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Re: [APD] Open Aquarium: Upgrading my lighting

The watts-per-gallon rules of thumb apply to broad spectrum
fluorescents with high quality reflectors. They do not
apply to incadescent bulbs such as halogens. Why? Because
the wattage of the halogens is insignificant since they
only yield about 7 watts of light for every 100 watts of
input energy. The other 93 watts is given off as heat.
Fluorescents yield about 35 wattas of light for every 100
watts of input energy. I would eschew the halogens
altogether and avoid using any incandescent type bulbs.

T8s would work okay, especially if you went for the
nomially 4-foot lengths. T5s would be even better but
usually cost much more.

On a 90 gallon I would like to use one or two pair of 55
watt PCs, with the 2 pair setup preferable. A single pair
would give a low level of lighting suitable for undemanding
low-light plants. Two pair would yield a moderate level of
lighting that would let you grow most plants. In either
case, adding CO2 would speed plant growth. Alternatively, a
pair of 96 watt PCs could work but might be harder to fit
for even lighting.

The closer the bulbs are to the aquarium, the greater the
amount of light from the bulbs that reaches the plants.
Fluorescent light spreads in all directions. From a bulb
suspended distance up above the water surface, the light
shining past the outside of the rim of the tank just ends
up being room-lighting. Down at the aquarium, most of the
light that "scattered" light hits the glass panels and is
reflected back into the aquarium. So, if you want more
light on your plants, one way for you to acheive that is to
bring your bulbs closer to the top of tank.

Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.
--- Moishe Wasserman <moishew at gmail_com> wrote:

> I want to upgrade the lighting of my 90 gallon aquarium.
> I have right now a custom made fixture, a wooden board 
> attached on
> the underside are:
> Two fluorescent 40watt bulbs
> 5 50watt halogen bulbs.
> The total wattage is 320 watts, most of it coming from
> the halogen and
> my plants grow brownish yellowish instead of the natural
> green because
> of this.
> Right now the board is hanging from a chain attached to
> the ceiling,
> so it turns out that the fluorescent bulbs are about 1
> 1/4 feet from
> the tank.  I was thinking about adding another two bulbs
> (Plant and
> aquarium bulbs) and suspending the bulbs closer like
> let's say half a
> foot and maybe getting rid of three of the halogens.
> This would give me 40 * 4 = 160w of fluorescent lighting
> + another 100
> watts of halogen lighting total 260w which is 2.8 watts
> per gallon,
> but most of it would come from the correct color spectrum
> now.
> Anyone have any suggestions or comments please?
> Thanks
> Yechi Hamelech
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--- Christel Kassellman is returning to America! ---
The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies will feature Christel, author of _Aquarium Plants_, among its speakers at its 30th Annual Convention. It's the longest running consecutive general tropical fish convention in the country and one of the most fun to attend. 

March 18-20, 2005
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