Lighting for my 20 gallon high planted tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-26-2012, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Lighting for my 20 gallon high planted tank?

So i am currently fishless cycling my aquarium, and i'm about one week into it. I am about to leave the tank for 3 weeks while i go away for work, re supplying it with some more raw fish before i leave.

On to the point, i planted one rooted water sprite, about 8 or 9 stalks of wisteria, a java fern, a banana plant, and split up 2 micro sword narrow leaf plants into about 20 sections for foreground.

Currently i have a marineland LED single bright, it came with the aquarium at my LFS with a clear hood, so i didn't argue. I had ordered the double brite, before i realized i may need a brighter light for my plants...

the aquarium has 20lbs eco complete topped with 20 lbs black caribsea sand. i put in fert tabs about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and havent yet even used a water fert, i'm planning on picking some up this week when i hit the LFS.

I also made my own DIY co2 system 2 nights ago, and it works well, a bubble every 2-5 seconds, with a glass diffuser to split it up.

On to my question, I have read about t5 lights, and lights for plants in general, but honestly when it comes to plants i've never understood a lot about their needs when it comes to lighting, or what option to choose. For a 20 gallon high i dont assume i need HO t5's, NO T5's seem fine. Do i need 2 or one? Would HO be better?

I read somewhere that if i added 2x T5 lights, i will need co2(which i have) however i'm not wanting to have to dedicate time to measuring co2 amounts 2 times a day and having to adjust this or change this (co2) wise to use a specific light. I'm fully committed to the hobby, but co2 is new to me, and it's a learning process right now, so i dont want to buy a light where it's necessary i control it fully and understand everything 100%, that's why i installed it prior to having any fish!

Also i have read about the marineland aquatic plant LED... I have read some reviews, but they seem hard to find an actual professional or good in depth educational review on this LED, maybe someone here has used, or know someone who has used one?

Other than my t5 vs LED, and the HO/NO, along with 2 or 1 bulb...I have no clue which bulb/s i would need to purchase as far as the K rating, color, etc..

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-28-2012, 07:59 AM
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I am curious to responses to this as well.....I am pretty much running the same setup on a planted 26 gallon bowfront (two NO T5 units....four 14W bulbs total plus a single bright LED). Bulbs are 6700K and colormax.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-28-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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I just ordered the Hagen glo 1x t5 HO I spent a lot of time on google and finally found a good thread.. And a good chart.. 1x HO o top of the aquarium is considered high lighting, a HO 4" above is
Considered medium. So I figure a. T5 ho on top with a glass top will be I between medium and high. My plants look good... I used fert tabs and co2 however I can tell they are lacking.. The only one growing insanely well is the banana plant... It's sprouted 4 leaves that are each 6" stem length and and inch or 2 in diameter... I can tell my plants just need light to really start growing.. Especially the micro sword
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