10g hood questions
I'm still evaluating lighting options for a 10 gallon tank I plan on getting next week. With Petco rumored to be having another $1/gallon sale at the end of the month and into April, I'm considering the idea of getting a 10g kit as opposed to a bare 10g because I want to reduce the upfront costs (kit comes with filter and light already). I just have a few questions about the hood and lighting the 10g in general:
1. Is the Petco 10g hood one piece or two pieces? I ask because I used to have a 10g kit where the hood was one piece, but I've had a 20g kit where the hood was 2 pieces (tank cover w/ light strip on top).
2. Assuming that the hood is one piece, is it proper to replace the 2 incandescent bulbs with 2 13w cfls? I ask this because I've read that only one 13Ww cfl is necessary for a 10g when you're using a brooder lamp. I'm assuming this is because the brooder lamp has an effective reflector.
3. If I go with 2 cfls in the hood, do I still need to put reflectors under the hood? Wouldn't the 2 bulbs with added reflectors provide more light than a single cfl in a brooder lamp? In the end, I'm wondering if I can leave the hood as is with 2 cfl bulbs and get about the same amount of light as a single cfl in a brooder lamp. I know that Krylon has a white, glossy spray paint for plastic, but it's pretty expensive and apparently needs a week to properly cure. However, the cheapest price I could find for the paint is $16 per can. If it's best to provide reflectors for the hood, then it would be good to know if there are cheaper options other than spray paint.
The next few questions are related to using a brooder lamp.
4. If the hood is two pieces, can I sit the brooder lamp right on top of the glass portion of the hood, or does it have to be raised? This is obviously a moot question if the hood is only piece.
5. If I get a brooder lamp with a clamp, how high off the top of the tank will the brooder lamp be if I clamp it to the back. I can't really hang anything for this tank since my wife plans on using the wall behind the tank to hang picture frames, and the clamped lamp can't be too high either. Overall, I'm worried about how sturdy the clamp is. If it isn't very sturdy and I can lay it on top of the hood, then it isn't an option for me.
6. Do I need to use 10.5" brooder lamp or can I go with the 8.5" inch version? Based on pictures, it seems the smaller lamp looks more sturdy, but I know the bigger lamp is supposed to provide 50% more coverage.
Overall, my goal is to keep the upfront expenses for this new tank to around $100 and that includes the tank, lighting, filtration, substrate, timer, plants and hardscape.