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I was wondering if anybody has had success with cfl bulbs. I have 3 T8 bulbs over my 20L. I had this clip on cfl lamp and decided to use it for a 4 hour midday burst. My question is does anyone know much about the par for these type bulbs. I'm using a daylight, 1170 lumen, 18w bulb.

I also put it pretty close to the tank because I've heard of outdoor growers actually putting the bulbs into the plant due to the low heat emissions from the bulb. And I don't have anymore room on top of my tank.
 

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I don't think I've ever seen PAR for these. It would vary a lot anyway depending on the fixture.

Efficiency per watt is probably fairly low compared to many linear fluorescents. The spiral shape traps some of its own light, and a reflector design as optimized as you see on T5's is impossible.

I have 2x 23W daylight spirals, in an incandescent hood with the inside covered with aluminum tape, over a 10G with CO2. I believe it to be on the low end of the high light range. Plants grow great, and pearling starts in less than an hour. So you can definitely have a successful tank with these.
 

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Since a 20 long tank is only 12 inches high, T8 bulbs provide plenty of light. One bulb for low light, two for medium light, 3 for high light. The best way to get better plant growth would be to fertilize, per the sticky in the fertilizing forum, and use DIY CO2.
 
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