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i have a 30 gallon tank which i started to add live plants to lately, i understand that 2-3 watts per gallon is best but the highest watt flouresent bulb i can get in 40 watts! if i install incadesent fixtures and use compact flouresent bulb will it work? the compact flouresent bulbs are using 15 watts of power each but they produce 60 watts of light! if i use 2 of these producing a total of 120 watts will it be ok for my 30 gallon (deep) tank??
 

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You could get an ahsupply.com 55 watt CF retrofit kit for a very nice price and install that. I love mine!
 

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Please do not repost the same topic twice. I'll delete the other thread you started. Stick to this one please. :)

As for your question, incandescent and those screw-in CF's are inadequate for lighting planted tanks. What you need are power compacts, as Sir Blackhole recommended. Although, T5's are a better choice, but bulb choice availability is limited in the US. For PC lighting, you can go with retrofits from AHSupply, but this requires a canopy or the use of the enclosures they sell on their site. Remember a piece of glass MUST be used between the glass and the water. Another choice, would be the all-in-one hoods sold by Coralife and JBJ, but I recommend you stick with Coralife. IMO, these are ideal lighting options since they do come with built-in fans, acrylic cover(no risk of cracking), the bulbs, and some even have built-in Moonlites. But of course their ballast and reflector quality is no where near AHSupply's.

Here are useful links-
www.ahsupply.com
www.hellolights.com
 

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Raul-7 said:
Remember a piece of glass MUST be used between the glass and the water.
I suspect you mean glass between the lamps and the water.

I have two 96W AHSupply PC lamps a few inches above my 90 without any glass and there's never been a problem. The main issue is that there has to be a convection path for airflow into and out of the hood. The heat of the lamps will keep things dry enough.

IMO, YMMV, and this is just my experience, so if you try it and kill yourself, it's not my fault. [-X

TW
 

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I use 2x55W from AH Supply on a 29, without any glass or anything, the new models they send out come with waterproof endcaps, I haven't had any problems...

Jeff
 

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I also do not use any glass between the lamps and water surface. Yes, it might be asking for trouble but I am like that.... I believe the danger is not in the moisture affecting the bulbs but more in the risk of splashing water breaking the super hot bulb. That would cause a big mess, waste money and possibly hurt your little fishy friends, since they will try and eat anything that falls from the sky. Just my 2 cents worth:)
 

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Same experience as everyone here: nothing dividing the bulbs from the water surface. The bulbs are kept dry by its own heat. However, two precautions you must take into consideration should you go this route:

(1) Be very careful not to splash water onto the hot bulbs as it will crack.
(2) After a prolonged blackout, wipe the bulbs dry of condensation before turning the lights back on. Otherwise it will crack.

Both scenarios have happened to me. :oops: Otherwise, get yourself a glass divider. I find them annoying because I can't figure out a way to affix them to my DIY canopy for easy removal when I need to get my hands in the tank.
 

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Better still, get some 0.25 inch acrylic/plexiglas and put that under the canopy. You can affix it by making a small ledge or using some fine wire and your imagination. If the hood is 36 inches long, affix to both ends and at least once in between to obviate the effects of bending due to heat.

Andrew Cribb
 

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cS said:
(2) After a prolonged blackout, wipe the bulbs dry of condensation before turning the lights back on. Otherwise it will crack.
Cs, what do you consider a "prolonged blackout?" I hope you don't mean that one should wipe the bulbs before each daily photo period begins. Do you?
 

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Rob G said:
Cs, what do you consider a "prolonged blackout?" I hope you don't mean that one should wipe the bulbs before each daily photo period begins. Do you?
Oh gosh no!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: I would sooner come within 50 feet of fat-free bacon before I will subject myself to daily wipings. A prolonged blackout is one of those 2-5 day blackout regimes one would implement to kill off certain types of algae. [smilie=t:

[quote=pineapple]Better still, get some 0.25 inch acrylic/plexiglas and put that under the canopy. You can affix it by making a small ledge or using some fine wire and your imagination. If the hood is 36 inches long, affix to both ends and at least once in between to obviate the effects of bending due to heat.[/quote]
Below is a picture of my DIY canopy. I hybridized several designs found on the internet to create a convenient but easy to construct canopy. I have a hard time figuring out how to integrate a glass/acrylic partition into the existing hood. Any ideas? Remember, I only know how to drill, glue, hacksaw, and hammer. That's pretty much it. I recently purchased a powerdrill set at a garage sale. I am beginning to see why men are so drawn to these things. It sure makes tasks so much simpler. [smilie=l:

[IMG]http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=408[/IMG]
 
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