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Indirect lighting, is light necessary?

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I have a 55g aquarium set up outside on a south facing covered patio that receives only indirect sunlight all day. Is this sufficient lighting for cryptocorne wendetii, crypt tropica, Amazon sword, and dwarf lily, vallisineria. Will I need a light for the tank?
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Depending on the type of shade, indirect sunlight or bright shade can be as high as 100 to 200 PAR as I have personally measured in my patio. The shade is casted by the house in summer high noon. In winter months, the PAR will be lower, but there should be sufficient light of low light plants.
 

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The issue is probably not whether you have too little light but if you have too much. Use a lux meter or a phone app for lux and measure where you plan to put the tank. Take that number and divide by 80 for a very rough estimate of par. You want something in the 15-30 range ideally. Can go into the low 40s but much more and its algae city, population, you.
 

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If it is in the shade, it will not likely get too much light because low light plants can handle 100 to 200 PAR. But if it gets direct sunlight, the PAR can shoot up to 500 to 1000 PAR range and you will have green water and/or algae explosion. The bigger issue in outdoor set up is temp fluctuation. In summer heat with small water volume, the temp can shoot up to 90s and many plants will suffer. I measured LUX with a meter and the conversion factor to PAR in sunlight is 54. 80 is the conversion factor for LED white and blue light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies.

The area gets no direct sunlight, it's protected by the house to the North and West, and the roof extends far to the east and about 4 ft (from the end of the tank) to the south. I'm hoping it's enough light for my plants. Herbs and some succulents did not do well when I had a planter box there.

I'll have some floating plants that I know grow well in top, like anacharis and maybe duckweed.

It seems like maybe I'll have too much light in summer and maybe not enough in winter. I may get a light if I need to supplement in winter. I hope I don't have to.
 
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