Is 18w PC Light enough? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Is 18w PC Light enough?

Hi again,
I am just enquiring as to whether or not a 18W Power Compact Light for my 30l/7US Gallons/ 30x30x30 tank, would be enough to sustain a wide variety of plants. If not, would you suggest adding another light or getting a more powerful 20w PC light?
Thanks for your help,
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 04:16 PM
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Probably not if by "wide variety" you include high-light plants.
It depends also on the type of CF you're going to use. If you've got an eighteen watt twin tube, you might be okay if it's close enough to the tank's rim. (Even then, it'd be a stretch.) If it's a screw-in bulb, it won't be enough light for anything above mosses and ferns, I'd bet.
That said:
I believe that more important that wattage, is intensity (distance from the bulb to the plants) and spread (the effectiveness of the fixture's reflector).

In my tank of the same dimensions as yours, I'm using a twenty-eight watt screw-in bulb. While the intensity is fine for growing most anything, the spread of the fixture I'm using, a desk lamp, limits how well the plants are growing. At the same time, were I to put a twenty-seven watt twin tube on the same tank, it would be too much light given I'm not injecting CO2.

What type of fixture are you using? We can work from there.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I would like to keep high light plants if at all possible. The light is fairly simple (see attachment). I believe it is a twin tube and not a screw in bulb. The light fixture is fairly close to the surface being just 9-10 cms from the tank.
The light does not come with a reflector, however, will this affect the amount of light the plants are getting?
hathj29
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 05:08 PM
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Cool-looking lamp. You might just be okay with that one. I'd say give it a try before you get a new lamp. While you are losing some light due to the fact that it does not have much by way of a reflector, it does hang close to the water's surface and if you plant the high-light plants where it's intensity is strongest, there's a possibility you can grow whatever you want with it.
Get some CO2 in there, too. This will help the plants use more of the available light by reducing the energy they would need to consume CO2 from an non-injected tank towards collecting light.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help!
Yeh the lamp is preety good. I have the same nano tank as a marine nano, sitting next to it - best of both worlds!! I have diy co2 going into the hang on filter at the back. Do you think this will be okay for a Iwagami style tank?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 05:37 PM
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It'll be cool to see the two side-by-side when you get this one up and running.

You should be okay for an iwagumi with the light. While the carpet plant you choose may not grow quickly, they should carpet. HC and UG will carpet -- I'm almost certain. I'm not so sure about Glosso, though.

Cubes can be a tad tricky to do iwagumi due to their square nature. However, given the right stones, it can be done.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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I have 3 center stones at present. I will have to do some more reading on iwagumi and get some ideas of cubes which incorporate this design. What do you mean by HC and UG?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 07:29 PM
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HC is Hemianthus Callitrichoides and UG is Utricularia Graminifolia. Both are commonly found in iwagumis.
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