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Re: [APD] Re: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 17, Issue 4

Any benefit of PCs over standard flourescent bulbs? Besides
slightly better energy efficiency and much higher light
output? No. Except that you can pick your bulb color temp
by temperature rating instead of by names like "GE Plant
and Aquarium Bulb." 

But the plants are not very fussy about the color of the
lighting so much as the amount -- so long as it is a broad
spectrum bulb, the amount is all that matters for most
practical purposes.

You can grow plants with ordinary cool white fluorescents,
if you use enough of them -- it's jut harder to fit as many
into the same space as T5s and PC bulbs.  

If you add two more 20watt flourescents, that brings you up
to about 160 watts of fluoresecent lighting. If you want to
factor in the halogens, you need about 5 times as many for
the equivalent amount of light output as  fluorescents.  So
for incancescents, figure on needing about 7-12 watts per
gallon. Mixing the two types of lighting makes the
calculation a little more complicated. But in your case the
total with 4 20w t12 fluorescents and the 5 halogens would
roughly 200 watts. I'd get rid of the halogens though, they
are adding lots of unnecessary eat and very little light. 
For roughly the same amount of light you could replace them
with them a single 40 watt fluorescent.

Alterantively, If want a point source kind of lighting,
consider metal halide bulbs -- they will give you nice
distinct shadow lines and that shimmering effect when the
water surface ripples. They have about the same energy
efficiency as fluorescents althought the ballasts and bulbs
tend to be more expensive. MH lamps are nice as pendants
hung form the ceiling because the light is not as diffuse
as fluorscents and the glare is somewhat less.

Scott H.
--- Moishe Wasserman <moishew at gmail_com> wrote:

> What about mounting another 4 regular fluorescent Plant
> and Aquarium
> bulbs which would give me 240 watts?
> Is there some kind of special benefit with power compact
> bulbs?
> > 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.

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