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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank: aqueon 10 gallon
Co2
Ei dosing

Right now I have 2 23 watt t2 CFL lights vertically mounted with standard shiny 8" reflectors. I have read through the CFL sticky where Hoppy had said something about a single CFL spread being good for a cube tank and I understand that considering the distance I'm somewhere around 100 par with the coverage a single bulb offers. Rotalabutterfly also reinforces this but rotalabutterfly also says 2 equals 200ish par. I'm think this is somewhat misleading. I'm assuming rotalabutterfly thinks they are almost touching the bulbs are so close. These are spread out a little to fully cover the tank. When I limit it to one bulb it doesn't spread enough for the tank and when I raise the light to get proper spread its too dim for me.

With that being said do y'all think this is too much light? It needs to grow in obviously and ar mini will go in the back left corner so eventually there will be pretty much no substrate exposed.
 

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I've had that much light on a 10 gallon without CO2, and it worked out for me and my water chemistry. I used 2700K/125 watt equivalent Mogul base Long CFL. It took almost 100% water changes each week to keep everything ok. I still got algae, but not too much. So with CO2, and large water changes it may work. You'll find out! :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've had that much light on a 10 gallon without CO2, and it worked out for me and my water chemistry. I used 2700K/125 watt equivalent Mogul base Long CFL. It took almost 100% water changes each week to keep everything ok. I still got algae, but not too much. So with CO2, and large water changes it may work. You'll find out!
125w equivalent, so about 27 or so watts? I just reduced it to one light and tried to angle the light some to reduce par. I'll leave it like that for a bit and then increase once things start really growing. I'm surprised you got away with that much light without using co2 (obviously don't know how far above the tank yours was mounted and don't know if it was a vertical or horizontal mount, also don't remember what mogul base is lol). Where you using glute?
 

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I can tell you for certain that 23 watt bubs will be WAY too much light over a 10 gallon. :)

CFLs in domes like that will have the most par directly underneath each bulb. When you move off center just a little bit, say 4"-6", it drops down considerably. Using two like that, dead center of the tank where the spills overlap will be less PAR than directly underneath each bulb. Not more. (rotalabutterfly's light calculator needs some work)

I had two 23 watts in 8.5" domes clamped on each side of a 20H, exactly as you have those. Distance to sub was ~ 18" (iirc) PAR was around 170 under each bulb, 120 ish dead center. I dropped down to 18 watt bulbs and the tank was a lot more manageable.

I measured 13 watt bulbs for somebody else a while back, who was asking what to use on a 10 gallon tank with the same reflectors. Using one of Hoppy's 2015 PAR meters (a converted lux meter), this is PAR for 13 watt bulbs at whatever distance the person told me to check. Seems like it was 13"-14", I dont remember for sure but he had a 10 gallon tank.

Directly underneath a bulb



Center of the tank.



Again these were brand new 13 watt bulbs, CFLs lose a lot during the first few months, then level out for a while.

Personally Id go with no more than 13 watts, at least in the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When you showed 90 par at "center of the tank", how far below the light was that? Was that the 13-14" you mentioned?

Well here is how it is with the one bulb and the angle. I have been thinking based on readings and mentions like yours I'll raise the lights a bit. Maybe 3-4" up. Oh and tell me what you think of the setup?!? Thanks again for the ar!
 

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125w equivalent, so about 27 or so watts? I just reduced it to one light and tried to angle the light some to reduce par. I'll leave it like that for a bit and then increase once things start really growing. I'm surprised you got away with that much light without using co2 (obviously don't know how far above the tank yours was mounted and don't know if it was a vertical or horizontal mount, also don't remember what mogul base is lol). Where you using glute?
This is what I used over three 10g's (each tank) to experiment using no filters, substrate or air while growing plants and keeping labyrinth fish alive. (gill breathers in stagnant water don't work) https://www.amazon.com/Feliz-Watt-Grow-Light-2700K/dp/B003EWN904
I pushed the envelope, and the plants survived. Almost 100% water change weekly, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When you showed 90 par at "center of the tank", how far below the light was that? Was that the 13-14" you mentioned?
Yes, with new 13 watt bulbs.

AR mini looks nice. And you are right that lobelia looks totally different than submerged growth. Tank is gonna be sweet once it fills in a bit.
Ok cool. And thanks. I'm liking how this one is starting and can't wait to see how it is in about 60 days or so
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I just switched out the 23w bulbs for 2 10.5w bulbs using the same reflectors. The 10.5w bulbs were just what I had for a different setup. I've been getting diatoms which I expected but I did notice some fuzz algae on the ar which is telling me I'm getting way too much par for my setup. I'm dosing 1/16th teaspoon of potassium sulphate and 1/16th teaspoon potassium phosphate (just switched to 1/32nd of potassium phosphate because I'm not sure about how much I have coming out of the tap. I'll be getting a test for it soon), as well as a micro solution. My tap also has about 10-20 ppm of nitrate which is why I'm not dosing it. Here is what it looks like currently
 

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