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RE: Optimal Aquarium Depth and Fluorescent Lighting

> From: Bob Hoffman <bhoffman at deltanet_com>
> 1) What would be the optimal (realistic) depth that would allow for a
> reasonable diversity of aquatic plants including a Madagascar lace
> plant?
> 2) Given that depth, how much lighting would be required?
> 3) What types/combination of bulbs (fluorescent) would be best?
> My thoughts are a 28 inch deep tank, with four 75 watt VHO bulbs (70
> gal. tank) or two 75 watt VHO bulbs (40 gal. tank), bulbs would be all
> URI AquaSun's.  Any thoughts, comments, and/or suggestions would be
> appreciated.

Based on my experiences with my 225 gallon (28" deep), it became painfully
obvious that it takes a LOT of light to reach this depth. On a smaller, deep
tank, MH is probably the best bet.

I was using 4 72" 160w URI Aquasuns, but they have a strange ability to
bleach perceived color from everything. A combination of 2 URI and 2
Durotest Vita-lites "looks right" color wise. The Vita-lites add a much more
"green" look to the tank. They are on separate Icecaps, it is pretty odd to
flip back and forth comparing the light. (too white or too green:-)

28" depth is also a major pain to work in unless you plan on a 6" substrate,
or have really long arms.:-)

Jon Wilson
wet to armpit, weekly