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Re: Doubling light output = Increasing wattage??

On Thu, 13 May 1999, Stephen Rizzo wrote:

> I am just about to purchase a new 70 gallon tank which has a full hood which
> allows for only two 40 watt fluorescent lights.  Since ideally one should
> have 2 to 4 watts per gallon I was wondering if by using reflectors which
> state that they double the LIGHT output this would have a similar effect as
> to increasing the stated wattage.

It would certainly help... any extra light will help when the tank is

> Can somebody tell me if this makes sense?  What do other people do when the
> aquarium hood can only take a maximum of two fluorescent tubes and the total
> wattage is below the required 2 watt value for good plant growth??

This other person guts the hood and replaces it with two shoplights, or a
canopy that holds 4 to 6 T-8 fluorescent bulbs.  Others try VHO
fluorescents, with 3 times the wattage in the same size tube (you'll need
new ballasts for this).  Another alternative is the newfangled "power
compact" fluorescents that pack about 2-3 times the wattage into a smaller
package (for instance the perfecto SHOlight hood).

I would say you're on the right track here.  But keep in mind there is no
magic "wattage" that will work.  The 2-4 figure is just a *starting* point
to give you an idea of what sort of plants you would be able to keep. 

    - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com