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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I am new to planted tanks and I've been obsessing with my lighting recently :)

I currently have a 55 gallon, 36" long, 18" wide, 24" deep tank with 2x T5NO 6700k bulbs (Coralife fixture which I gather do not have the best reflectors). According to my research (and finally finding this thread that would put me in low light land.

Now, I also have a T8 40w hood I could add as well - and I was looking to get to medium light land. (I really wanted a carpet plant - like dwarf hairgrass and my understanding is without higher light most plants will not carpet but instead grow vertically) Initial thoughts are that more light is good, but when I look at the math on it I'm concerned that a T8 may not penetrate the 24" to the substrate very well at all.

So, I'm looking for opinions. Would adding the T8 help me much? Would it get me to where I can grow some sort of a carpet or do I really need to move to high light to do that?
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