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RE: halogen lights

>Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 13:23:52 -0500
>From: Andy Goss <Andy at Goss_net>
>Subject: Halogen lights
>Ok,  I need some advice...
>I have a 20 gallon tank that I am wanting to plant.  I noticed that the
>original hood has a single 18" 15 watt bulb.  I am wanting to find
>something that will provide 2-3 watts per gallon.
>I have seen a Halogen strip light used for accent lighting that is rated
>at 75 watts (3 - 25 watt bulbs).  Would this be sufficient?  Are there
>any concerns about using Halogen lights versus Florescent or regular
>I have send the new SHO-light hoods by Perfecto that have a single 55
>watt bulb but they are approximately 3x as much.
>Thanks in advance,
>Andy Goss

Hi Andy,
Your own personal choices are the main factor here. The quartz lights will
use more electric than the PC and T-8 or standard T-12. The amount of lumens
per watt is close to 17 per watt with the Q's and 80 or so with the PC's. So
using the watts per gallon rule needs to be adjusted.
But.................................. the quartz allows you to have an open
top aquarium. They look very nice compared to many other lighting systems. I
use 3x50 watt on my 20 gallon. The GE color precise bulbs are the best I've
tried( MR-16 12volt). I've had mine for over 4 years with 2 burn outs out of
18 during this time. This may not be typical but this is what I've had with
my tanks. They will grow about any plant. I use mine @11 hrs a day @ 11
inches above the surface.
    Mr Gomberg has  shown me a retro kit(1x55watt) for around 30 $ but
you'll need a bulb(another 25-35$). If you look, you can find some good
deals on other lights also. If your a DIY'er you can have many options with
say 2x20 watt T-12's or T-8's. Costing around 50$ to 75$ you should be able
to get a great system for the tank.
     Regular incad's don't grow the plants very well compared to Q's or FL's
which both use less electric than the incad's. The track quartz lights are
easy to change the bulbs,power ratings, number of lamps running, spot light
certain areas of the tank etc. I haven't changed or touched mine since I put
them up 4 years ago.     
    If you look around you'll find some good lighting options. Check the APD
archives! There is more info in there. 
Tom Barr