Two Marineland Hoods with one 18" Flourescent daylight 15 Watt bulb in each hood. Is there additional watt bulbs available for these hoods. I would like to increase the wattage, to better reflect the color of my African Cichlids. No plants in aquarium. Please advise if items are available and if this is a beneficial suggestion. I do not want to go to LED lights at this time.
No, that would be the maximum wattage you could use. However, you are kind of looking at this wrong. All wattage does is provide you with the amount of energy a light uses. It does not provide you with the lumens or the amount of actual light the bulb is putting out. So try some different bulbs with different ratings, keeping in mind that if you get too bright, you might cause too much algae. For example, most standard fluorescent bulbs used in these strips are 5000 Kelvin or 5000K. Some may be 5500K. You might look for a bulb that is 6000K. 6500K is what is required to grow plants, so if you wanted to add some plants (African cichlids live in a mostly rocky environment, but some grasses do grow there, and Jungle Val is a popular one to add to their tank), you could try this. If you don't add plants, you will get algae.
Additionally, some bulbs have more of a yellow light, or more of a blue light. Most bulbs will have a spectrum chart on their outer package, so be sure to read this, and keep track of what you purchase, and how you do or don't like it to find the right lighting for your needs.
One last piece of advice, you don't have to buy expensive bulbs at the pet store. Check out your local DIY hardware store for bulbs at a fraction of the cost. Just remember that whatever you choose, 15 watts is the most it can be. Anything higher can burn out the ballast or potentially start a fire. Besides, more watts just equates to more of an electric bill, not more light for the fish.
Date published: 2016-01-05