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Re: Lighting for 75-gallon tank

Julie wrote:


I'm finally purchasing a 75-gallon tank.  It will be
heavily planted with CO2.  I'd like to have about 3
watts per gallon and am not sure how to accomplish
this efficiently.  Does it make sense to get a
twin-tube strip light and retrofit it with an AH
Supply kit?  I've also seen Oceanic CF fixtures in my
favorite mail-order catalog.  I also wondered if CF
bulbs emit heat that require a cooling fan.  I don't
want a complicated setup.


If you are willing to DIY at all, I would go the overdriving route. You
can buy a cheap shoplight fixture and put in a new 4 x 32 watt ballast
and voila you have a great light fixture for maybe US $50 including
lamps. Two of these fixtures will easily light a 75 gallon tank.
Depending on how you actually rewire the fixture and which lamps you
choose you can get anywhere from low light to very high light. The high
light version (according to the watts per gallon rule is .85 watts per
gallon) is the equivilent of about 3.3 55 watt lamps (2.42 watts per
gallon) or 6.7 T12s (3.57 watts per gallon).

The watts per gallon rule is crap. Those two imaginary light fixtures I
used for comparison produce exactly the same amount of light but look at
the difference in watts per gallon. The only point of the watts per
gallon rule seems to be just to confuse people into not having a clue as
to how much light they actually have.

BTW one of the reasons PCs are so suitable for aquariums is they are
designed to run at higher ambient temperatures than other lamps. A
cooling fan is not really necessary unless you have no ventilation in
your lamp enclosure.