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Re: Re: In defense of Watts-per-gallon -- or - Plugging an old adage

>>The wpg rules of thumb are usually presented as just that,
guidelines that help folks decide what to buy. 1.5-2 wpg is
a whole different neighborhood than 3.5-4 wpg.  Is 4 better
than 3.5?  That's trying to cut a little too finely for
most folks' purposes.  I think most folks have to grow with
their tanks; learn to adapt to the tank and to adapt the
tank as things progress.  You can set up two tanks the same
and before too long, they can be two very different tanks.
But you can decide what neighborhood you want to be in when
you set up.<<

I can share my own experience using a 55 gallon tank as an example. I had
2watts per gallon using a Brightlight fixture with two 55 watt PCs. I was
not at all happy with the growth rate or appearance of the plants under this
light. I have two 55 tanks with this set up. Neither one did well by my
expectations. So I added a shop light fixture with two 40 watt NOs. This did
OK by my standards, but it was ackward, didn't fit well over the tank, and
made access to the tank a pain in the butt.

So recently I found the JBJ fixture that holds four 55 watt PCs and actually
takes up less space than the Brightlight does. This is a little higher light
than what I thought I needed, but the result is fantastic.

Heat build up is much more of a problem than I thought it was. I discovered
both bulbs in the Brightlight fixture had become fused into the socket. The
bulbs broke from the socket immediately and the socket had to be pried out
with a pair of pliers. Then I discovered the same problem with my AH Supply
lights on my 100 gallon tank. Each bulb there had become fused into its
holder as well. The 100 gallon tank is enclosed in a wood canopy but with a
3 or 4 inch gap running the entire length of the back of the canopy. I
thought this would provide enough ventillation, but I was mistaken.

The Bright light fixture has no fans, and is made of metal which does not
disappate heat. The JBJ unit is of lightweight aluminum alloy which does
disapate heat, and has TWO fans. It also uses snap on bulb connectors
instead of the rubber connectors. It also has a clear cover lens that
protects the bulbs which the Brightlight does not have.

The short of it is that I found the 3 to 4 watt per gallon range to be much
more to my liking for plant growth and vitality. And the JBJ unit seems to
be far superior to any other pre made fixture I have seen or used.

Robert Paul Hudson
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