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Re: Planning new tank - have a few questions...
"For lighting, I am considering a fixture made by Hamilton with three 175
watt MH bulbs (5500K, but could be upgraded to 6500K for about $25/bulb) and
four 55 watt compact fluorescents. Do you think that's too much light? Is
the upgrade to the 6500K bulbs worthwhile?"
180 gallons at 3 watts/gallon is 540 watts. Three 175 watt MH lamps is 525
watts, close enough. More than 3 watts/gallon just generates more potential
for algae troubles later. I'd blow off the compacts and go with the pair of
40 watt (48" long) regular flourescents for noon intensity and sunset. The
slow start of the MH lamps does a good sunrise approximation. Definitely
upgrade to 6500K lamps, the 5500K lamps are way too yellow for good color
rendition, the tank will look murky yellow. I wouldn't spend the money on
undergravel heating. My 2 cents, IMHO....