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Re: light ideas please

Dennis8425 at aol_com sez:
> After reapeated requests my wife is getting her 60 gallon Hex tank for
>  Xmas.  I have already started working on the custom oak stand but am
>  a little puzzled on how to properly light it.  The width of the tank is
>  27 inches between long points and the longes bulbs I can see fitting in
>  a hood would be a single 24", two 18" or about four 12" .  Any any of these
>  combinations I cannot see getting enough total wattage to handle some
>  plants.  The standard hood for this tanks only take a single 20 watt bulb
>  again way to little.

The "classic" solution would be a 150 to 175W metal halide pendant.  Or maybe
a PAR-38 metal halide or "deluxe" mercury vapor lamp. (I don't know about
price or available color temperatures for MH floodlights, so the PAR38 thing
may be a stupid suggestion).  If you have room for 2 18" lamps, you could use
two 16.5" 36 to 39W compact fluorescents.  This is less than the magic 2W/gal
figure, but these are very efficient lamps.  From the specs I have looked up,
you should be able to drive a pair of 36W CFL's with a ballast that is
intended for F40T12 or F40T10 lamps.  You may even have a spare ballast like
this in your junk box.  You can use aluminum foil to line you reflector.  

See if you have room for two 22.5" lamps (plus another 3/4" for the
lampholders).  If so, a couple of 50W CFL's ought to work well.  

GE makes all of these lamps in 5000K, but they anything higher than 4100K is
hard to find; Philips only has 3000K, 3500K, 4100K. I don't know about
Sylvania/Osram.  HTH