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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a 20 gallon tank with incandescent hood two 25watt bulbs. I was wondering if I can put the screw in compact fluorescent in their place to increase my watts per gallon each bulb is equivalent to a 40watt bulb. Which would increase my watts per gallon from 2.5wpg to 4wpg which seems to be more towards the recommended lighting.
 

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First of all, forget about what each bulb is "equivalent" to. That's just marketing hogwash. The bulbs are equivalent to what they are, which is 25w each. That being said, that's too much lighting without some CO2.

I used to use screw-in fluorescents in my 10g incandescent hood, and it is definitely a wonderful, low-cost option. But don't use the spiral style bulbs. Go to the pet section at Walmart and get a couple of those Lights of America 10w 6500k bulbs. I've seen them in every single Walmart I've ever been in. They aren't the spiral type, so they are more efficient and more of the light actually reaches the plants. The spiral ones just trap the light in themselves, plus they are a PITA to screw in unless you take the rubber gaskets out of the sockets.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So the bulb that you suggested would provide me with a total of 20 watts and 1wpg is that enough for my 20 gallon tank. Thanks my local fish stores haven't been much help.
 

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Oh, for some reason I thought you said it was a 10g, not a 20. But still, 1wpg would be sufficient for most lower light plants.

Coralife sells some 20w ones that aren't spiral-shaped. The only problem with theirs is they use that pinkish colored "colormax" spectrum, which is good for plants, but I think it detracts from the look of the tank overall. Here is a link for them, so you can see what I'm talking about.

But the truth is, those 10w non-spirals probably put out more usable light then the 25w spirals do. The spiral is NOT the best shape for light bulbs, at least, not when you want to aim the light in one direction (down toward the plants).

Ideally, what you should do, is either retrofit your hood to hold some t5's, or just replace the hood with a better fixture altogether. This one is perfect, should you decide to go that route, and it's nicely priced!
 

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I think as a first option, go with two 15W spiral CFLs. If you are dissatisfied, you can either up the wattage to two 20W or two 25W (which IMO should be used with regular CO2 and excel to avoid algae)...or go the retrofitting way...
depends on what you are trying to achieve in your planted tank...
just my experience...
 

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I'm going to disagree with Church. I have that basic Coralife double T5 strip. It uses two 13 watt NO bulbs and it isn't nearly as good as a Catalina, Nova, or Hagen HO fixture.
 

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^ Well then you better start convincing the OP to get some CO2 then, because it doesn't sound like that's in the plans. ;)
 

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But the truth is, those 10w non-spirals probably put out more usable light then the 25w spirals do. The spiral is NOT the best shape for light bulbs, at least, not when you want to aim the light in one direction (down toward the plants).
I had some left over shiney stainless steel sheet, made a jury rig bender and bent a reflector to fit in my 10 gallon hood. Works great with those spiral fl. tubes. Church is correct about the spirals emitting light in all directions but it can be directed down with some effort. I LOVE the spirals with the right setup.
Charles
 

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The spiral bulbs produce the most light if they are mounted so they are vertical above the tank. And, using somewhat hemispherical reflectors for them makes them the most efficient at providing light in the tank. Now, we need someone to design a hood/light fixture that will use the bulbs that way that doesn't look ugly. I now have two clamp-on lights over a 10 gallon riparium, with 26 watt spiral bulbs, and I get what would be high light intensity in the tank, but oh is it ugly!
 
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