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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried using Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs on an aquarium? They are small and pack a lot of light into a much smaller space than a regular tube and are not expensive.

 

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I use them in my tank. I don't use CO2 and only light dose so my growth is adequate, not super fast. They aren't as good as standard bulbs, but are cheap to work with for sure. A good reflector is a must as their shape throws light everywhere.
 

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Those bulbs do work, but not nearly as well as their wattage would lead you to expect. I have 40 watts - 2 20 watt bulbs - over a ten gallon tank, with good reflectors, and it is far from high light intensity. In fact it is barely more than low light intensity. One thing this means is a lot of heat comes from the bulbs for a given amount of light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm trying to avoid upgrading to PC so I won't have a bunch of wasted money that I spent on my current set-ups.

How about installing multiple normal fluorescent tubes. To get the proper lighting for my 20 gallon, I'd need about four of them over it...is that doable?
 

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I would rather use multiple T8 bulbs than use the screw-in CFL bulbs. The CFL is a cheaper and easier setup, but the long T8 tubes do a much better job lighting the tank, in my opinion. But, I really do like AH Supply light kits better than both of them. And, they do cost more too, but I found that I ended up spending as much for a multiple T8 bulb fixture as I did for an AH Supply kit - all of the detail pieces add up to a lot of money when you put together a multiple tube light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After calculating it, the multiple T8 tubes run just a bit more than the PC setup. The CFL would be crazy cheap, but I doubt it would be as efficient.

I've committed to my choices. I'm buying two enclosures from AHS, the 55w kit for the 20 gallon and this 96w kit for the 29 gallon
 

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I use CFL's in my signature tank below, Check out the thread for a photo of the hood and lights. They work well for me, I do end up running more total wattage and heat to get the same effect of a more expensive set up, but this works and I love projects so I try to DIY as often as possible, even if I don't really need to...
 
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