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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently using a 65 watt, 6700K PC fixture on legs over my 26gal. bow front, with the light being about 21" from the substrate. I use pressurized CO2, and although I appear to be getting good, healthy growth from most of my plants (we won't talk about the alternanthera reineckii), I get no pearling at all. I'm apprehensive because I will shortly be getting a Catalina PC fixture (bought from CL on SNS) capable of delivering twice the light (130 watts), and I don't want to wind up with an algae farm (currently I have a little algae, but nothing major). I know I will need to increase CO2 and dosing with the new light, but I don't know how much, or if I should put the bulbs on separate timers and just use both for a "noon burst" effect. Any and all advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated-
 

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I wouldn't even consider using two 65 watt PC bulbs on a 21 inch high, 26 gallon tank, unless the fixture has no reflector at all, to speak of. The fact that with a single 65 watt PC you aren't getting any pearling, and your alternanthera isn't doing well, suggests that you need to work on getting good CO2 concentration and distribution in the tank. A drop checker will get you close to a good bubble rate, and adjusting the rate upwards from that will let you get it where it should be. Also, if you don't already have one, getting a Koralia-type powerhead in the tank to ensure good water circulation is a good idea. (I just got a Boyu model powerhead, which looks a lot like the Koralia, is a bit cheaper, and the tiny one I got is now working well.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hoppy, I respect your knowledge and opinions. That being said, I already have a Koralia I in the tank as well as a mechanical Hydor Flo on the filter return, so circulation shouldn't be an issue. Also, my drop checker stays near yellow. If I used lower wattage bulbs in the fixture (say 55 watt instead of 65) that would put it around 4 WPG (which is meaningless, I know) and my understanding (from some of your posts, I believe) is that PC lighting is less effective at depth penetration, right? I just want to be able to grow high light plants, and have my ground cover(s) fill in more quickly (UG, marselia minuta). Are you saying it can't be done with the new light I've already purchased? :icon_sad:
 

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55w and 65w PC's are the same thing, more or less. It's a marketing ploy.
 
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