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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 20 Gallon High that is planted with almost all crypts. Feel free to check out my journal in my signature.

Here are my tank stats:

Size: 20H
Filter: Eheim 2215
Lighting: See below lol...
CO2: Pressurized
Ferts: EI Method/Root Tabs

My question about Lighting is this...

I started this tank running a Current Single Satellite compact (65W - 6700k/10000k) IMO this is overkill for a tank of all crypts. With this amount of lighting, I was worried about creating a war with algae. I now have just "down-graded" my lighting to a 2x24W T5-HO (6700k/10000k) It is day two of this new lighting and already my crypts are growing upwards more (as expected) I feel that with this setup my algae worries will be very little but I am worried about not getting as much growth.

My question has two parts:

1. Which setup is really favorable for my conditions. Should I go back to the 65W PC, keep the 48W T5-HO, or find some spot in the middle such as a AH Supply 55W Kit?

2. If I keep the 48W T5-HO, which bulb combination would be favorable. Right now, as stated, it is 6700k and 10000k. Should I move to dual 6700K for a better Lux Rating or mix things up with an 18000K or dual 10000K or some other bulb such as a pink plant blub? Keeping the visual factor in mind of course...

Thank you for reading!
 

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Two T5HO lights give you about double, if not more, intensity than the single 65 watt PC light. You actually increased the light intensity when you dropped the wattage of light bulbs in use.
 

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The color of the bulb is the K rating...10000k, 6700k, that is the color spectrum kelvin rating. You can think of it like a upsde down rainbow where the higher numbers have more blue, and the lower number goes to red. The lux/lumines measures the intensity of light rays, and the depth it can penetrate. Plants like lower spectrum light 2800k-6700k but that doesnt mean the rest of the spectrum isn't benifitial. If you like the look of the higher bulbs, or makes you fish look beter, 10000K (+) can help with the other bulb.
 

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T5HO bulbs can be though of as overdriven T5NO bulbs, both of which are small diameter, and are usually sold with very good reflectors, one per bulb, which capture most of the emitted light and direct it towards the tank. That higher brightness, from overdriving the bulb, plus the great reflectors, means the bulbs give the most PAR per bulb of all of the fluorescent bulbs. PC bulbs use the same roughly 5/8 inch diameter tubing, but they are folded into what looks like two parallel tubes, so you can't get as good a reflector for them, and they are not as bright as T5HO bulbs. But, they are comparable to T5NO bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
T5HO bulbs can be though of as overdriven T5NO bulbs, both of which are small diameter, and are usually sold with very good reflectors, one per bulb, which capture most of the emitted light and direct it towards the tank. That higher brightness, from overdriving the bulb, plus the great reflectors, means the bulbs give the most PAR per bulb of all of the fluorescent bulbs. PC bulbs use the same roughly 5/8 inch diameter tubing, but they are folded into what looks like two parallel tubes, so you can't get as good a reflector for them, and they are not as bright as T5HO bulbs. But, they are comparable to T5NO bulbs.
I hear what you are saying...The overall visual "brightness" of the tank looks significantly less. Does that not factor in?
 

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I hear what you are saying...The overall visual "brightness" of the tank looks significantly less. Does that not factor in?
Our eyes are lousy light meters. They always adjust to make any light look about like our brain thinks it should look. So, you can't go by how bright the tank looks - by the time it looks significantly brighter you will probably have more than doubled the intensity. The only really accurate way to judge the intensity is by using a PAR meter, which many aquatic plant clubs now have.
 
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