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I'm converting my 125g to a planted tank. I have one large island of driftwood/rocks/plants off centered in the tank.

Is there a 36" light that I can use that would give adequate light in the space heavily planted? I would prefer the corners to be a little dimmer. I keep apistogramma and they are not fond of bright light when spawning.

Do you think the tank could look natural with bright light in only one section? I'm trying to find similar tanks, but I'm not having any luck.

I want to add as much light as I can get away with before needing Co2.
 

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I think it can look more natural and more dramatic with lighter and darker sections. I utilize some of that effect in my tank and have lots of anubius in the darker corners.
 

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What looks "natural" often depends on what I have seen in nature. In the ocean, the whole area is lighted evenly but if you are more likely to have looked at rivers with trees along the banks, the bright/dark is more natural. So I would go with what fits your mind. I like seeing the big boys lurking in the shadows until the food arrives!
I personally go with light and dark in my 125 as it helps to fit the way different plants behave. I have a large rock pile with plants and they like being close to the top where it is bright. Others like less.
I like options as I rarely set a tank and leave it. I do not enjoy doing weeks of study on a particular plant to see where it fits before buying. I much prefer to fly "seat of the pants" and adjust as needed. With both light and darker, I have more choices of looking for what works better.
Rather than expensive and difficult lighting, I like having several timers that phase in lighting. This is a "almost night" picture that appeals to me. Just before going totally dark and the fish are looking for their spot?

 
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