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lights for Ken Guin's 110 gal tank

Steven Pushak writes:

<<The heating output
of all types of lights is always exactly the same as the amount of power
consumed by the lights. 99.99% of the energy consumed is converted to
heat one way or the other. When you have 200 to 300 watts of lighting in
your living room regardless of the type of lamp you use, you are going
to notice an increase in room temperature usually.>>

He is correct. I would venture further and state that 100.00 percent of the
energy in ALL lighting is converted into heat. Putting the ballast, for
example, away from the aquarium just puts the heat away from the aquarium. It
does not eliminate the heat!  Why??

The Laws of Physics, badly paraphrased :-)  say that all energy runs
downhill. The energy in our Sun starts out as gamma rays, but bounces about
in the interior for centuries, "running downhill," until it eventually
radiates from the photosphere in a very wide spectrum of electromagnetic
energy, which is after all what visible light is. Energy is one long
spectrum, from gravity at one end to gamma rays at the other. UHF Radio is
closer to gamma radiation than visible light. AM radio isn't all that far
away. Bees, with their tiny eyes, focus ultraviolet light, and see quite
clearly in UV, a portion of the spectrum that we do NOT see. We see a very
small portion of the spectrum. We "feel" infrared on our skin. We don't see
it. But, your TV remote does!  Our plants use most of the visible spectrum,
plus some parts that we can't see. Which parts? Heck, I don't know!! LOTS of
parts!! :-) Advertisers just love to show pretty charts that say their
halides or Fluorescents are better than anybody else. 

All this means to us is, all of the electricity consumed by our lights ends
up as heat, somewhere in the room. High efficiency lights put more energy
into the visible light spectrum. BUT, if there are no windows in the room,
what happens to that visible light? Where does it go? Oversimplified, it
bounces about the room changing wavelengths, part of it being absorbed at any
particular wavelength, and all eventually appears as HEAT. If your fish room
is too cold, that is great. If your fish room is consistently too warm, that
is not so great. So, what do we do? 

Hey, if the plants grow and are happy, the lights are OK. Or, you could
really work on getting the "perfect light." It doesn't matter which way you
go. If you are a technolover, go for it. If you are cheap, like me, use cheap
stuff. It is OK. If what you do grows plants that please you, you are a
success, no matter how exotic or how humble your method. This is supposed to
be fun!  There is no ONE correct answer as to how a tank should be lit. There
are many correct answers, perhaps one that is "perfect" for that one
individual. One person's perfect tank may really grate on another person.
Different folks, different strokes. I have seen pictures of George and
Karen's tanks in Aquarium Fish Magazine. WOW!   Nice tanks!  My tanks are
pretty lush, but a bit tangled and clogged, but I like them. (Hey, I don't
enter them into shows, they are just for me to look at and I like them.)
 They are getting better as I latch onto the good advice in this List. At
least, I think they are better. Bottom line, have fun. 

Have fun!


Jean Olson
JOlson8590 at AOL_com
Out in the Boonies, near
Cambridge, Iowa