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I'm fairly new to the planted tank idea. In the past, I've thrown a few plants in and yay if they survive.
About two months ago (give or take), I put up my 5 gallon bow front and decided o do it low tech. However, I have the light strip rigged about 5 inches above the top of the tank (about 10inches from the gravel). My question is, is a 17 watt powerful enough for them?
I went by Petsmart (because I can't find the right size at Lowes or HD, unless I'm just not looking in the right spot, which is totally possible) and picked up an Aqueon 'Plant growth' T8 24" 17 watt for the fixture, but it seems to give off less light than the bulb I had in there before.
Can I get some thoughts, opinions, suggestions, and/or tips please?



 

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Plants chlorophylls use primarily red and blue light, and have little use for green.

So some "plant growth" bulbs produce very little green light, instead focusing on producing more useful red and blue. These bulbs will appear pink or purple in operation. It appears from the photo this is what you have.

The human eye on the other hand is the exact opposite of plants, being most sensitive to green light. So a normal white bulb, which produces a bit more green and a bit less red/blue, will seem much brighter to us than a "plant growth" bulb.

Either should be fine for your plants. It's just a matter of which you prefer looking at.
 
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