Originally Posted by Aquaman
By the way the bulbs you mentioned gnome, are Mini-compact flourescents and have their own ballast built in, and yes they would work on a tank this size also.
Which bulbs did I mention? You mean the Hagen Power-Glo? Or are we talking about a different thread?
A few months ago I actually bought the incandescent
12" All-Glass strip light. I got it so that I could use one of those 10W screw-in PC bulbs (believe it or not, I could have gotten a Mini Aqualight for about the price I paid for the fixture and PC bulb). The whole thing was a major waste of money. First off, the socket is off to one side so that only half of the tank gets much light. Secondly, the bulb (6500K) made everything look so greenish-yellow and washed-out, any improvement in growth wouldn't have made up for the terrible color. More importantly, my beautiful crypt started growing out weird, deformed leaves after switching to this light and some of the older leaves melted. After about 10 days, I decided to go back to using my 8W N-O flo. and realized that all I really needed to do was to replace the bulb. Actually, Power-Glo's are pricey, but I decided to order a few things from Big Al's and they were selling the 12" Power-Glo for only $8.99 (as opposed to $17.99 my LFS was charging). My crypt is growing nicely, again, and the bad algae that resulted from the PC lighting seemed to recede, especially on my Anubias 'petit' leaves. And for the first time, my Sagittaria subulata has put out a runner. AND, today, I noticed that my plants are pearling!
Believe me - I've been tempted to get one of those Mini Aqualights. But just the idea of running 18W of PC lighting over such a small tank makes me very nervous because I tend to under-fertilize and my CO2 levels are always low. There's simply no way I could avoid uncontrollable algae in such a set-up. I've heard of people only running one bulb in those things, but wouldn't that be bad for the fixture and the single running bulb?
Anyway, for now, I'm very happy with the regular fluorescent Power-Glo. It definitely gives a "richness" and "even-ness" of color that I didn't get from the 10W PC bulb. I could probably get away with running the ferts low for days without any ill effects.