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I hope this is in the right forum, wasn't sure if it should be here, lighting, or DIY, but since this is a low budget project I figured this one would be the ticket.

Anyhow, my mom has a 5g Eclipse corner system that is planted. We broke the cardinal rule of aquarium keeping and didn't do much research. We have a bunch of background plants, (combaba and some others). Now, the eclipse hood has a screw in light towards the FRONT, and we have background plants. Hence the problem. Right now there is one of those screw in full spectrum 10w CFs (lights of america from wal-mart) in there. It follows the 2wpg rule but doesn't get much light to the plants.

I am wondering how to supplement this with either burst lighting (i have a timer that can do that) or just extra lights. I had considered mounting some high powered LEDs in the back behind the filter (about 5 of them), but I can't find any in the area of 6500k that still maintain high output (drops from like 10kmcd to 100mcd with the ones I have found advertised).

Also considered taking a lamp or some sort of under cabinet lighting and shining it through the background (it allows some light thru, but doubt it would be too useful to the plants).

Unfortunately, no CO2 or gravel ferts either. :help:

Livestock: 2 corys and a male betta. Corys are quite small right now (< 1"). We figured that by the time they grew up the plants would be established enough to handle the extra bio-load. We had another but he died during a mini cycle. Nitrates are holding at 5ppm, so I guess the plants are doing something, but not as much as they should because we didn't expect the cycle to happen at all.

FTS for reference (sorry 'bout the flash):


Any suggestions (lighting or tank in general)?
 

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I would try to fit the highest wattage 6500k bulb that will fit in there and call it good. I know some of the higher watt ones are larger in diameter so I'm not sure how big you could go. I bought my mom one of these also so I guess I'll find out soon enough.
 

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I think the best bet, if you don't want to rip out the filter and go with a ZooMed 510, is to just stick to plants that you know will grow with minimal lighting. The built-in filtration hood design means that very little light will make it to the back. Anubias, java fern, dwarf vals, moss and crypts are all suitable for the Eclipse w/ stock lighting and won't need supplemental CO2 either.

I'm guessing you have a corner tank, because my Eclipse6 and Eclipse3 both use fluorescent lighting, and not screw-ins. How is the reflector design?
 
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