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Re: Lighting for a 100G "long"
Karen asked about lighting for a 100 gallon long tank (18 x 18 x 72).
Although I haven't had this size I've had similar sizes as follows:
135 gallon (24 high x 18 x 72)
This tank was a reef tank equipped with three 150 watt Iwasaki 6500k
metal halide bulbs in retrofit kits mounted in a wood canopy. Two
muffin fans were used for cooling. Lighting was bright enough for high
light inverts. The general rule of thumb is one bulb for each two feet
58 gallon (21 high x 18 x 36) or roughly one half your tank.
This tank is a reef and is equipped with a 150 watt Osram metal halide
bulb mounted in a Giesemann pendant. Lighting is good at the center but
falls off a little at the edges. Two of these would do a nice job of
lighting your tank but they are very expensive. Definitely my favorite
fixture though. Very little light is directed outward into the room due
to the reflector design. They have a nifty retractable cord that allows
you to move the fixture up and down. This fixture also seems to run
cooler than my other MH pendants due to it's design and aluminum
250 gallon (28 high x 24 x 84)
This marine fish tank was equipped with eight 36 inch 95 watt VHO bulbs
with Ice Cap ballasts. I found the light intensity to be low and the
VHO bulbs faded quickly over time. I'd never use VHO bulbs again.
200 gallon (24 high x 24 x 84)
This planted tank was originally equipped with three 175 watt 5500K
metal halide pendants which were similar to the Coralife and Hamilton
pendants. The tank was in the living room and the light in my eyes was
very annoying. Plant growth was good, however the emergent growth was
fried when it touched the lights, especially the large rose sword.
This tank is now equipped with the three 150 watt 6500K retrofit kits
mounted in a wooden canopy with three muffin fans for cooling. I like
the appearance of the tank better with the higher Kelvin bulbs but the
fans are a little noisy.
I have another 200 gallon tank that I want to set up to grow low light
plants. I was considering using four foots bulbs staggered on the tank.
The ends would get less light but I figured that would be OK since the
reef ready overflow boxes are on the end of the tank. The increased
light in the center would also help blast through the glass brace in the
center of the tank.
So I guess in my experience there is no free lunch. Pendants shine
light in your eyes (with the exception of the very expensive Giesemann
fixtures) and fry the emergent growth or canopy mounted metal halide
bulbs need noisy cooling fans. If you're more concerned with the
appearance of the tank, use metal halide retrofit kits mounted in a
wooden canopy. I think this has the best appearance. I also highly
recommend the 150 watt 6500K Iwasaki bulb. My cardinals never looked as
blue under the 175 watt 5500K bulbs. I think the plants look better and
the rotala macrandra is a bright red/pink in color.
I hope this helps a little,