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Re: More light

> Hello, I am thinking of increasing the light over my 38 gallon planted low
> tech tank.  It has 60 watts normal fluorescent and no CO2.  My question is,
> how much of an increase would 72 watts compact fluorescent be?

More than you think. I'd say about 1.5x or so more.
They tend to be more intense than regular FL's so they get a little bit more
light per watt than the NO FL's.
> I know that 
> compact fluorescents are supposed to put out more light than the same wattage
> normal fluorescent, but how much more?  I am willing to do DIY CO2, but I
> don't think I am ready for real high-tech.

Well do that before your ready for more light. CO2 first then add more light
is the better way to go in the long run. If you can afford the light, you
can afford the CO2. The CO2 will help you with your present set up. You may
not think so but it will help greatly with lower lighted tanks also, not
just the higher lighted tanks. But in higher lighted tanks the CO2 becomes
mandatory but the CO2 will help both tanks. Better to have that taken good
care of first then later when you have more $ and feel like it's a good
thing add the PC's. You can add another normal FL for now for cheap if you
wish. You can do the DIY yeast but if you slack on it or can't get a good
method to dissolve it your going to have algae problems far more often. If
you feel confident in your abilities to do this, sure try it. But you will
be doing more yeast changes and those get old and cost a fair amount over
the long term.

You never hear folks on this going "oh shoot, what a waste. I should not
have got it!" Most are like "I should done this years ago."
It's not really "high tech" at all. You have a tank, a needle valve, some
tubing and a method of getting the CO2 dissolved into the water. Where the
high tech part? DIY has the same issue of getting the gas into the water but
the gas tank method is so simple once set up. All you do is adjust the
needle valve to get whatever flow rate you need to move the pH to the
desired level. It's very stable and if you get something like a 10 lb tank
it'll last you for several years(2-4 or so) per tank fill (at a cost of
8-15$ per fill) and you'll likely almost never touch it except once every
few months to slightly adjust the flow rate. Basically it's as easy to deal
with as your lights. Then if those are in good shape all you need to mess
with is nutrients. 
But you can use either way. I did the yeast thing for 10 years. I've done
gas tanks for not quite as long. But think about this first. Your going to
do a great deal of work going the lights first + DIY were as you will not
the CO2 gas tank method. The gas tank methods will require far less hassle
than the other route. Additionally, you can T off another line+ needle valve
for another CO2 enriched planted tank for the cost of the method of
dissolving it and the needle valve since you already have a tank and
regulator. And if you want to add another tank later it's very easy and a
repeat of this again. I have 5 tanks all with CO2 and a single tank with 5
needle valves. Didn't cost much either. About 100$ for the valves and
another 100$ for the regulator and tank.
Tom Barr