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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys, already posted this, got only one (albeit serious) reply. Just want to make sure I do the right thing here!

For all you lighting mavens, here's the dilly yo:

30 gal tank is 36 " long:

-- 1 36" double flo strip across the FRONT (1 30w T8 Exoterra 6700K, 1 25w T8 Zoomed 5500K)

In the BACK, the left side is screened, and has a basking bulb (lizards and hylids; here I mounted cactus and peperomia, they deal)

So, I want to upgrade the light across the rest of the BACK of the tank, which is 30" X 5" (150 sq ")

Shall it be:

--1 30" Bi-light (screw-in) fixture w 2 26 W Exoterra spiral CFLs (6700K)?


--1 30" AGA double flo strip, w 1 24" 20W T8 Exoterra (6700K) and 1 24" 20W T8 Zoomed (5500K)? (the 30" strip uses 24" bulbs; I shall the 24" fixture with aluminum foil)

To put the question another way,

2 26W spiral CFLs vs. 2 20W T8s--across a surface area of 30" X 5" (150 sq.")

AND--is heat buildup an issue (for the mounted orchids)? Since I already use a basking light on one side, I will probably go with the cooler option.

Please, do not make other suggestions about HO T5s, power compacts, etc. The above choice is what is affordable for me (thanks to Ebay .



P. S.

For the curious, I replace the basking light in the summer with a CFL Flood, and also for two months in the winter ( a cool down period). Also, the right half of the tank is covered w saran wrap (tm)

1,231 Posts
First, what are the dimensions of the tank? If it is only a 30g and is 36" inches long, it couldn't be more than 12" wide and maybe 16 inches tall? If thats the case, the lighting that you have now should be working great for you.

Also, I wouldn't bother with the the Exo bulbs if your on a budget, there are plenty of T8 bulbs available at hardware stores that will work great for your tanks for a fraction of the price.

If your insistent on adding more light, I would go with the dual CFLs. GE daylight bulbs(6500k) work wonders for plants, and are just a couple bucks each at Walmart or any hardware store. CFLs generate heat but keeping the fixture raised off the tank a few inches works fine for me.
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