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Old 07-01-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
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halogen desk lamp

My tank is fairly heavily planted and I have very poor light. I tried to pick only low-light plants but even for this I suspect I will not have enough light (15 W- 20 G tank).

I am definitely planning on getting a new light but because I have to have a top custom made it will be a while before I get around to it.

I am wondering if shining my halogen desk lamp on the plants will make any difference at all in the meantime?

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Old 07-01-2006, 11:33 PM   #2
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Nope, halogens are like expensive heaters when it comes to plants. almost no useable light as far as they're concerned.

Try some compact floros, they can be had for $5-10 at any place that sells lightbulbs.
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Old 07-02-2006, 12:22 AM   #3
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If you are using a halogen lamp, you can almost certainly follow the above advice and switch to a CFL.

The specific CFL you probably want is sold by Wal-Mart. The name brand is Lights of America, which I beleive is the Wal-Mart brand.

The low wattage version of these is sold in the Wal-Mart aquarium center- Usually you can find a 10 watt version there, or maybe it was a 15.

They have higher wattage versions over in the light bulb section. The one you want specifically states on the back of the package that it has a 6200(?) Kelvin light spectrum. I might be wrong about the exact number there- it might be 6500 or 6700, but it's definately in the 6000's.

You want to avoid the GE and probably the Phillips version of the lights- They are they wrong spectrum. The Lights of America brand comes in varieties from about 10 watts to, I beleive 37 watts, while staying in the right spectrum. They make a higher wattage one, I beleive it was 40 watts, but it had a different color spectrum. If you want as much light as possible, the 25 watt one was the largest I found that fit into an aquarium fixture.

While you are in this area of Wal-Mart, look at the other CFL bulbs- These lightbulbs are more expensive then normal incandesents, but if you replace the 5 most used lightbulbs in your house with them, they will probably pay for themselves in reduced electricity bills in a few months, and last for years.
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Old 07-02-2006, 01:05 AM   #4
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Yes, the higher wattage CF's at Walmart are 6700k, perfect for planted tanks. I have 2 20W CF's in my 10G, and it's awsome.
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:58 AM   #5
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I kept some java ferns alive with a halogen desk lamp, but the usable spectrum on them is poor, so it takes a TON of halogen watts to make a difference for higher light plants.

thus the screw in power compacts make more sense.
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