11-07-2011, 11:32 AM
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Boredomb has basically answered your question. Stem plants generally require more light than substrate rooted or other plants, so plant them in as direct light as you can and hope for the best. My experiences even with my light are not good with stem plants. Brazilian Pennywort
is the only one I have managed to grow well in moderate light.
As for increasing the light, the tubes that are 18 inches will all be the same although some manufacturers make them with different phosphors so they may be a tad brighter (more intense). The Hagen "Glo" series is such, the Power=-Glo is the brightest I know of, though I am not fond of the purplish hue and prefer the Life-Glo which is a bit less intense but better "light". ZooMed Ultra Sun is comparable. And there are likely others. But we are not talking about significant differences. Changing fixture to a 48-inch tube in single T8, single T5 or dual T8 is the only way to increase intensity. I tend to stay with low and moderate light plants; this allows me to have less light which means less light on the fish as well as less cost on my hydro bill.