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Sally2007

Lighting

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So I need a new light for my 20 gallon tank but I'm not sure which light to get , I went to the fish store and the guy showed me 2 lights the power glo or the flora glo, I currently have plants in the tank and I want to get a good Fluorescent light for my tank, any suggestions ? The plants I have in the tank are Anubis and vallisneria corkscrew plants. But I do want to get more plants.

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Are you talking about a new fixture or new bulbs? I think the flora glo and power glo are bulb types. If you're looking for bulb recommendations, can you tell us what fixture you have and also what direction you want to go with plants? (do you have particular plants in mind you want to get) and do you know what bulbs you have now?

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This is what I currently have on the tank... http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff247/sally2425/imagejpg1_zps5600e497.jpg

, I need a new bulb, with plants well I'm thinking to have a 20 gallon tank with a betta so I currently have Anubis and vallisneria and I'm thinking of getting some more low to med light plants.

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If you're not changing the fixture then you can't increase power if that's what you're looking for in terms of adding plants. Otherwise you have a choice in bulb temperature and an optional reflector. I use sunblaster 6500k bulbs. Do you know how many watts your current fixture is?

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There is a pinned post here about PAR data that I would suggest reading through if you haven't done so already. Was the bulb you currently have one that came stock with your tank setup? If so, it likely isn't enough light for most plants.

The reason I suggested reading the PAR post is because it states the approximate PAR ranges for low, medium and high light, and gives bulb types and brands that fall within those. The height of your tank will affect the PAR insofar as a taller tank will need stronger lighting than a shorter tank. This really helped me when I was trying to decide which light fixture to go with a few months ago. I ended up getting an LED fixture, which I like because it is compact, sleek and doesn't contain bulbs that have to be replaced.

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My current lighting is 17 watt.

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Ya I gotta read that post about par, yeah that bulb came with the tank, yeah the led fixture looks expensive for me right now.

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If you're looking to add some medium light plants you'll need to start looking at getting a new fixture. With what you have now you're quite solidly in the low light range.

How are your plants doing now? Are the Val's sending out new runners?

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Additionally, you don't have to buy expensive light fixtures branded for planted aquarium use. They offer style, convenience, and functionality that aquarist want but they aren't necessary. You can repurpose lights branded for other uses, just use 6500k bulbs at the appropriate wattage. Getting to know PAR is important because the watts per gallon adage doesn't take into account differing tank dimensions which greater alter light intensity. You could possibly repurpose a shop light or something and get great results.

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The plants are doing well , I had them in my 79 gallon tank, I'm transferring them to the 20 gallon tank Cux I want to sell my 79 g tank, I will be moving to toronto in a few months. My 79 g tank has 2 t8 bulbs but my 20 g tank don't, it came with the standard bulb, I was thinking to upgrade to a power glo or a flora glo but I'm not sure which one :-( the Val is a brand new plant that was bought yesterday , I bleached it today , it didn't actually go that well , I hope it don't die, the Anubis I had like for 5 years now and it grows slowly. I just don't want to put the plants in the 20 g and it dies cuz of the lighting.

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Additionally, you don't have to buy expensive light fixtures branded for planted aquarium use. They offer style, convenience, and functionality that aquarist want but they aren't necessary. You can repurpose lights branded for other uses, just use 6500k bulbs at the appropriate wattage. Getting to know PAR is important because the watts per gallon adage doesn't take into account differing tank dimensions which greater alter light intensity. You could possibly repurpose a shop light or something and get great results.

Ok so u mean I can buy it from like home depot?

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Yes. That's an option. If you do some research you might be able to find someone who has bought and tested stuff already. I wasn't comfortable getting shop lights, so I searched for grow lights that people use for indoor gardens. Just be careful because grow lights can be extremely powerful. Look for something relatively low wattage if you want medium light. Additionally, you will need to do some planning for mounting the light and possible splash protection depending on your setup. That's why it's a good idea to price the options and compare. Sometimes it's worth it to buy a light purposed for aquarium use because you don't have to deal with all this extra planning and building. But I like to build stuff so it was fun. Definitely find some par articles and charts to get an idea of what you need power wise.

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The plants are doing well , I had them in my 79 gallon tank, I'm transferring them to the 20 gallon tank Cux I want to sell my 79 g tank, I will be moving to toronto in a few months. My 79 g tank has 2 t8 bulbs but my 20 g tank don't, it came with the standard bulb, I was thinking to upgrade to a power glo or a flora glo but I'm not sure which one :-( the Val is a brand new plant that was bought yesterday , I bleached it today , it didn't actually go that well , I hope it don't die, the Anubis I had like for 5 years now and it grows slowly. I just don't want to put the plants in the 20 g and it dies cuz of the lighting.

If you had to go with one of those I guess I would probably choose the flora glo, but I would personally try to find a bulb that was in the 5,000k-10,000k spectrum. I'm personally partial to light around 6,500k, because it tends to be a little bit warmer (this has everything to do with preferred aesthetics, not the light's ability to grow plants in this range). You are going to get a warmer/slightly redder look at the lower end of this spectrum, and a brighter/whiter/bluer look when you get to 10,000k. Zoo med bulbs tend to be easy to come by at local stores, I've used both the fora sun and ultra sun zoo med bulbs in the past.

But like Marka said above, you can also head to home depot and grab a 17 watt T8 bulb from home depot, but again you want to pay attention to the kelvin (K) rating on the bulb you are choosing.

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The 17 watts should be just fine for the anubias, and likely fine for the vals as well ;)

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Wow this is a lot info to know lol, I was just googling it to see all the info , I kinda like the 6500k , it's more clearer I think. I think I would feel more secure if I buy one from the fish store more than one from home depot cuz I don't know much and I don't want something to happen lol.

Thanks everyone :)

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Ok let us know what you choose. Sorry if the responses where a little info heavy. Lighting is a big deal for the planted tank folks round these parts, but it has always been a civil discussion lol. T8 will be cheaper and produce a little more heat, T5 is more compact, more efficient, produces less heat but cost more. Good luck!

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What's your budget?

You can potentially double your light output with a reflector. Aluminium foil is cheap and does an excellent job. If this is something you would want to pursue let me know and I'll write a more detailed post. :)

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Lol, I was thinking less than 50.00 :-)

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You might be better off with a DIY fixture at that price. Then again I don't know how expensive things are in Canada. You wouldn't get very far with $50 here in AU.

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Oh ok , I will see what I can do, thank you :-)

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