Ok I just remembered what my last thread was going to be about.
The strip light that came with the aquarium is big. Like 4 feet long big. And it's expensive to replace. Like $100+ expensive.
The light is incandescent. I never realized why people always said to use fluorescent lights, until now. That thing is HOT when it turns on! It heats up the acrylic top enough that it expands just enough to not be movable (the acrylic top, not the light). How can I get in to the light to take out the bulbs? The light has a really cool twilight setting that you can turn on at night, and that's expensive in a new light. But I don't see anywhere to get in. Maybe I have to unscrew something... Anyway, I'll update when I can get into it. But I have another question. When I get out the lights, I know that there's a straight-pin setup and a square-pin setup. I'll only need one fluorescent bulb, square or straight. There are two incandescent bulbs. When I check the wattage, should I get a fluorescent bulb with the wattage of both of the incandescent lights combined, or of the same wattage as one of the incandescent lights?
That last part was in bold because it's a really important question that I need answered ASAP.
Thanks for your help!
I'm kind of lost are you saying the incandescent bulbs plug in with straight/square pin configuration(not very common)? Or are you saying those are the florescent bulbs you are looking into? If the incandescent bulbs already in the hood are the screw in type you can look at just getting screw in CFLs, like you would use for your house.
Next we need to know if you will be growing plants, or if you will just be keeping fish, if you have plants you need to find a bulb with a 6500k rating so the plants will grow. How big of a tank are we talking about here?
90 gallons. I found out how to get into the light fixture. The bulbs are square pins, 65 watts each. So for a fluorescent bulb, do I need a 65 watt one, or a 130 watt one? Can I use a lower wattage, and that's okay? I know that using a higher wattage is dangerous. I'm having a hard time finding a double tube, square pin, 48" fluorescent strip bulb.
I do not plan on growing plants in the tank, but if I can find a light that will let plants grow, then I will get that over one that does not let plants grow. This shouldn't be a very bright tank.
The length of the tube is all you need, plus the pin style. Take an existing tube with you to the store. Tubes come in standard wattages for the length, 48-inch T8 and T12 are 40w (except some manufacturers make lower wattage tubes like 32 or 36 but they have the intensity of the other 40w) and T5 are probably different. Get a full spectrum (sometimes called daylight) tube, Phillips, Sylvania and GE make them, with a kelvin rating around 6500K as others mentioned.
As for the screw in bulbs, use Compact Fluorescent 10w daylight (around 6500K) bulbs.
Wow, that's really informative, thanks!:-D That just about answered all of my questions.
But the question about the wattage remains. Is it okay to use a lower wattage? I think the reason the combined wattage was so high is because they were incandescent bulbs, which use way more energy. Is that right?
Correct incandescent bulbs are really inefficient, they spend about as much energy on throwing out heat as they do light. I'm not sure what the standard wattage is for a bulb that size, but byron said 40 so I would look around that number.
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