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jcinnb 12-30-2010 12:53 PM

A question I hate to ask
Ok, first plants are in, more driftwood is boiling. Unpacked my hood today. It has one flour light, a 40 watter.

Uhm..with a 55 gal tank, that will be .73 W/gal. Think that is a little low. The hood is set up for T-10, but I understand I can use either 8 or 12 in it too, but so far, my search has not turned up any higher wattage bulbs

Drumrolll: I guess that is the reason for lighting strips, and clear tops. So...I have read the four parter under plants, and "about 1 watt per gallon" sticks in my mind.

Help! is .73 enuf of "about," and I am planting heavy, by the way. Is there a reasonably cheap solution? Do I need one? Do higher wattage lights exists (at 6500K)?

Sorry for being so limited. I have learned a million things in the lat three months, just not the next thing I need to know. Appreciate all's patience and indulgence.


zof 12-30-2010 03:49 PM

Well as has been pointed out to me the watt per gallon rule is very vague, I believe someone mentioning it was originally thought up with the t-12 bulbs in mind, so you have to remember every time you go down on the T scale you tend to get more lumen per watt. So I would go ahead and find the biggest T-8 you can find (most bulb wattage is the same for the size) and try that out with your plants, at worse they will probably not grow and just stay the same size, then you know you need to do something about it.

If it comes down to it you are going to need a fixture with 2 sockets so you can have 2 bulbs running. An easy solution would be a shop light from a home improvement store, or you could go to the DIY method with screw in CFL bulbs. Otherwise you will be paying big money for a new fixture/hood.

small fry 12-30-2010 03:55 PM

A plant expert on this forum (I am not giving the name) said that a 1 tube 40W 6500k bulb (in the supporting fixture) should work fine. It isn't the best, but the member says that it will keep the plants healthy.

That is the type of lighting I am useing for my (heavily) planted 55g tank.

Jwest 12-30-2010 10:35 PM

I have a hundred gallon running an eighty watts.. so i have similar lighting and i'm growing plants just fine. depends on the plant i guess

Mikaila31 12-31-2010 01:31 AM

lol I have 110 watts on my 55gal and I grow plants like mad. Fixtures don't need to be expensive, you can by the crap ones off ebay if you wish. I made my own high quality hood with a retrofit kit and wood. Light was like $150 and included moon lights.

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