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Re: Lighting for a 30 high...

Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 09:35:03 -0400
From: "Stephen J. Page" <camwynsp at yahoo_com>
Subject: Lighting for a 30 high...


There are probably better people than myself to answer your question, but I
have a similar set-up (minus the discus) and I found it difficult to get
good growth with anything less than 3 watts/gal. I just switched over from a
home-made setup involving balancing a 48" shop light (careful there!) to an
AH Supply bright kit with 2X55watts-looks great, and the algae is dying
back...now if only I can get my nutrient levels back in order... :)

I can't comment on exactly how much light Jeremy should use in his tank, but
I can at least vouch for the AH Supply bright kits being good products.  A
friend of mine pointed me towards them when I was first setting up my
planted tank.  The prices for their kits are quite good, and with their
special reflectors you get some amazing light output going down into your
tank.  I have their 2x96watt compact flourescent kit on my 55 gallon tank.
(Which is *technically* only 46 gallons, of course.)  :)

That leads me to a related question that someone might be able to comment
on.  When these rules of thumb are determined (such as needing 2-4 watts of
light per gallon, or 5 watts of heater per gallon, etc.), are those rules
created using the advertised tank volumes, or the *actual* tank volumes.
For example, my tank is labelled as a 55 gallon tank.  When I purchased a
canopy for it recently, I purchased a canopy for a 55 gallon tank.  However,
if you measure my tank's dimensions (about 48"x13"x17") and do the math, it
comes out to about 46 gallons.  So when a person wants to determine how much
light per gallon to use or how much heater power they should get (and so
forth),  should they use that advertised volume, or the actual volume?

(This seems similar to the computer monitor sizing nonsense that's been
going on for years.  A monitor labelled as 17" only has an actual 16"
viewable size... give or take a bit.)