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Thread: Lighting?

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    Hi all
    I just got finished with the lighting of my new terrarium and Im not sure if the light is sufficient enuf. I have 2 25 watt equivelent to 100 watt floroucent compact bulbs over the top of the tank with no reflecting material on the sides or back. Is this enuf? 50watt total? I have a raff, bical, ventrat,ventricosa,coccinea,and a ceph. Is the lighting enuf for these? By the way the lights are about 5-6 inches away from the plants. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!

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    mine is 12hours 40 wats 1 hours 102 wats, the look fine, im scared to over light mi plants. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img]

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    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    It really depends on how big the tank is. Though, I firgure about 8 watts per gallon is good enough. So, a ten gallon should have at least 80 watts of light, 5 gallon should have at least 40, 20 gallon should have at least 160 watts. Though, I can't reallly be sure about this. You really just have to try it out.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Surface area is a better way to get a handle on your light needs, rather than volume (ie square feet vs. gallons.) The first thing you should do if you need more light is add reflectors. Without reflectors, it's harder to make good light estimates because your light loss through the sides of the tank depends a lot on the shape and placement of your light fixture. Also keep in mind that you get widely varying amounts of useful light from different bulbs; incandescent bulbs wouldn't cut it, for example, even at several times the necessary wattage for other types of bulbs. Compact fluorescents reflect a lot of light that they generate back into the bulb, making them less efficient than straight tubes of the same kind, and even among straight tubes there are certain kinds (T5 and T8 tubes) which are much better than others (conventional T12s.)
    So what I'm getting at is that if you see poor performance in your plants, add some light. Don't rely on wattage to tell you what's 'right.' Your plants will tell you when there's enough light by growing robust, boldly colored foliage. Especially in the case of the Ceph, you'll know there's enough light if you get deeply colored pitchers and compact growth.
    Incidentally, I think that two small compact fluorescents will not be enough, given that you're growing highland Neps and a Ceph. Maybe with reflectors, but not under normal circumstances. I would go for a four-foot, 40W, two-tube T12 fixture and use the compacts to make a higher light area for the plants that would appreciate it (ie not your lowland Neps.) These fixtures are easy to find, and if you shop around you can get them for less than $10 a pop. They're the most widely used type of fluorescent, so the bulbs are easy to find and cheap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ Mar. 26 2006,4:20)]Surface area is a better way to get a handle on your light needs, rather than volume (ie square feet vs. gallons.) The first thing you should do if you need more light is add reflectors. Without reflectors, it's harder to make good light estimates because your light loss through the sides of the tank depends a lot on the shape and placement of your light fixture. Also keep in mind that you get widely varying amounts of useful light from different bulbs; incandescent bulbs wouldn't cut it, for example, even at several times the necessary wattage for other types of bulbs. Compact fluorescents reflect a lot of light that they generate back into the bulb, making them less efficient than straight tubes of the same kind, and even among straight tubes there are certain kinds (T5 and T8 tubes) which are much better than others (conventional T12s.)
    So what I'm getting at is that if you see poor performance in your plants, add some light. Don't rely on wattage to tell you what's 'right.' Your plants will tell you when there's enough light by growing robust, boldly colored foliage. Especially in the case of the Ceph, you'll know there's enough light if you get deeply colored pitchers and compact growth.
    Incidentally, I think that two small compact fluorescents will not be enough, given that you're growing highland Neps and a Ceph. Maybe with reflectors, but not under normal circumstances. I would go for a four-foot, 40W, two-tube T12 fixture and use the compacts to make a higher light area for the plants that would appreciate it (ie not your lowland Neps.) These fixtures are easy to find, and if you shop around you can get them for less than $10 a pop. They're the most widely used type of fluorescent, so the bulbs are easy to find and cheap.
    ~Joe
    I didn't know that about compact flourescents, how they reflect a lot of light back into the bulb. Is that because they're in a spiral and not straightened out like a tube?

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