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[APD] RE: MH lighting for 35 gallon tank

Jim Seidman wrote:
> 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?

70 watts of MH lighting with a decent reflector would work well with CO2
and dense, fast growing plants. For a tank primarily of slow growing
plants (Anubias, Crypts, Java Fern, Swords) you can save a lot of money
on your yearly electricity bill and often avoid algae problems, if you
have good reflectors. Having only a small opening, as you do and without
a proper reflector geometry, you won't get all of your light focused in
the tank. It also depends upon how efficient your lamp & ballast are;
you might have an old one.

I think you will find that if you are doing everything right with CO2
and regular minerals & nitrates, that your plants will really flourish,
even in what we always thought of as insufficient light!

It helps a little when you have heavy plant overgrowth, to have EXCESS
light because some of that is going to get down to the bottom leaves.
Unfortunately, if the overgrowth is heavy, it will still shade too much
and some kinds of plants run the risk of being shaded out. Rotala
macrandra is one you need to ensure has leaves with access to the light.
Bacopa OTOH, can regrow nicely from a stump under relatively low light.
If you have a nice covering of Glossostigma, you would need to ENSURE
that its kept open, regardless of how high your lighting is.

I can't define outrageously expensive but lets say you are paying 30
cents per KWhr. 40 watts of power run 12 hrs a day costs you about $50 /
year. 70 watts is about $92 / year.

12hr/day * 365 days/yr * X watts/lamp * Y dollars/KWhr * (1/1000)W/KW  =
lamp cost per year =

4.38 * X * Y


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