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[APD] RE: MH lighting for 35 gallon tank

Steve Pushak writes:
"You DON'T want an MH light for a 35 gallon tank. Those are most suitable
for tanks over 100 gallons in size. You need about 35 to 40 watts of
fluorescent light, probably in a 2' U-shaped CF."

Well, I currently have more than that much light, and it's really not
enough. My current setup is two overdriven F15T8s, which while not as
efficient as a PCF, are quite visibly brighter than two NO F15T8s. So I have
to figure I'm getting at least the equivalent of 35W from a PCF.

As I mentioned, part of the problem is that the hex top includes a
rectangular window for the light to shine through. This creates a strange
lighting pattern that leaves the front and back poorly illuminated,
especially as you get closer to the top. Even in the middle of the tank, I
see problems with stem plants losing their lower leaves as they get shaded
by higher leaves.

I've seen people suggest 2W/g for non-CO2 tanks, but you're suggesting more
like 1W/g. I've also seen people recommend higher light levels for deeper
tanks, which this tank definitely is.

It seems as if I could DIY a setup with a 70W 6500K MH bulb (such as the
Iwasaki) in a bell-shaped pendant. That would give me 2W/g, and a nice
circular light pattern that would hit all of the corners. As a bonus I'd get
shadows and ripples.

Would I not want to do this because you think 70W is really too much light
for the tank, or because it would just be too outrageously expensive
compared to fluorescent solutions?

- Jim

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