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Old 12-14-2003, 10:22 PM   #1
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Florescent Lighting

I have two florescent bulbs. It says they use 15 watts of power and are rated as 60 watts. Which wattage is used to determine the total watts per gallon for a fishtank?
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Old 12-14-2003, 10:41 PM   #2
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What tank do you have?

Can you describe the set up of your tank? Because based on what i have read you can place lightings in an aquarium with a wattage of 2 watts/ gallon. But they also say that that will change depending on your tank setup for example... if it planted...etc. I think plants needs a different lighting condition for the plants to be healthy. But if it's only a fish tank, no plants or whatsoever ... i think 2 watts/gallon does pretty well.
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Old 12-15-2003, 12:20 AM   #3
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I think foxtrot is confused on the markings on his tubes. I've seen some CF labeled as 15 watts (or whatever) and they give a rating in incandescent watts (say 60). That is supposed to mean that your 15 watts flourescent will give out the same light as a 60 watts incandescent bulb.

For watts per gal calculation, you use the flourescent watts - ie. the 15.
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Old 12-15-2003, 12:25 AM   #4
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aqua_guy....

I think jsoong is on the mark as far as the original question was concerned. I'd just like to toss in that 2 watts/gallon is more than enough to support a thriving low-light plant aquarium. Java ferns, many Crypotocoryne, some Hygrophila and a number of Aponogeton will get along just fine at that light level or even a bit less.
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Old 12-15-2003, 01:01 AM   #5
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Yes, and in fact most aquariums do with under 1 watt per gallon. E.g. 55 gallon tanks tend to have full hoods equipped with 1 40W bulb. This is fine for fish and Java Ferns, Anacharis.
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For those that don't know, or are interested...

Thought it's not really your question, I'd like to respond to the plant issue by saying that most planted tanks require more like 3-5 watts per gallon. This "rule" changes depending on how tall (deep) your aquarium is. If it's taller, you generally need more light to combat the diffusive properties of water. The general guidelines for "low" "moderate" and "high" light plants are these...

"Low" light plants (that *can* survive in low light, not that have to have low light) need at least 1 watt per gallon. These include Java ferns, anacharis and some Cryptocoryne species.

"Moderate" light plants tend to need between 2.5 and 3.5 wpg. Most plants fall under this category, including Anubias spp., Hygros, Water Spirites, many "worts" and swords.

"High" light plants tend to need between 3.5 and 5 wpg. Some plants, such as Glossostigma elatinoides need really intense light to simulate the tropical streams and rivers they come from.

Of course, other factors also come into play! Compact fluorescent bulbs generally deliver more lumens per watt, and so are better for plants... But this is all info for another thread!

BTW, I keep 3 wpg on my 10G planted and it does very well. I keep just under 3 wpg on my 55 (150W) and the plants look beautiful (will post some new pix soon). With this much light, I also have to have CO2 systems...
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Old 12-15-2003, 07:52 PM   #6
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I was inquiring about the markings. The total watts used(i.e. power consumption) vs the manufacturer's claim that it puts out a certain wattage, most likely I am assuming compared to an incadescent bulb. This is esp. true on the compact florescent bulbs I see for incadescent sockets.
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Old 12-15-2003, 08:00 PM   #7
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Yup, always look at the power consumption, that is the one you want ot read. Not how bright the light is compared to other bulbs.
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Old 12-19-2003, 07:35 PM   #8
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My 29gal tank came with a full hood that had one 24" 20watt florescent bulb. This puts me under 1 wpg. In order to have health moderate plants do I need to purchase a new hood that allows for multiple bulbs? Any recommendations on hoods for my 29gal? Or do they make a single 24" 60watt bulb or greater I can put into my hood?
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Old 12-20-2003, 05:05 PM   #9
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Wow, I was coming here to ask about this very topic. When I purchased my new 40 gal tank, it came with a hood that had a 24" 20 watt bulb. Looking at it, I thought it was weird that this new tank had a bulb the same size and wattage as my 20 gallon tank I was replacing.
I have had the tank set up for some time now and I can't help but feel that the tank is just not nearly bright enough. I have been looking around for different lighting that I can put into the hood I currently have (AllGlass Aquarium 36" hood). I am assuming that I need around 80 watts since I have a 40 gallon tank. I haven't really been able to find anything. When I looked around at BigAlsonline, it lists the size of the bulb, but not the wattage. over at captivereefs, it seems that the bulbs there are 4 pin, and not what I need. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 12-20-2003, 06:35 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info. I have a 29 gal with two 20 watt bulbs. I made the cover from two under cabinet lights, cuz I wasnt happy with the ones I saw. Plus it only cost about $14. Anyway, I have had some java fern, anachris, apogentan bulbs,cabomba, and some red ludwigia. All are doin great with this setup. The bulbs have put out lilypads and flower spikes. I trim everything back about every 2 weeks.
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