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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on setting up a Mini-M, but WITHOUT CO2. Thus, I'm looking for an appropriate lighting fixture in the 10W range that has the proper spectrum and looks. No question the ADA Solar is awesome looking, but it's just too much light for a non-CO2 tank.

Does anybody have any suggestions on fixtures and/or bulbs you've seen that might do the job?

Thanks!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
....and perhaps I should expand my question a bit. I've been doing a lot of digging on the Finnex 4g threads and there are quite a few comments that 13W is pretty dim lighting, but it sure seems like the 27W lights and the sort are just too much for non-CO2. Fyi I will be using Excel, as I've successfully been doing in the 55g for years.

Perhaps the correct phrasing of the question should be.....

Anybody out there with experience with 4 or 5 gallon setup without CO2? What light/lighting have you been successful with?

Thanks!

Tom
 

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Check out these

Aquatic Nature - Solar Duo Boy (26 watt)


They say 26 watts, but because of the bulb type they're not as intense as a 26 watt straight CF bulb. I used one of these on my Finnex 4g for 6 months or so with good results, although I WAS using Co2 for the entire period. I imagine if you lifted it off the tank some more, or angled it differently you could get even less intensity and find a good balance.

Also keep in mind that with the 27 watt Archaea lights you can get from AFA, that you can lift those quite high over the tank with their telescoping legs. I think that might reduce the intensity of those enough to satisfy your needs.
 

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I have a 13 watt ott lite over a ~4 gallon tank with excel but no CO2 and it works great. :)
I even have some happy compact hygro in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great to hear about a successful, small excel only tank. Sounds like lots of folks like those Ott lights (and knockoffs) are pretty popular as well. I really do like the idea of having a much lower tech small tank. I now that a CO2 tank with good lighting can grow a ton of stuff well. I suspect that the smaller, low light, no-CO2 tank is going to prove to be a bit of a challenge.

I really do appreciate the lighting ideas though!

Thanks,

Tom
 

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I've got a Coralife 2x9W over my 5.5 (essentially the same as Mini M) and it is working out great. No algae and tons of moss growth. I've tried many wattages of CFL's (13, 20, 26, 27) and this light seems to be doing the best job.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've got a Coralife 2x9W over my 5.5 (essentially the same as Mini M) and it is working out great. No algae and tons of moss growth. I've tried many wattages of CFL's (13, 20, 26, 27) and this light seems to be doing the best job.
That's great feedback. I know in theory 13W is enough to do the job, but with very slow growth. And I know that a lot of folks use 27W w/ CO2. It would seem like 18W is a nice compromise between the 13W and the 27W for the non-CO2 crowd (if there is a crowd :icon_wink ).
 
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