Originally Posted by Hornpipe2
I bought one of those 10 gallon kits from Petsmart that came with all the equipment you need to set up a freshwater tank. My wife and I have been using it for quarantine and growing fry that we can rescue from our 55g tank, but I'd like to keep it a little bit planted too.
The current hood fits two tube-style incandescent bulbs, running at 10W each (I think).
Essentially, my biggest question is: Can I simply buy CF spiral or tube bulbs, screw them into my existing hood in place of the incandescent bulbs, and expect it to work?
I'd like to replace the lighting because I want bulbs that last longer, are more suited to growing a few plants, and don't heat the tank so much. However if I'd have to change the hood, fixtures, sockets, etc. then it's not worthwhile to me.
And if it is possible to swap them, what am I looking for in a CF
bulb? I understand that a bulb with full spectrum or "daylight" type is better for plant growth. What should I look for in a wattage rating (or is there a maximum wattage printed on the hood that I should follow instead?)
One final question: how does a conversion from incandescent wattage/CF
wattage to NO wattage work (so I can work out an estimated gain in light output)?
Any help you can give would be much appreciated!
Lots of questions here. I'll give you the simple answer. No you cannot replace the NO bulbs with CF
ones. Those tube lights are meant for 10watts/foot, and the only way to get more light out of them is to overdrive the ballasts.
I use a 6700k bulb on my tank, many use these and 10000k bulbs as well. Actinic does not provide much if any light for plants, but does make them and fish look better IMO
. 50/50 bulbs are nice in some setups where you don't want the full amount of light for your tank due to CO2
/fert issues. You probably won't have that problem however.
So basically, unless you replace the light fixture, or overdrive the ballasts, you pretty much don't have any options. I have several "tweaks" that will increase the amount of usable light for the plants without actually changing out anything which I can post if you want.
Oh and 1.3X I believe is the going number from CF
--->NO watts per gallon rating. So 1watt of CF
lighting is equal to 1.3wpg. Please note that on small tanks such as 10gallons and smaller the amount of watts required per gallon is higher than in your 55gallon tank for instance. That is to say that the same plants that only require X wpg
in your 55 gallon tank will require X+Y wpg
in order to grow well in the 10gallon.