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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well first off, hello this is my first time posting after reading for about a month or so. I am new to this hobby, heck a month and a half ago I didn't even know that anything could be this in depth with aquarium plants. I have been searching and searching for info on planted tanks for a while now and about a week and a half ago I bought an aquean (spelling?) kit from petco. I figured this would be an OK basis since I am starting out with nothing. I have since set it up and have began cycling it with some red platties. Well I got to impatient and added fine gravel without doing my research so now I need to start over with the right substrate to be able to accomplish what I want. So long story short I am gathering everything to start over. I have already decided on caribsea Eco-complete for my substrate. But my confusion begins with the lighting. My main goal is to get to possibly the midlight range, because I am not opposed to fertilizers or DIY co2. So my main question is, are the two lowes 6700k bulbs in an incandescent hood going to get me to that level? Also is the hood going to be able to handle the increased wattage running through it without modification?
 

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I don't know what you mean by wattage increase as I don't know what watts your hood or bulbs are. The color spectrum (referred to in kelvin temperature) is what the 6700K stands for. This is not a wattage numeral, but rather an identification for the lighting spectrum that it produces. The same size tube is the same wattage regardless if it's 6700K or 10,000K.

The real issue with getting proper lighting is whether or not you are using T5NO, T5HO, T8, or T12. The bulb itself should say and you can identify them by size and prongs on the ends as well. I don't remember the exact diameter of each kind but the T# goes down as the bulb diameter goes down.

The hood itself will play a large role in lighting depending on how good your reflector is. If there is any kind of reflector in that thing and you have two t-8s that go the length of your ten gallon I would think that you would be sitting where you want to be with quite a few plant options.

Sorry if I'm making this more confusing that helpful. To add to that confusion, begin researching how to do DIY CO2 injections. That will be what benefits the plants more than anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the response, yes I understand the Kelvin temperature rating. The question about the wattage of the screw in compact fluorescent lightbulbs than you can get from lowes. One thing that I always get confused is the difference between watts, amps, and volts. That is where my question come from, as to if the cheap 15watt incandescent would be about to hold up to two 16 watt bulbs pulling power through it as opposed to the stock 15 watts total it comes with.
 

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Many people have put screw-in CFL bulbs in standard incandescent hoods, including me. They work very well. For a 10 gallon tank 15-19 watt bulbs would work great, if you have room in the hood for the bulb diameters. If not, look for the new CFL bulbs that are much smaller in diameter, but still producing the same amount of light. Add DIY CO2 and you can grow almost any plant.
 
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