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Re: To Watt or Not to Watt

> Choice #1) Coralife Power Compact hood with 2 - 96 watt bulbs (1 -
> 10,000k & 1 Actinic).  192 watts divided by 27 gallons = 7.11
> watts per gallon!!  Am I looking at problems with having this much
> watts per gallon?

That's an awful lotta watts. Yes, I think that is much, much too much light.

> Choice #2) Coralife Power Compact hood with 1 - 96 watt bulb. (50/50 -
> Half 10,000k & Half Actinic).  96 watts divided by 27 gallons =
> 3.55 watts per gallon.  Am I too limited with plants I can grow with
> this little watts per gallon?

The actinic bulbs are of no use to the plants. You want bulbs in the
daylight spectrum (5000k to 6700k). The kelvin rating (k) you choose within
that range is more or less a matter of personal preference. The 5000k bulbs
have a much warmer, yellow hue. The 6500k, 6700k bulbs have a cool, crisp
white appearance. 3.55 watts per gallon is more than enough for any of the
plants that I can think of, including the high light plants.

> Choice #3) Helios Power Compact hood with 4 - 36 watt bulbs. (2 - 7100k
> Daylights & 2 - 12,000k Actinics).  144 watts divided by 27
> gallons = 5.33 watts per gallon.  I know 4 - 5 watts is optimum and
> this is probably my best choice using that standard.

Too much light. My retinas detached just from thinking about that much light
:) You should be able to grow most any aquatic plant using lighting in the
2.5 to 3 watt per gallon range. As a certified algae expert, I can tell you
that going beyond 3 or so watts per gallon is the ticket if algae is what
you have in mind :) Again, actinics are useless. By the way, check the specs
on those Helios fixtures because I recall running across some Helios some
time ago that could not be used with a timer.

http://www.ahsupply.com has some great kits that you might want to consider
as an option. I've built two so far and will never buy another commercial
fixture again. Email me off list and I'll tell you about a "crappy" light
fixture brand that I don't recommend (My "Crappy" stamp is reserved for
fixtures that fail after 13 months or less).

Of course if your tank is deeper than the standard tank,you may need to
allow a little more wpg to compensate for the depth - but definitely no need
for the 5+ that you mentioned.

Those are my thoughts on watts for watt it's worth :)