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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 90gal tree frog paludarium, 6" of water, lights 18" above water line.
Current plants
- water sprite, water wisteria, pennywart, Java fern, Java Moss. I'm in Michigan with tank 1' away from a West facing window. (Not much daylight during the winter but maybe it's still stronger than artificial?)
Current lights are 2 - 4' f40t12dx Florescent tubes.

I see alot of info on #- watts per gallon but my lights are much further above the water then a normal aquarium, plus it sets in front of a window that gets 4-6hrs of daylight depending on season and when I open the shades.
I normally turn on aquarium lighting and close the shades well after dark.
I am not looking for perfect lighting but just enough to keep the plants growing and alive. I have house plants in this same room 10' from window and they keep growing. Pothos, philodendron, and other Low light plants.

I thought of adding an LED light in a spot light fixture over the aquarium plants but would still be 18" away from water level. Maybe a light on the outside of the tank, against the glass to light up the water for viewing and growth but it wouldn't be on during the day.

Is my current lighting enough?
Would just my sunlight be enough?
Should I get a LED spotlight?
What k is best?
 

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How are plant nutrient's being supplied to plant's?
Maybe can add another six inches of water and then could keep a few fishes and food and waste from feeding's could help supply nutrient's?
Have seen some reptile light's that could be placed on the glass over one side/end of the tank and enhance lighting at that area. (not UV bulb)
LED strip light resting on the tank might not be too much light and yet still enhance the area's below the surface of the water for plant's rooted there.
I have never run such a tank but If I did,I would want the plant's to be able to have root's in water, or have to mist the plant's or add water to container's each day, which I would likely get lazy bout.
Could alway's swap out the T12 fixture for 4 tube T8 shop light and this too would provide more light but maybe not too much as I think T5's would.
I very much like the tank in photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have white clouds and dannos/zebras in the water and about 10frogs, mostly tree frogs so I can't raise water level any more as this would take away from their space. Most of the frog waist falls into the water, insects drown in it, fish food and poo and I bought the water plants to help keep the water clean. Also have pothos in water.
Soil above water line in custom wood box, planted w small house plants to use frogs waist. Going for self sufficient ecosystem as much as possible and low tech. Frogs eat fish, crickets and roaches that I supply n they poop alot more than fish do, I'm sure any plants I choose to grow would have more than enough nutrients so I do water changes to reduce build up.
 

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Current lights are 2 - 4' f40t12dx Florescent tubes.


Is my current lighting enough?
Would just my sunlight be enough?
Should I get a LED spotlight?
What k is best?
First, dump the T12's horribly inefficient in terms of modern tech.
K temp is somewhat irrelevant. more depends on what you like (barring "hort. lighting).

your window light complicates things quite a bit..

Next, is are you having problems now? In other words is it "broke"?

Pretty easy to improve the light.. but deciding "how much" w/ that sunlight component is tricky..

a couple of PAR 38 LED 4000K spots come to mind.. Would need to raise them above the tank..Till the light cones are in the right spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Broke, idk yet, just started the water plants maybe a week ago. Haven't had time to see if it well be a success or failure yet. I have plenty of 4' florescent fixtures and a couple incandescent fixtures I would like to utilise If possible but I would choose efficient over repurposed.
I seen a white/blue underwater rotatable led strip by marineland at lfs that would be nice to light up water in the areas where above fixture can't reach but idk if this is just for looks or if it would benefit growth.
 
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