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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One area of starting an aquarium that I have been able to find very sparce information on is lighting. I am going to be starting a 72 gallon bow front mbuna tank soon (48") and wondered if this light (in 48" obviously) is overkill or adequate? The tank will not be planted, just fish, sand, and rock. I don't want to stress the fish out by overdoing the light so any advice would be great. Thanks,

-Kevin
 

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You will end up with terrible algae blooms.
Unless you are doing a planted tank, you only need enough light to be able to see your fish. One watt per gallon is the most I would go in a non planted tank.
 

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I use 1 watt per gallon for my Mbuna tank and with the right bulbs it shows thier colors real well.

I still got algae but it took a while to establish itself and was easily wiped of the front glass. For a long time, and I think it had more to do with the gravel I useing, my rocks were covered with ugly brown algae. After I switched to sand it changed to green.

My lights are on a 12 hour cycle and if your trying to avoid algae you could set them up not to run as long or have them turn off for a couple of hours in the afternoon. For my 350g I'm going to run two 65 watt 6200k flourescent flood lights . They really light up the tank and I'm hoping they will add algae to just the top and ridges of my background structures.

You can give yourself headaches trying to read up how lighting effects the color of objects. There are hundreds of books on the subject. I took the easy way out and went through the "Your Tanks" section of the Forum and read what other people were useing for bulbs to get the lighting effect in thier tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Afrowanksta said:
You will end up with terrible algae blooms.
Unless you are doing a planted tank, you only need enough light to be able to see your fish. One watt per gallon is the most I would go in a non planted tank.
I already have the above mentioned light, with the 2- 23 inch 65 watt 50/50 compact flourescent bulbs (one on either side). Is it possible to use a lower wattage bulb even though the bulbs will be shorter or should I just take one side's bulb out and have slightly uneven light? Or would elevating the light a few inches above the cover be sufficient. I can't return the light so I would like to avoid having to just scrap it, that would be rather wasteful.
 

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I bought this tank before I put plants in mine. At first I didn't like the color coming out of it, but after a few hours I really started taking a liking to it. So long as you have algae eaters, you don't need to worry about it. With the light I had before that one, I was only able to grow brown algae, the algae that popped up with this was green and much prettier. It uses 3 plugins though, so if you have it on a timer, be sure to get a dual-input timer so the cooling fan comes on at the same time as the ballasts.
 
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