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Bang for the buck
Okay, so I keep reading it takes 2-4 watts per gallon to get enough light to
get successful plant growth. Now, I'm not after optimal growth, and I don't
even need to be cutting back the fooliage every three days. So, How do I get
the optimal "bang for the buck" with my 30 gallon tank? Let's break it down
1) The newer strip lights come with mirror-finish reflectors built in. How
much does this increase the total output from the bulb? By my thinking, the
vast majority of the light that is usually absorbed into the top of the strip
is returned back to the water. Any actual figures? Is a 30 watt bulb that
is fully reflectorized going to be as effective as a 40 watt? or 50 or 60?
My guess would be about a 50% inprovement in efficiency. Would that make a
30 watt bulb as effective as a 45 watt for calculating this2-4 watt
2) Are there high output bulbs to fit in 36" fixtures? Like a 60 watt or 90
watt? Are there ballasts that would match the needs of these bulbs? Will
they fit in a standard strip light, or do I have to build my own hood light?
So. What is the simplest way to get enough light for val or sags to grow,
and which has the lower light requirement? What about Amazon swords,
cabomba, or the other plants normally available in pet shops? Thanks.