Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #335

> Well, I just took the plunge and ordered my "dream" tank.  A 90 gallon
> reef-ready with a wet/dri sump.  So now, while I'm waiting for it to
> I have a few decisions to make, and was looking for some suggestions.

If you don't mind me asking, who makes the tank and sump?
> First, is lighting.  I have read most, if not all, of the available
> on lighting, and for now I am planning to go with NO T-8 flourescents.  I
> considering 8 tubes, for a total of 256 Watts, this is a little under the
> 3W/gallon rule, but wondered if it would be enough; especially
> that this 90 gallon is 24" high - maybe 10 would be better (boy that's a
> of tubes!)?  I could go the VHO route I guess, and use 3 tubes for 330W -
> often does one need to change VHO bulbs?  Wait until they burn out, or
> every 6 months to a year like the NO's?  At this point, I think MH is out
> of the question, because I don't have the space to hang pendants,
> I guess I could use one of those retro kits with a fan, and put them in
> canopy?  How often does one need to change out MH bulbs?

I use VHO bulbs on my 75g, and love them.  I've had them installed for a
little over a year now and I have 4 replacements on order.  The lamps are
still plenty bright but I'm not getting the tall growth that I did when the
bulbs were new.  Everything tends to grow very thick and bushy but not real
tall.  So I'm going to try replacing the bulbs.  As long as growth is good
I see no reason why you need to change bulbs until they burn out. To throw
away a $30 bulb that works seems so wasteful.

I use the IceCap balast and 4 VHO AquaSuns.  They run very cool.  However,
the bulbs are expensive as is the ballast.  For the same price, you can
probably set yourself up with a MH retrofit fixture.  Plus, you may benefit
from 24" depth may I would have done the same except I didn't want to go
carving fan holes in my brand new custom oak canopy at the time.

My next aquarium will use MH lighting.  I'm thinking 90g glass octagonal.