20L tank and lighting high/low plants
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Old 03-10-2004, 06:30 AM   #1
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I currently have a 20 long I've been planning on converting to a planted tank with schooling fish. I've been reading here that it's a good idea to consider this as a low light tank. I need to get lighting and I was considering either a twin-tube 20 watt fluorescent or a 55 watt compact fluorescent, both the All-Glass versions. I am considering throwing some high light/low height plants sometime, like glosso and just wondered if the twin 20 watters are enought for that type of tank and high light requirements? Or should I go the distance with a compact?

If a compact fluorescent, then I notice that the 30" strip that is suggested has actually around a 24" long tube with unused space on the ends - should I save some cash and buy the 24" version instead, since the tubes appear to be the same? Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old 03-10-2004, 01:40 PM   #2
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A 20g Long has an advantage due to short height, allowing far more light to reach the foreground plants. Many beautiful aquascapes have been created in this small package so don't peg it as a low-light tank just yet.
A single 55w PC would be excellent, but would leave those dark corners you mentioned. But so would the 20w 24" tubes. You could fill those corners with light from a pair of Screw-In Compact Fluorescent bulbs and also boost your light somewhat.

It's hard to package it all nicely when you end up with a 24" strip and some other accesory lights on the side so I personally would just build a simple wood canopy so you can pack it with whatever lights you want.
Then I'd probably overdrive a pair of 20w tubes in series and enhance them with the CF bulbs on each side.
- Sam P -
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Old 03-10-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
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Or you could put in a pair of the 36 watt CP fixtures (in the wooden enclosure) with the endcaps over the center of the tank so the overlap would be lessened and the corners of the tank would be lit. Well they would be lit until your plants grow up and shade the corners out.

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:21 AM   #4
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I use a JBJ 65 watt CPF on my 20G long and the unused space on the ends has not made a difference on how my plants grow...The plants on those ends grow just as good as the plants toward the middle.
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