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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I consider myself a newbie to aquarium plants (at least compared to all you gurus), and desperately need help determining what kind of lighting I need in my current setup. I'm attaching a pic of my tank- 46gal. bowfront. I believe it is right around 21" tall. Here's what I have in it (I'm not sure what details would be helpful to you so I'll throw everything I can think of at ya):

-1 baby EBJD
-3 adult petricolas
-3 Amano shrimp
-1 oto

-2 bunches java ferns (established)
-6 crypts (established)
-1 ozelot sword (semi-established)
-1 aponogeton (new)
-1 cabomba (new)
-3 bunches micro swords (new)
- multiple stems ludwigia repens (semi-established)

My ph is 7.2-7.4, temp 78. Eco-complete substrate.

-flourish excel (daily)
-flourish regular (3x/week)
-flourish iron (daily- but it clouds my water, grrr.)
-flourish potassium (just purchased yesterday)
-root tabs under the ozelot, micro swords, ludwigia, and cabomba.

-1 Marineland LED blue and white 36"
-1 Deep Blue Solarflare LED blue and white 24"

WHEW! Ok, so my question(s) is this: Am I correct in saying that this (despite my efforts) is considered a low-light tank? If so, which LED light on the market, for less than a zillion dollars, would allow me to meet the needs of medium-light plants? I really just want what I have in the tank to thrive- and to add some sort of foreground carpeting plant. I'm not interested in adding any finicky, demanding plants- like I said, I'm happy with what's in there, I just dont know if they will all survive under my current lighting conditions because most of the plants are so new.

I've been doing some research, and it's now my understanding that plants (besides maybe java ferns and crypts) cannot thrive under blue and white light alone- I need a light that includes red as well. I read some good things about the Current USA Satellite LED Plus, and the Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light. Can anyone offer their opinion on these lights? Or others that might be better? I would prefer an LED if possible.

I gotta tell you, this planted tank business is confusing the crap out of me lately- but I'm determined to learn
I found out my LFS carries the Current USA Satellite Plus, but I was given conflicting info from two different employees- one said If I buy the light, I will see healthy plants with greatly increased growth and it would put me in the medium light range. Another employee told me that if I buy the light, I would most definitely need to also upgrade to a pressurized Co2 system (something I'm way too intimidated and busy to master the art of). Is this true?? I'm not sure what to think now. Plant experts, please help me!


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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Get one of these.. currently fairly cheap and you can adjust it for high/low lighting..

Ecoxotic E-Series Full Spectrum LED Light Fixture: LED Aquarium Lighting

36" is 46W .. good enough for your needs and adjustable to suit..

THE reason I'm mentioning this one is really mostly due to adjust-ability.. and it won't break the bank..much.

Thanks so much for the recommendation, Jeff. How high do you think I could adjust this light before needing to add a co2 system?

Thanks for your help!
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