OK, I think I'm ready to begin equiping the 59 gallon tank (photo in the It's My Aquariummiversary thread) and I'm proably going to have a custom hood made by Pet Supply Liquidators.
I'm having a heck of a time trying to decide how much light is enough. I'm not looking for a supercharged tank, just one that grows nicely, not a fast tank.
Part of the question has to do with reflectors. I doubt that PSL has reflectors as good as the AHSupply kit I have on the 29 gallon for 1.9 wpg. So I know that 2x55 is not enough at 1.86 wpg.
Next, I don't know if 4x55 would fit on a 45 inch tank but for 3.7 wpg that seems like a lot of work and a lot of heat. On the other hand, 4x36 for 2.4 wpg seems about right but if the reflectors and bulbs are not right, the coverage and look could be terrible. Maybe I need the extra watts to make up for less reflecting. And I have 2 of the GE 9325 bulbs on order, might be nice to use them on this tank, if they fit.
Can you mix 55 and 36 watt bulbs on the same balasts? Would the mixed light intensities or color spectrums be bothersome if they were mixed on the front row? Can you build the hood for 4x55 and switch out a pair of 55s for 36s?
And finally, given that my tanks start at 80 degrees (room temp) in the spring, summer and fall, and lighting adds heat after that, don't I need fans? One? Two?
The tank is 45"x18"x18". Probably to be Flourite and pressurized CO2. I will move the cardinals and kuhlies and serpaes into this tank, more otos, maybe adding a few SAE or something else. Maybe just increaseing the numbers of each group a bit. Not too sure, but no unique fish as far as I know.
Anyone got any advice to offer?