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OldGrumpy 11-15-2012 08:43 PM

Is my lighting OK?
Set up my first tank and decided from the start to go with real plants. I want to get some opinion on whether the setup is ok.

I have a 20G high acrylic tank. It came with a single 15" 14W T8 6700K light. I've added a fixture that holds 2 24" 14W T5 6700K lights. They are on top of the tank (molded acrylic top underneath the dual light - nothing between water and light for shorter fixture). Using excel for carbon. heavily planted.
*EDIT - I'd say the lights are about 14-15" from the substrate

A few questions:

1. Is the lighting enough?
2. Is it positioned correctly?
3. Will the acrylic top mess with the light under the dual fixture (absorb some of the light, etc)?

OldGrumpy 11-17-2012 04:07 PM

Wow. 78 views and no comment? Am I missing info? Stupid questions?

Harshal1992 11-17-2012 04:25 PM

I don't quite have the answer for you, however, are the light T5NO or T5HO? There's a huge difference between the two, especially since your tank is pretty deep. If they ARE T5HO, then make sure to get pressurized CO2, or at least DIY CO2, or you'll be seeing an algae problem pretty soon. If you have mounting legs, you could use those and just not use the acrylic top as it may be a bit more aesthetically pleasing for you, I know it is for me personally. However, as long as you keep the acrylic top clean, I don't see a problem with the acrylic top in terms of light potency.

el Caspar 11-17-2012 05:22 PM

As harshal1992 mentioned, the T5 bulbs being hi output or normal output makes a difference but for a 20 G heavy planted tank, 3x 14w bulbs puts you at just over 2watts per gallon, giving you good light for plants requiring medium low light. CO2 is very important also as it is one of the 3 key ingredients to your plants growth through photosynthesis. Pressurized is better and easier to regulate, but I have a nice DIY system that works great. Most important is the balance between fertilizer, light, and co2 you give your plants. You can't alter one beneficially without consideration to the others. Hope that helps, cheers

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