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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have read a lot about lower and higher light level tanks, so i understand the basic differences of them, though I'm sure not all the nuance.

and of course i get that some plants and some fish prefer or flat out need one light level or the other.

and that with high light comes CO2 needs usually. (I'm fine going either way with CO2 based on what i end up needing)

i am buying a new lighting set up to start a tank up again and need some direction as to what level of light my ideas are going to need

my only planted tank was more than a decade ago and while successful, it was a very low light, low tech tank, i could certainly tell that i was limited. i know I'm going a lot higher light than that one was!

what i want to understand is how to a really tell which i want to do? Med, High, specially high to reach carpet plants on a tall tank?

seems like i have to dig so deep to find what each thing wants.

i figure i should start with my favorite plants and see what they need right? is there a good place to look at pictures of plants grouped or labeled by light needs?

in my other time consuming hobby, i grow orchids, On all of those sites, you always filter your searches by temp and light needs so that you only look at the plants you can provide the right conditions for, is there similar things i haven't found yet for water plants?

for fish it is more about temp needs than light right? so that can come secondary, while i love fish, my fish dreams are modest and i have plenty more experience with them.


I am building a 55H tank with lighting in the hood. my build thread is in my sig
 

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Lower light levels limit what plants you can succeed at growing, and limit how much non-green color shows up in your plants. They also limit how well you can grow "carpet" plants. So, if you know what plants you really, really want to grow, you use that to determine what light level you will need. If you want a really colorful plant display you will want at least medium, preferably high light.

But, if you don't want to fiddle around with pressurized CO2, you will want to stay in the low to low-medium light range. And, if you don't get enjoyment out of doing weekly tank maintenance, involving thorough cleaning of the tank, filter, etc. you will want to stay in the low to medium light range.

Being successful with high light requires that you do a lot of things well, and do them often. That is much easier if you have enough experience to know what needs to be done and how best to do it, so you are more likely to enjoy having high light when you have quite a bit of experience with planted tanks.
 

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Lower light levels limit what plants you can succeed at growing, and limit how much non-green color shows up in your plants. They also limit how well you can grow "carpet" plants. So, if you know what plants you really, really want to grow, you use that to determine what light level you will need. If you want a really colorful plant display you will want at least medium, preferably high light.

But, if you don't want to fiddle around with pressurized CO2, you will want to stay in the low to low-medium light range. And, if you don't get enjoyment out of doing weekly tank maintenance, involving thorough cleaning of the tank, filter, etc. you will want to stay in the low to medium light range.

Being successful with high light requires that you do a lot of things well, and do them often. That is much easier if you have enough experience to know what needs to be done and how best to do it, so you are more likely to enjoy having high light when you have quite a bit of experience with planted tanks.
I completely agree with Hoppy, it will depend on what type of plants you want to grow, the amount of color you want in your tank, how much you want to invest in the tank, including money and time. The only thing I do not agree with is that you need to have experience to be successful with high light. If we all had experience and knew what to do, this forum probably wouldn't be as much of a tool for us as it is. This is an experience building hobby, heck, there is even a grade school teacher that is conducting a full class teaching students how to set up an aquarium and grow plants, this forum just has lots of teachers and lots of students.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/961338-methods-classroom.html

Success in this hobby is in the eye of the behobbier! High light tanks require maintenance and attention to detail, how much and how successful you are is up to you. Every day you can learn something new in this hobby, plus I have read on here that not everything that works for one person will work the same for another. Good Luck and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Sláinte!
 

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Traditionally, for many years, people learned to swim by jumping in, or being tossed in, and learning to sink or swim. But, they were more likely to be swimming a month later if they had some lessons first. An algae attack hasn't killed a planted tank hobbyist yet, to my knowledge, but it is still true that the knowledge needed to succeed without lots of distress is much greater for a high light tank than a low light one. I know I did the sink or swim thing with my first high light tank, and I almost dropped the hobby as a result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks, this much i sort of knew, i have done the low tech, low light and enjoyed it but it not what i want at tins point. (i do very much want a carpet for instance)
i just i was was pondering what the differences between med and high and if i am just always going to be high light needs because i have a 55H tank that is a full 24inchs tall.

don't want to spend money on more lights than i need, just to dim them later
 
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