11-30-2004, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northwest Suburbs of Chicago
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
What size is your wife's tank? I don't recall from our conversations, but I seem to remember it being fairly small. If it is small, there are a lot of choices and the PC bulbs are not nearly as expensive as you might think. If it's larger, the best bulbs are the t8 bulbs run on a shop light with an electronic ballast. Home Depot sells a very cheap shop light ($6) using an electronic ballast. This particular ballast can be stripped and configured for NO, PC, and t5 bulbs. It is also capable of running VHO's, but that's not really ideal because of cost.
Now, as for NO bulbs, the best are t8's that you can buy from a light bulb supply shop. When you go to the supply shop, ask if they have sunlight bulbs (generally these are 5500K to 6500K) and are fairly inexpensive. I used to get mine for my 55G tank at $3 a piece and ran 4 over the tank. Plenty of light for that sized tank. It had very nice color being more blue and yielded good plant growth.
Shoot me some parameters on the tanks in question and I'll see what cheap stuff I can dig up.