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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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Lately you can't seem to go wrong with a Fluval 3.0. Or Finnex 24/7 HLC. These are both LED and I really love my Fluval 3.0. I have one on a 75 gal so you may not need this much. But both these lights are fully adjustable. There are cheaper versions of both, these are the newest of the LED lines from these companies.

I am running a regular $50 48" LED light bar from amazon or China or wherever on my 33L. all the plants are great. so with no CO2 I'd say get a cheap LED bar.

Old photo, there are more plants in there now and have floaters. a lot of floaters. all the plants in this tank from this photo til now all have new growth, this photo is about 3 weeks old. Again this is just one of those $50 LED light bars.

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On my low tech 20 longs I just use a single fluorescent tube. Life glo 2 bulb. I change them once every 2 years, love them. I also use a plant 3.0 on my 55. Nice light, but I prefer the fluorescent for my smaller tanks. Jmo
 

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I've heard of people having pretty good luck with the Nicrew lights. 20 gallon longs are only like 13 inches high and a quick google search shows that at 12 inches they have par rating of 60-100 at 12 inches depending on the model. Based on what plants you have you can choose accordingly. However, I would also consider the fluval 3.0 mentioned previously. You can dim it down for a low light setup, but it would give you options for plants that require strong light in the future.
 

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I have a 20 long and have both the Finnex 24/7 and Fluval 3.0.

I like that the Finnex spans the entire tank giving better coverage, but being able to customize the photo period more accurately with the 3.0 was my deciding factor. Raising the 3.0 up about 5 inches off the rim helped the coverage issue.
 

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Premium Member
75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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614 Posts
I've heard of people having pretty good luck with the Nicrew lights. 20 gallon longs are only like 13 inches high and a quick google search shows that at 12 inches they have par rating of 60-100 at 12 inches depending on the model. Based on what plants you have you can choose accordingly. However, I would also consider the fluval 3.0 mentioned previously. You can dim it down for a low light setup, but it would give you options for plants that require strong light in the future.
Nicrew looks good, I like that this model seems to have more white lights than some of the others. better for fresh water in my opinion.

I have a 20 long and have both the Finnex 24/7 and Fluval 3.0.

I like that the Finnex spans the entire tank giving better coverage, but being able to customize the photo period more accurately with the 3.0 was my deciding factor. Raising the 3.0 up about 5 inches off the rim helped the coverage issue.
I can see that being an issue on the 20L you will want to light up the whole tank. That's why I bent the metal braces for the off brand LED bar to raise about 3 inches. but in the 75 I can get away quite easily and the fish like having some darker corners up high for them to escape to from time to time. Having this "safe" and dark zones in the corners do two things, fish will head up there if they are not happy, and the corners are where my filters in and outputs are so they get a little hidden. That being said I wouldn't mind raising it an inch or two. But I don't really seem to have many down sides yet.
 
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