RE: NANFA-- Lighting Questions

Crail, Todd (
Mon, 22 Apr 2002 10:21:59 -0400

Hello Brian,

You can not beat the intensity/dollar investment of halide lighting.
Over the long term as well, you're going to save a lot of money not
fussing around with flourescents. The expensive fixtures you see in the
aquarium trade are set up to be more plug-n-play, including the "retro"
kits. As well, a lot of commercial kits used in gymnasiums and stores
like Home Depot or Lowes are expensive because they mount to a bracket,
get wired in and that's it. It's all enclosed. The more convenient it
is, the more someone is going to charge for it....

You can go to a local electric supply place and pick up a 175w open
ballast for around $35-$45 each. It will be a bare coil and you will
have to put it somewhere away from water and people traffic. For
another $35 more, you can get an enclosed ballast. Etc Etc. 400w isn't
that much more (might even be less) and it's the same story for the
enclosure. But I'm guessing that will be overkill. I've found that the
most comperable lighting to the northern summer sun is 175-250 watt.

The lamps can be purchased at an electric supply or on the web from mail
order reef or hydroponic places. I've found the Venture brand 5000k to
be the perfect spectrum and looks so natural it's unbelievable. Lamps
run from $35-$45. They will maintain their intensity for at least
2.5-3.0 years, so think of all the flourescents you didn't have to buy
every 6-8 months when they started to peter out of intensity. If you
start to look at costs over time, understand that a watt is a watt is a
watt (more of an argument about heat ;), and all of sudden halide
doesn't look expensive. :)

If you'd like to discuss these options a little more, I'd be more than
glad to correspond with you. It would be good to know how the tanks are
setup as well (open top, glass/acrylic, poured with plexiglass front,

~ Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day...
Teach a man to fish....
good luck getting him off the water. ~
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,