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I have read many forums and seen plenty of videos of CFL lighting using around 13-26 watts 6500k per bulb. I just want to know from people if they work well? I have a normal T8 aqauirum fluorescent light that comes with a standard hood for a 20 gallon high tank. I want my plants to grow faster so I might install some sockets to my hood and take out the t8 crap and put 3 13-26 watt 65000k CFL bulbs in there?

Any thoughts?
 

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I have CFLs over a couple of my tanks and they work really well. My 12" cube in particular has to be trimmed once a week because it grows so well. I even get ludwigi repens and hygrophilia polysperma to turn red, even though it is a low tech dirted tank that has no co2 and no ferts.
I would recommend 3 13 Watts bulbs, 3 maybe a little too much to be honest but the bulds will most likely be mounted horizontally which does produce less par. But try 3 and see how that goes if it's too much, just remove a buld.
 

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I'm running a pair of the 8.5" clamp lights with 9W 6500K CFL's sitting directly on a glass top on my 20H. Pool sand low-tech with corydoras and a BN pleco. I have 13W bulbs on-hand but so far the 9W are growing things quite well and no algae.

As Nexgen stated, mounting the CFL bulbs horizontally cuts into their efficacy quite a bit, so you will need more of them. I'd try four of the 9W bulbs and use a pair of double sockets to mount them. That might give you really even end-to-end light distribution.

Chris
 

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You can double the amount of light you get from a horizontal CFL bulb by making a simple two bend aluminum reflector and mounting it behind the bulbs. The shape should be like \_/, with the side "wings" adjusted so you see 3 bulbs when you look up at the bulb when it is turned on. That makes horizontal CFL bulbs in a T8 hood work out pretty well.
 

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Adding to what Hoppy said, if the stock hood has a nice white reflector that will be pretty good too.

You can definitely step up from the t8's levels. I would install as many as will fit in order to get the best coverage, and adjust the intensity with wattage.
 
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