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compact flourescents/VHO

Hi Rachel,

If you're looking to increase lighting, you can actually fit 3, and possibly 
4, standard flourescents on the tank, giving you 60-80 watts. I fit a double 
strip where my single strip was sitting, and used the single strip over the 
hinged area, but probably that would fit a double as well, as perfecto strips 
are the same width, regardless of single or double. (This is on a 30" 20 
gallon long tank). You could purchase a double light strip for about $40, 2 
broad spectrum lights for approx. $5 a piece--total $50-$55, and use your 
single strip and you'd have 60 watts. AH Supply sells compact flourescent 
kits for retrofitting, but the guy there told me Perfecto light strips 
generally don't accommodate their sets well (size-wise), so you need to keep 
this in mind if you're thinking along those lines.

Perfecto makes SHO strip lights and they don't look too unreasonably priced, 
however the bulbs cost considerably more than standard flourescents, as do 
compact flourescents. You may want to check into this. I know That Fish 
Place/That Pet Place lists the SHO lights in their catalog, but couldn't find 
it online. A 30" 55 watt fixture is $105.00. The lamps are approx. $28 a 
piece. I have no experience with these, but I believe there was a recall on 
some of those SHO fixtures.


<< Hi, it's the browned plant person.  Thank you for all of the help and 
 response, I'm very grateful, heaps of thanks.  Right now I am attacking my 
 situation via lighting, before I get a fresh batch of plants.  I went and 
 read about a general rule, "2 to 5 watts per gallon."  I have 29 gallons so 
 20w flourescent (what I have) seems low.  My hood is a full top (I can't do 
 metal halide) and the most I can fit is two 24" flourescents, which would be 
 40w.  But after studying I have discovered HO and VHO and compact 
 flourescents, the latter where apparently I can cram 2-55watt bulbs in the 
 light strip (a good 110w right there.)  So that's what I am looking at 
 but I haven't found high-quality lighting available for sale locally and 
 had only two successful searches on the net.  And I am not totally sure what 
 the net companies are selling would fit over my tank.  Plus the prices were 
 definately not compact.  If anyone has experience with these types of bulbs, 
 or VHO's for that matter, and knows of a good place to get them, once again, 
 heaps of thanks.
 - --Rachel