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Lighting opinions...

Posted By: robroy <robroy220@netscape.net>
Date: Monday, 7 April 2003, at 4:14 p.m.

I'm in the process of setting up a 6' tank and am contemplating going with power compacts for the lighting, probably 2 3' units. These 3' fixtures commonly come in a choice of a 'single' 96 watt or a 'double' 2x96 watt The question is; are the single 96 watt (or thereabouts) lamps sufficient to support thriving plants in a tank as large as mine (150 gal) or would one want to go with the double lamps.

Some considerations and thoughts:

1)the tank is rather tall at 25"

2)I would probably be satisfied with growing plants with low light level requirements such as java fern, anubias, etc but would still like to have the tank fairly bright for appearances, photography, etc.

3)The double lamps are considerably more expensive, so I don't necessarily want to go that route, unless it is really necessary but don't want to kick myself later either for being stingy with the lighting.

4)Double units seem to generally come with built-in fans while most single units do not (but at least one manufacturer offers a single unit that is fan-cooled). How important is this?

5)At the moment, for example, I have a double standard flourescent strip (80 watt) over a 55 gal tank and the plants do fine. Would 2 of the single CF units be comparable to this, even though the watts per gallon would be slightly less, as I am told that watt per watt the CF lamps are superior but just not sure how to best compare the two?

6) I know that I could perhaps save some money with DIY but am leaning toward buying a premade unit(s) due to time constraints, etc at the moment.

Thanks for sharing any knowledge/experience with this type of lighting.


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