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Re: Re: Lighting for a 30 high...

> 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?

The real experts might jump all over this but I'll say this much
anyway, one bloke to another:

Realizing that these are rules of thumb should lead you away from
asking this question.  You are looking for too much precision from a
rule of thumb.  You can figure the gallons as the manufacturer-rated
size, the actual internal volume, the actual water amount after
allowing for airspace, substrate, etc. -- just realize that using
smaller measurments yields higher light ratios.  And realize that
roughly two watts/gallon is the lower end and 4 is the higher end. 
They aren't limits, in any case -- I think people do low-light tanks
with less than precisely 2 watts/gal. and high-light tanks with lots
more than 4 watts per gallons -- the latter folks certainly being
better men and women than I.  

Pick a watts/gal. neighborhood that you can reach physically (will all
these bulbs fit on my tank?) and financially (I have to sell my what to
pay for these?) and how touchy a set up you want to live with (Oh damn,
I ignore the tank for one day and that damn algae is back again).

Lots of other things will effect your plants more than whether you have
3.75 verus 4.15 watts per gallon.  Once your tank is up and running,
you might find a need to slightly reduce light to reduce algae
problems.  Or you might decide to add more light later, depending on
what you want to grow, how much work you want to exert, etc.

Good luck,
Scott H.

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