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increasing light intensity with the same fixture?

> for my 29 gallon and 10 gallon tanks, i use the regular one-
> bulb fixtures (20 and 10 watts, respectively).  is there a way
> to increase light  intensity with the same fixture, i.e., are there
> light bulbs in the market that can give out more light with the
> same wattage?
> tsuh yang

You want to select a light bulb which puts out the highest
intensities at wavelength ranges that "plants" can see, not
what humans can see. Ivo Busko has written an excellent
article on this issue at
(I *highly* recommend this article! It's the only article I've found
online that sees things from the plant's point of view!  :-)

There are other options to consider as well:

1) Switch to compact fluorescents that can be built into your
current light enclosures. I've just ordered a 55w kit & bulb for
myself from ahsupply.com (for bonsai, not aquarium plants)
so I can't give you any personal feedback. Others on this list
have been very pleased with their products.

2) Get a new ballast to overdrive T8 fluorescent bulbs.
I recently got one from fullspectrumsolutions.com (for bonsai,
not aquarium use) and so far, it's worked very nicely. It's quite
easy to install using the wiring diagram available online. The
ballast for 1-2 bulbs costs $45.

The only problem may be getting short T8 bulbs for your small
tanks. Home Depot sells 4ft T8s very cheap, but I've not seen
shorter T8 bulbs there. So you may have to special order them.
fullspectrumsolutions.com sells 18"and 36" 1/2" bi-pinT8s and
their spectral distribution seems decent enough.

(BTW, there are several kinds of pins at tube ends -- most fixtures
use bi-pins 1/2" apart. If that's what your fixture takes, you should
be able to use the same endcaps as the T12 bulbs you currently
For more info, see

Diane Berberich also has comments about this ballast at
(Thanks, Diane!  :-)

Meanwhile, I've made an amazing and stunning discovery:
"land" plants don't get covered in algae. I've already converted
2 aquariums to dry planted tanks. Jo Ann was right ....  ;-)

Good luck, shireen

Shireen Gonzaga Baltimore, MD