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Light for non-CO2 nano tank

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by PK1, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    I have posted a few threads about my nano project and I have one remaining question, so here it goes.

    I have a 6-gallon nano tank that I want to set up as a low-maintenance non-CO2 tank; The tank has 2 x 24W bulbs already built into it, which considering it is only a 6 gallon tank seems way overkill @ 8 watts/gallon. And here's where I get a little fuzzy about the W/Gal math: I know this is far from an exact science with a lot of different variables that play into it, but I don't really want to get a PAR meter for this project so I'll have to come up with the best estimate that I can. My understanding is that the W/Gal metric applies a little differently for smaller tanks, but I don't know exactly in what sense. What I do know, is that the current set-up has too much light. So to reduce the light to the reasonable range, I can easily remove one of the bulbs, but then I am still at 4 W/Gallon. My understanding is that for a non-CO2 tank, the acceptable range is about 2 W/Gal or about half as much as I'll have.

    Assuming this is correct, here are my questions:

    1- Will one bulb (24W) have too much light for a low-maintenance tank. If so, and considering I'd prefer not to rewire the package, which is my best option:
    2- I can cover the light by some semi-transparent material to reduce the intensity, but I am not sure if such a material would filter out any light color that plant would need, nor do I really know what material to use!
    3- I can cover the reflector by some black material to reduce the intensity
    4- I can get an 18W bulb that would fit, but I haven't been able to find any at 6500K. Also, would an 18W bulb operate correctly in a set-up that is designed for 24W?

    I have attached pictures to show the set-up. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    No love??? ;)
     
  3. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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  4. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    I agree. One bulb with at least one layer of window screen and maybe even two layers would be better. You can always remove one layer down the road to see what the effect is. Blacking out the reflector is a good idea along with the window screen.
     
  5. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks all, I like the idea of the screen.
     
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