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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Aqueon 15 column. I modified the hood to hold 2 10 watt 6500K CFLs and one 10 Watt Aqueon colormax bulb (for aesthetics) There are no reflectors (inside is black) and they are housed within a opaque bulb guard horizontally.

I would like to get a slight upgrade to my light to get just shy of medium light. Options:

1. Replacing the 10 watt bulbs with 13 watt bulbs.
2. Getting the 12 inch Finnex Planted +

I really would like to go with option 2, but I am not sure how much light the Planted + would give. The tank is 20” deep. The length and width are 13.5”. Would this be too much light? Not enough?

The tank is dosed EI for low tech with a 30% weekly water change and a double dose of glut daily. I have diy C02 but I am definitely not running 30ppm, probably 15ppm. I would like to be able to grow more medium light plants.
 

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Finnex LED lights give more PAR as the light gets longer, so a 12 inch Planted + should give about 28% of the PAR a 36 inch light gives. That is based on the PAR charts in http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/145-finnex/189944-finnex-ray-ii-fugeray-par-data.html for FugeRay lights, which are very similar to the Planted + lights. My 36 inch Planted + gives me about 35-40 PAR at about 22 inches, so a 12 inch light should give about 10 PAR at 22 inches. Since your light is probably about 20 inches from the substrate, you should get roughly 10% more than that, or about 10-12 PAR.

Your 2 CFL 10 watt bulbs, horizontal with no reflector, are probably giving you 5 PAR or less per bulb, or up to 10 PAR for the two of them. If you want 40 PAR total, you would need 30 PAR from the two CFL bulbs, which would require at least 25 watt bulbs. But, these would generate quite a lot of heat too, and that might greatly shorten the life of both the bulbs and the Planted + light.

You can get twice or more the PAR from the CFL bulbs if you use some aluminum flashing material, thin aluminum strips, to make a \_/ shaped trough reflector for each bulb, and attach them above each bulb. Bend the "flaps" so you see a complete reflection of each bulb on each side of the bulbs. With that you could possibly get what you want with 14 watt CFL bulbs plus the Planted + light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow... I thought I had more light than that. I have s. repens at the bottom currently and they are not doing great but they are not doing terrible either.

I could not do both a planted plus and the cfls, the hood won't allow it and too much moisture would get in. So, my options are...

1. 2 Finnex planted +'s (really expensive)
2. 2 13 watt 6500k bulbs with reflector

Your right, the 25watt ones with definitely be too hot.
 

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You could probably get away with a single 23w CFL in a 10.5" dome shop light reflector. If you suspend it a couple inches above the tank, you'll get decent coverage too. I had these at 32" to substrate and carpeted dwarf sag and flooded the tank with jungle val. I imagine that you'll get close to medium light at a lower distance to substrate and no spillover/overlap from additional lights.

I've always trusted Hoppy's par charts and information, so that is a good place to start. This is just my personal experience.
 

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You could probably get away with a single 23w CFL in a 10.5" dome shop light reflector. If you suspend it a couple inches above the tank, you'll get decent coverage too. I had these at 32" to substrate and carpeted dwarf sag and flooded the tank with jungle val. I imagine that you'll get close to medium light at a lower distance to substrate and no spillover/overlap from additional lights.
That would be a very good solution, and not very expensive either. You would have the added advantage of being able to use lower wattage bulbs, or at least one higher wattage bulb - I think there is a 27 watt one readily available.
 

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That would be a very good solution, and not very expensive either. You would have the added advantage of being able to use lower wattage bulbs, or at least one higher wattage bulb - I think there is a 27 watt one readily available.


That is what I was thinking, a single bulb over a small tank like this. And by small, I mean you have a small window to light from. You can even paint the shop lights black with high temp paint and suspend them with PVC conduit. They end up looking pretty sharp as pendants.

I have heard of higher watt spiral CFLs available online, but 23w was the highest I could find in 5000K and 6500K locally. I believe they are used in photography (the higher wattage lights) if you look for them OP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like a great idea. Now...if I didn't have this thing called a wife I would do it haha. She would kill me if I hung something like this from our family room ceiling. I have two clip on walmart desk lamps I could use. It would be 2 13watt bulbs, but positioned vertically like the dome, and they are white inside. What do you think?
 

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