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Hello!

Lighting in aquariums has always been a mess for me. I don't know if it's because there's too much choices, or because I'm very poor in math, but whatever, I prefer asking questions than messing up.

I'm looking for lighting for a stubby 90 gallons aquarium (36x24x24). I want it to be bright for light demanding plants so I was thinking about 300 to 400 watts. My question is : Is it possible to use 100 or 150 watt bulbs with 6500k each in highly reflective dome lamps, like the ones they sell for lizards?

My planned setup was four 5" lights lined up with 100w compact fluorescent bulbs (6500k daylight).

Would that work?

Thank you!
(First post, it's my first day!)
 

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Use 13w 6500K spiral CFL lights starting with a 6 hour photo period. Increase your hours of light. If you reach 12 hours of light without algae issues and see good plant growth OR the plants are barely growing, but no algae; move on to 23w 6500K spiral CFLs. You can also use 5000K spiral CFLs.

3 fixtures should be plenty for your tank. Just spread them evenly. You may want to add a 4th fixture and stagger them to get a more even spread if you notice you have dull/slow growing spots. For instance, one in the back left, next one in the front left, next one back right, then last one front right. Basically have them diagonal instead of a straight line from one end to the other, if that makes sense.

What I outlined is low-medium lighting for low tech tanks. If you have CO2 and high light plants, you could get away with more light. Another good tip is that by hanging these lights, you can raise them to get a more even spread. I had mine several inches off of the top of the tank to spread well. You can also use high temp paint, black looks good, to paint the fixtures.
 
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