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will fish lights work for indoor growing?

Posted by distortd6 New Jersey, Zone 7? (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 6, 07 at 22:53

let me start out with the fact that im new to the hobby, i just bought a house and my father-in-law has me on a kick of growing stuff ever since he hooked us up with a few tomato plants in the backyard, ha...

im not proud of it but i manage a fish store and the bulbs that we use for the fish tanks,were talking 48" bulbs that put out approx. 40 watts of light, 10,000K and 20,000K as well as actinic and 50/50s(anything made by corallife really), we also have metal halides ranging in 175watts, 250watts and 400w...

is this too much power for my Peppermint, habenaro peppers and strawberries? do i need lights at all? are these worth growing inside? im thinking about trying to grow this stuff in my new basement...

any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: will fish lights work for indoor growing?

The basic technology is the same but the lights are not usually interchangeable because of the spectrum. Aquarium lights, especially salt water, and very especially coral lights, produce a spectrum almost entirely in the blue which is not ideal for plants. Something like a 10,000K lights isn't so far off but even they vary from virtually actinic to some with quite a spread of wavelengths. You could use these lights if you really wanted to but they have short lives and low light output compared to just standard cool white fluorescents from Home Depot. Perhaps you could use fittings from your store with a nice quality ballast and stick in some different tubes.

How much power you need will depend entirely on how much area you want to cover. Metal halides are handy for getting a lot of light, for really high intensities, and for lighting taller plants, but not usually worth messing with anything below 400W.

Personally I wouldn't grow them inside if you can put them out in the sun but lights are handy if you have no yard, for starting stuff in a controlled environment, or for extending the growing season.

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