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projectcam95 10-28-2008 11:01 PM

lighting for a 29g
I bought a 29 g like 3 months ago. It came with a hood and a light. On the light bar it says 17 watts.

So ive read i should have atleast 2 or 3 watts per gal. So I went out to walmart to look for some better lighting . And I came across a light bar from " Light of America" which says its uses 17 watts but has a 75 watt out put.

With 75w I understand thats enough for my 29g correct? The thing is i tried it next to my stock lighting and it lights up the same.. My stock one even looks a little brighter.

Can anyone educate me on lighting? The light bar has this type of connection (. .) on both sides.

Cody 10-28-2008 11:09 PM

Sounds like Flourescent lighting.

Do you keep any live plants? If not, switching out bulbs is a personal preference untill a year. And it is not the same as a 75W bulb.

Tyyrlym 10-29-2008 06:31 AM

Unless you're keeping high light plants or running a reef tank you don't need that much wattage.

projectcam95 10-29-2008 08:05 AM

I do keep live plants. But they dont do very good. And im thinking its because of not enough light. You think that with one 24" stock bar is enough? It doesnt feel like 75w to me for some reason.

So it doesnt matter if it only uses 17w right? As long as the output is right?

Tyyrlym 10-29-2008 10:13 AM

No, wattage matters too, however different plants need different amounts of light. So depending on what kind of plants you're keeping might influence how much light you need. Also light is only one of three factors determining plant growth. You've also got to supply nutrients and carbon, if any of the three are deficient the plants won't grow to their full potential. Asking some questions about this in the plant section would be a good idea. They can probably give you a better idea of how much light your plants need and if you are in need of more nutrients or carbon.

iamntbatman 10-29-2008 01:38 PM

The "75 watts" on that fixture is their claim about the light output of the fixture in comparison to an incandescent light bulb. The 17 watt fluorescent, in other words, puts out just as much light as a 75 watt incandescent. The "watts per gallon" rule for aquarium lighting is really based on normal output fluorescent lighting, and not at all on incandescent lights. So, you don't have 75 watts worth of light, you have 17 watts worth of light, which is definitely in the low lighting range. Sorry to say, but the light you bought is no better than the fixture you already had.

If you're looking to upgrade your lighting to something in the medium to high light range, you could go down two routes:

1) You could buy a purpose-built light fixture, like this one:
Aquarium Lighting for Freshwater and Reef Systems: Nova Extreme Compact SLR T-5 Fixtures (you'd want the 30" Freshwater)
Or this one:
Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures (again, you'd want the 30" light, but it comes with a 50/50 bulb for saltwater so you'd want to ask them to swap it out for a freshwater bulb or purchase a freshwater bulb like this one: Aquarium Lighting: Current Compact Fluorescent Square Pin Bulbs in Daylight or Dual Daylight)


2) Make or buy a wooden canopy for the tank, and install DIY lighting by using a shop light from Home Depot. The problem with this, other than it just being more work than buying a fixture, is that it can be difficult to find shop lights with more than one tube that are shorter than 48".

projectcam95 10-29-2008 02:29 PM

Nice way of putting it batman .. Thanks now i understand. Good thing i can return it to walmart with no questions asked. Im going to go by home depo to see if i can build my own. If not ill buy the Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures

Oldman47 10-31-2008 09:07 PM

If you really want to do a major light upgrade, you can get kits that are designed for that. One place I know of that sells them is AHSupply. They are a bit expensive but I have used their kit for a 29 and now have enough light for some reasonable plantings.

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