Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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tyler12345 04-10-2008 07:12 PM

I just checked my lighting for my 38 gallon tank. It's 17 watts. No wonder my plants haven't been growing.

My question is how many watts do I need? I was thinking 76 becuase 2 watts per gallon but I could be wrong.

Generally, how much would your reccomended light cost?

Flashygrrl 04-10-2008 07:21 PM

This stuff has also been discussed here, you should read it

tyler12345 04-10-2008 07:28 PM

So basically I can buy these light strips and put them in my canopy if the measurements are right? Will a 76 watt work?

Flashygrrl 04-10-2008 07:59 PM

Well, remember it's not specifically about the watts anymore. What's your budget? Look towards getting a CF setup if you can, or at least T-8. More bang for your buck, basically.

tyler12345 04-10-2008 08:06 PM

Well I'm only 14 lol. What were the appreviations you were talking about?

Flashygrrl 04-10-2008 08:16 PM

CF= compact florescent...probably out of your price range

T-8= 1 inch diameter bulb, uses less wattage yet more light output than the standard T-12 that usually comes with the hood.

In both cases you always are supposed to get full-spectrum bulbs for planted tanks.

tyler12345 04-10-2008 08:21 PM

Well, I'm basically overhauling my tank. I'll be adding new plants and really putting effort into this. So as basic as you can get.... tell me what to do please.

Like I just get a long light shaped like a cylinder and i can unscrew my canopy and put the new one in? Basically I just want to do it the right way.

Flashygrrl 04-10-2008 08:31 PM

Well, you can't just get new bulbs and try to make them fit, you have to get a new fixture and all (a lot of people do retrofits, which means they buy all the electronics in a kit and install them in the existing hood or canopy), and I'm not the best to ask about how to install any of that into a canopy, I'm sure someone else can help with that better than I can (me and wiring=not a good mix).

tyler12345 04-10-2008 08:35 PM

Seriously? That sucks. I don't know, I just wanna get proper lighting for 38 gallons... I didn't know it wouild be so hard... Thanks though.

okiemavis 04-11-2008 06:59 AM

The retrofit kits are really easy- although whenever I'm having trouble I just invite a cute, technically inclined guy over with promise of baked goods. But really though, AH Supply makes great kits, and they come with really good instructions too.

As for affording the CF lights- tell your parents how energy efficient they are! CF's are by far the most efficient (except for LED of course), and the bulbs last MUCH longer too. You have to replace standard fluorescent tubes every 3-6 months, as the red & green burn out much faster than the blue (which is why your tank probably looks blueish right now). Unfortunately, the red & green spectrum is what provides all the helpful light for your plants to grow. But I digress. CF bulbs only need to be changed every year or so, less if you don't like your plants very much.

I'm in the process of doing over all my tanks in CF- I've got 3 24" (65 watt) ones on my 6 ft tanks, and another 20" (40 watt) on my 10 gallon, so now I just need to cough up another $75 for the other tank.

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