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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to have a 10g aquarium with a Coralife 20" Aqualight (28w PC light).

I'm getting back into the planted tank hobby and still have this light around. I am looking for light for a new 20g H aquarium (24" x 12" x 16" - not sure on the last measurement - height).

I see that I can overdrive the 20" fixture with a 36w or 40w PC bulb. Can I run this light for plants successfully over the 20g H without much fear of algae if I dose Excel (pressurized in the future)?

Or should I get a T5NO setup like the Aqueon (Coralife) 24" fixture, that requires a glass top (2x14w)?

I'm really choosing just between these two lights. I can get the 24" Aqueon T5NO fixture for $40 shipped or I buy a new bulb for the PC Aqualight and use that.

Please advise!!! Will have a heavily planted tank for a couple german blue rams, eventually..
 

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Hi there! I have the same tank and love it. Don't forget to take in to consideration that you will be adding substrate and that will decrease the overall depth. Hoppy (so helpful with all his details in lighting!) has some great info - the sticky at the top of the posts. Take a look at the 2nd chart in his opening post.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

I have 48w H0 over mine (15 inches above the bottom of the substrate and I found in the end, even with co2 the light was too high and added window screen over the light cover to reduce the light (from what I read it cuts down the light by about 40%). I now am getting my algae under control (BBA) although slowly. I am also dosing excel in addition to the co2. I figured it was best to address what I felt was the issue, too much light, even though I have co2 and dosing EI daily.

For cost you might want to try to overdrive way and see if this gets you the results your looking for. You could always sell it later and upgrade if you see you need more light. I have done both high light and low light and feel the lower light with excel or co2 get what i feel good results in all my tanks.
When I first started I felt I needed more light but now (5 years or so later) I do believe that lower light is better (for me at least)

Good luck! cant wait to see your tank!

Duff
 

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I have the same tank and the same problems as Duff. 48w of T5HO 16 in. above the substate w no lid. I like the open top look but have been battling BBA for a while and have just started with CO2. The screen on top is a good idea. I just did not like the loop of the full lid. I have read where folks have suspended their lights farther above the tank which worked well also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A couple more questions:

1) Should I buy a 10k bulb for the Aqualight T5NO 24" fixture to replace the colormax?

2) Can you recommend the photo period for this lighting on a 20g H? 8 hours?

3) Am I required to run a glass top with this light like Coralife suggests? And if so, can I remove the splash guard to get a bit more light intensity, etc? (I think I will run one but want to see if it makes sense to remove, etc)..
 

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I'd say try the colormax and see how you like it. the 10K will be more "white". I have a mix of the two on mine. For photo period, I have mine set at 8 hours - comes on at noon and off at 8pm - gives me some extra view time at night. How far will if be off the tank? If on the tank w/glass you'd be fine with no guard. Above the tank (mine is about 4 inches above the tank on legs, I have no glass but do have the guard on and clean it every week with water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd say try the colormax and see how you like it. the 10K will be more "white". I have a mix of the two on mine. For photo period, I have mine set at 8 hours - comes on at noon and off at 8pm - gives me some extra view time at night. How far will if be off the tank? If on the tank w/glass you'd be fine with no guard. Above the tank (mine is about 4 inches above the tank on legs, I have no glass but do have the guard on and clean it every week with water changes.
Ok, I will try the colormax and not order the 10k bulb. I like your photoperiod - makes sense for us since we both work until 4pm or so and we'd like to enjoy a lit tank!

I already purchased a glass top but can take it back if it's better to NOT have one with this light? I like it because it's a "cleaner" setup. With the glass top, I had planned on having the light right across it and not raising the fixture at all.

What would you recommend (and why), since you have the same exact fixture and tank size? Or give me the Pros/Cons that you've noticed of both!!
 
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