help with lighting
what is the watt to gallon ratio of a moderately lighted tank?
there is no set definition as it would be one thing with T8 fluorescent another with T5 fluorescent another with LED, etc.
a 10 gallon tank usually has 2 15WK Bulbs (I have 2 7W GE bulbs that outputs 40W)
a 28" tank (29 gallon...30 gallon) you have a 24" blub with 20W GE outputs about...115W I think...
so both of my lights output brighter than listed wattage.
Its all about finding the right bulb in the right spectrum for you hood or light set up. If you don't have a set up then you can start from scratch.
I'd get the new bulbs that are rated low wattage so they are safer for most hoods and light fixtures but still output 4x more light than the normal bulbs.
With the technology we have today you have to look at the Kelvin rating, 6500k (Kelvin Rating AKA Color Temp. Mainly blue and red light). You want to look at the Lumens (Light Output). Wattage can throw you off with the new stuff that is out. I think that will be your best guide.
what size tank and what do you want to grow?
Thats not a standard size that I know of, but I would still assume a single T8 would take care of most of what you would want to grow. Above that youre probably looking at power compacts or home made. If you do not plan on using co2, I think standard T8 lighting would do you just fine.
watts really isnt a useful number to use for comparison sake. a 40 watt T12 isnt as bright as a 32 watt T8, for example. In my 20 long and 10 gallon tanks I use 10 watt CFL spirals, they are as bright as 40 watt incandescent bulbs.
For small tanks (up to 20g at least) incandescant lighting (= screw in bulbs rather than fluorescent tubes) works well. The compact fluorescent bulbs are good plant growth lights. I use GE daylight 6500K CFL 10w bulbs, two of them over my 10g and two over the 20g. Incandescant fixtures will be cheaper to buy, and the CFL bulbs (you can get these at hardware type stores) last ages.
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