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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! First post, though I've been lurking awhile.

I'm going to ease my way back into the hobby after some years away, and also return to freshwater from reefing. I have a 15 high sitting around that I am looking to turn into a medium or low-light planted tank, possibly for a pair of dwarf cichlids and a few dithers.

Due to cost issues, it would be set up like this:
- 12 inch fixture, 2x18 watt 6700 PC bulbs, ~2WPG (I have it laying around)
- Fluorite substrate
- possibly homebrew or Hagen yeast reactor
- cannister filtration

What can I reasonably expect to grow in this scenario? I would like very much to do a moss wall, but only if it will actually grow in. Probably just a few other undemanding species in addition; not sure what they should be yet. My goal is to get stable slow growth, as opposed to no growth.

My concern: is the tank too high for this level of light? After looking at a lot of PCs for 20" tanks, I'm seeing that I could get an Aqualight ... either 28W or 96W. 28 wouldn't seem to help me, and 96 seems like too much unless I want to get into serious CO2 (which I can't afford right now). I was hoping to find a 20", 50-60W PC fixture, but that doesn't seem to exist.

So basically I'm looking for advice on what to plant, and also if there is a better PC fixture for my situation that I am missing.
 

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I have a twenty gallon hex tank with two 14 watt screw in bulbs. I am growing plants, moss grows exceptionally well, even in areas shaded by wood.

I haven't tried many plants due to the tank being unheated, but I am growing HM and hornort, I was also growing a couple species of vals.
 

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With 2 wpg, CO2 and proper fertilization you can grow almost anything you want. Even most "high light" plants will grow - just not as fast, and you also won't get the red color that the 3 wpg folks get. Moss will grow very easily under these conditions so there is no issue there at all.

Good luck,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. That fixture that Epicfish linked looks pretty sweet! But unless my logic is off, it's the same choice as what I have... 36W with one bulb on (I have that now), or 108W with all of them on, and then I have to do pressurized CO2.

So I guess I have to lean towards sticking with my 12 inch 2X18W, *if* people think I can pull that off. When I can swing a real CO2 setup, I'll bump up the light.

For now, is it worth it to do a Hagen yeast reactor? I know these things will not work nearly as well as a real system, but will they help at all?

Oh, I ordered the 15 high for myself during the close of my LFS days. :icon_smil It is indeed an obscure size! In its former life, it served as a refugium under my 55 reef.
 

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CO2 is really easy...

The Hagen bottles are next to useless...they are way too small. I have a 14 gallon high and I have 3 2litre bottles running into the hagen CO2 ladder. I have a lot of CO2 going in, but I also have pretty high light. You don't need to go pressurized CO2, especially considering that you have only a 15 gallon aquarium.

Your PC fixture may be ok, but it will leave much to be desired on the outsides of your aquarium. Why don't you try a 20" incandescent hood with the spiral energy saver bulbs? I have 2 x 27w bulbs in there at about 8000K temperature.

Adam
 
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