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Re:AH Supply Kits and 48" Hood/Bulb Choices???

Happy JoAnn said:

> Since my 4X65 watt fixture needs all new bulbs and I'm
> very 
> displeased with the poor quality of the brand, I'm
> thinking of 
> dumping it altogether in favor of the AHSupply.com kits.
> I can build 
> the hood myself, so that's not a problem, but I'm having
> trouble 
> deciding which of the AH options to put together for this
> tank.
> It's a standard 48"x18" 75 gallon. I already have one of
> the 96 watt 
> kits that I want to use. I'd appreciate comments from
> anyone who has 
> put something similiar together for a tank this size. I'm
> thinking of 
> building the hood so that the front contains lights and
> lifts up and 
> over the back of the hood on hinges. Building it that way
> might be 
> the only way to get enough light over the tank using the
> kits.  I'm 
> shooting for about 3 wpg.

Funny you should ask.  I just set up a 75 gallon for a
friend, who didn't want to get involved with CO2 but who
might change her mind.  I ended up getting 4 55watt kits
and some 55 and some smaller bulbs.

75 gallons with that footprint gives you some flexibilty
with AHS kits.  The AHS ballast for a 55watt PC also works
for a 36 and a 40 watt bulb (although the socket is wried a
bit differently, I think).  So adding a couple of 1 x 55
watt kits to your 1 x 96 watt would give you from 165 - 206
wattas or roughly 2.2 - 2.8 watts/gal.  Hey, it's not
really 75 gallons, literally, so I'd call it 2-3 wpg.  You
could even exchange your 96 watt bulb for 2 55watt bulbs on
that same ballast -- just pick up a couple of the sockets
and wire per AHS's directions -- if you want to push a
little further.  4 PC bulbs will also give you more even
lighting over you tank, if that's what you want --
personally, I like a little variation.  With fluorescent
lights you don't really get precisely the bulb-listed
wattage in most cases -- going from a 55 to 36 probably
doesn't really change the electricty consumption from 55 to
36 watts --  but you will definitely have a wide range of
light outputs with these AHS ballasts and the variety of

Since you were running 4x65s, you might find that less than
4x55 will seem a bit dim.

If you didn't mind the losses from rebending the reflectors
(or using flatter reflectors) and cramming 4 96 watters
under the hood (they won't fit end-to-end so you'd have to
overlap the ends like finger joints), you could get some
pretty intense lighting, and a lot of heat to deal with. 
But 5wpg, even with losses seems just too extreme for most
purposes, eh?

Hope that helps,
Scott H.

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