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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to planted tanks and have been reading about lighting and think I need to replace mine. I have a 60gal tank with driftwood and 7 live plants. I have 2 angels, 1 pleco, 4 coreys in it now and some discus that are going in in a few months. I went a little crazy in the petstore the other day with the plants. lol but I have the tnak looking great. Anyway, my lighting is 2 24" hoods with single daylight t8s that come in the kits at petsmart(the 60gal was a complete kit). It has 2 18" t8s so I am only putting out 30 watts. From my reading that doesnt seem to be enough and thats the only wattage I see for the 18" t8s. Do I need more? If so will I have to replace the entire fixture with new ones? My wife is going to kill me with all the money I am spending setting this up. lol
Any suggestions would help me immensely.
 

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Plants would be better off with 2 full length bulbs or you can just buy one full length strip and add to the top of the tank. Maybe something like this?
http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-Fans-Indoor-Lighting-Industrial-Shop-Lighting/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbvnq/R-202814068/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Post photos here of your plants. Unfortunately many plants sold at big box pet stores aren't aquatic, be great if you could get your money back. They might be good terrarium or house plants if you cannot return them. Look for Anubias, Java fern and java moss at the store. Some Cryptocorynes are also fine for low light tanks and Amazon swords work as well for many people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So with that light I would have to remove my hoods and have it suspended over the tank?

I bought the plants from a local store not one of the box stores. I will try to get some pictures tomorrow.
 

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Those fixtures you have can't do any better than they do. So you can add a bit more light, or get new lights all together. You might be find a light that will somewhat fit the space where the lights are now. One that could still sit on the lid, but will do a better job.

Are you looking to keep a low light setup without co2 and such?
 

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Inserting some reflective material behind the bulbs, like aluminum foil, or aluminum flashing, will definitely increase output. You could also paint the inside of the hood with gloss white paint.

Still, your best bet would be to add extra bulbs, or upgrade the ones you have. Unfortunately, stock hoods are not designed with plants in mind, and rarely have even a decent low light output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am wanting to stay low tech but want lighting that is sufficient for the plants I have now plus maybe a few more. I saw some coralife 2 bulb Ho t5 lights online for around $130. I Kay go with something like that if they are decent.

I was wanting to upgrade my biowheel 350 with an eheim canister too but I don't think I will be allowed to spend that much right now. Lol
 
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