I just bought a new CFL 200 WATTS light for my aquaponics. The growbed is 2.5' x 3' and just wanted to get feedback on how high the light should be from the seedlings. If i keep my hand close to the light it does have heat and burns to touch and also how many hours a day should i leave it on. Thank you for your feedback
If you can't get a proper hyrdoponic grow light (200-400 watt metal halide or something of the sort) then you need to get more lights. Can you get a few compact florescent lamps and some more clip lights that are a good color temperature for growing plants? I would clamp a couple compact florescent lights right down close to the seedlings (like a few inches from them.) Then leave the other light up high where the heat won't hurt the seedlings to provide some light for the taller plants. Even doing that I don't expect you to see any outstanding growth, just an improvement over what you have.
It takes a heck of a lot of light to grow veggies well. You can grow things under minimal light but they tend to be spindly, weak and very unimpressive and they won't use up the nutrients from your fish tank very fast. If you can't provide much more light, stick to very minimal fish and keep house plants in the bed. Aloe does well and is useful.
TCLynx - You sparked the idea. Pendant light for the plants. I really am not looking for any outstanding growth, just sustained plants. This is supposed to be the early starter for Habanero seeds before I plant in the ground and a place to winter over the best of the pepper plants I have as well as propagate cuttings into new plants.
Thanks for the suggestion here is what I came up with all for under $10 a light. I was able to build these height adjustable lights and found at Lowes Daylight CFL's that were at 6500k, Home Depot did not have anything above 5000k, they also had no clue as to what "Color Temp" was.
Now if having the bright lights in the room makes is unplesant, you might get a cheap mylar emergency blanket and hang it like a curtain around the area to help reflect light back in to the plants while also shading the light getting out of the plant area. Add a fan into the area as well since lack of ventilation can really cause lots of issues for indoor growing. An oscillating fan can really help.
Thanks, there is a 42" ceiling fan that is on all the time right above it. I will be glad once I can go outside and get the shed/green house built and do some of this out there.
Thanks for the help..Let's see how these lights work.