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Old 05-28-2004, 11:35 AM   #1
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Greetings...my fw tank has been up approx 2months but it seems as if my flourescent light seems alittle dim.. should I get a replacement? I have a 30 gal (reg) tank. The wattage of the current one says 20 watts is this efficient or should it be more?
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:14 PM   #2
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Has it gotten dimmer since you got it? Or you just think it's dim. If its gotten dimmer since you got it, it could actually be a problem with the the ballasts inside your hood, as opposed to just the light.

Anyways, it obviously depends on the fish you have in there, but as long as you aren't trying to grow plants then 20 watts on your 30 is fine. and as long as you don't have any fish that LOVE light or anything. lol.

if you personally just want it brighter you can look at the different types of bulbs. yours may be only a 50% day light bulb (should say right on it), while they make 20 watts that are 100% daylight and would appear brighter.

hope that helps.

-brent
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:39 PM   #3
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I tried to find where I read this, but I don't seem to be able to currently. I think there's an initial "break in" period with fluorescents. There's a small drop of brightness near the beginning of usage, and then it seems to maintain the same level of light for a long period after that. I think it was somewhere in fins.actwin.com, maybe the aquatic-plants mailing list?

Edit: Actually it's the burn in period. I found the old article I was thinking of. I'm not sure if it still applies. http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00129.html

Though, then again flipz is prolly right about checking into the ballast.
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:43 PM   #4
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Most likely with the current fixture you have you won't be able to get more wattage (the 20w will be the only kind that will fit, in other words) but you can "retrofit" the fixture with a kit that will permit the use of a compact fluorescent. If you are trying to grow plants, then yes, it is dim, at under 1 wpg, but if not, then it is just personal preference.

If you do decide to upgrade, be prepared for the algae outbreak that will certainly occur!
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:07 PM   #5
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The light should be fine as far as the fish are concerned--actually, my fish seemed upset at first when I upgraded and they had to adjust to brighter light. They're fine with it now, but for awhile they hid . If you want to grow plants, I think I've seen at least two watts per gallon recommended for most types.
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:20 AM   #6
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I have grown plants in a 55 that had two 15-watt bulbs (cripes that's dim!) but only java fern and crypts. That makes for a perfectly nice looking tank, though, so it can be done.
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:18 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys. I feel kinda stupid but I really think it looked dimmer because I had the icky brown algae and had cleaned the glass and it must have clouded the water. Now that the filter has taken the nasty away it seems that it's like it was before. I've got plastic plants so as long as that's not a concern I believe it will be okay for now but THANX- without this forum I don't know where I would be today with this hobby as it seems books and lfs don't tell you all you need to know except to try and get you to buy their products to do whatever it is to clear up whatever it is you have.......Just keep hoping that I finish cycling soon for me
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