with salamanders) one school year. I wanted to see if I could feed them all winter. That was when I discovered culturing ffs! Of course the peepers just slept all day and were interesting in the evening when the kids were gone! Quite frankly it was cost that kept me from getting PDFs before this. But, I wrote a mini-grant for adding PDFs to my classroom and tieing it in with our curriculum. Once I found out I got the grant, I started reading everything I could get my hands on. I have 3 books (including the one you mentioned), but I have gotten much more information online! Luckily, I have had the time to devote to it this summer. Usually I am teaching summer school. Of course the grant doesn't cover everything, as it was for 500 dollars, but it sure does help. Thanks again for your help.

Way to go Fran.
You probably won't believe this one, but I got the ESU bi-light (ordered online). I was very happy with the way it fit the tank and the light that it provided. Then, fire inspector comes and the light has to go. The bottom line is that it doesn't have a ULV sticker, even though it says it is UL listed! I had to replace it with a different light that isn't bright enough. I supplemented with desk type lights that are holding the same bulbs as were in the ESU bi-light. What a pain! That means 3 separate lights on timers where one fixture was working before. I was in the petstore and saw the Exoterra lights. I thought that they looked good, but alas, no ULV sticker. They have the CA sticker, which is not the same, at least in terms of the fire inspector for our school! I have since picked up another tank to set up in school. This one is a 20 gallon high. So I am going to need lights again! Does anyone know of good lights that have the precious ULV sticker? By the way, my students are very EXCITED because our frogs are coming Friday!!! We are getting an adult pair of azureus. I think my principal is almost as excited as the kids. Everytime a delivery truck shows up he thinks that it is the frogs! Fran
Sorry about that Fran. Never knew there was so much red tape with the light I suggested. Good luck finding a suitable replacement.

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