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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a custom aquarium 24Lx20wx20h. The depth is the issue for me. I am currently using 3 65w CF 6700k bulbs. It seems though that I'm not getting enough light at the bottom. Does it matter 6700k vs 10k in terms of penetration or is it simply wattage. My other problem may be as simple as not having the proper dosing yet. Just wondered if k made a diff. or if its just wattage. I don't want to use MH due to the heat issue. Thanks for any insight. Ben
 

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K means the different colors of the light when the sun rise, 10 k would have a blueish color to some people. You need watts and dept does not matter, if I was you I would get 2x 65 watts power compact or get 2x 55 watts from AH supply's... MH is not necessary for that tank.
 

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He said he's using 3 already. The issue you are having is poor reflectors scattering the light. Can you post a pic of your light fixture? Actual light penetration does not matter in freshwater tanks less than 36 inches deep, according to Rex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for comments... more welcome

thanks yall. Yes, i currently have 190w on it(yes, I know it sounds like alot for a 42g tank but again its what reaches the bottom). My problem is low growing foreground plants. I just wasn't sure if the different parts of the spectrum would reach further down and if there were bulbs that would help that. ......Oh finch, your plants should be there tomorrow, let me know.....
 

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Are you using the power compact fluorescent or the compact fluorescent swirls? If you are using the pcf then you should have enough light... The total is 195 watts and I am sure that you tank is no bigger than a 60 gallon..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry Finch, you're right 195, can't do math this late:iamwithst ...I have two coralife 24" single bulb 65w lights, and one 10" 65w CF floodlight i let myself be suckered into from an EBAYer. I'll eventually replace it when I have the money.
 

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130 watts on a 42g tank is already quite a bit of light. Another 65 watt fixture would bring you to almost 5 watts/gallon (!) which is not doable without a fert regime + large amounts of CO2.

You can look into the reflector issue, though if it's a coralife fixture, it shouldn't be that bad.

Failing that, you could try some carpets that grow well even under medium lighting like marsilea

I'm fairly certain your carpet issues is due to nutrient/CO2 deficiencies, though. Are you running CO2?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes to the CO2, started compressed CO2 a few wekks ago. I have it set to come on @ 7.0 ph and off at 6.8. I know it sounds like alot of light but if you look at any of the calculators for lighting, I'm close to where it says for CF lighting. Some have said over 200w for my 20" depth.
 

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With 195 watts over 42 gallons and pressurized CO2, you should try dosing greg watson ferts before doing anything else.
 

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What is the kH of your tank water? I'm betting like some of the others here that this is a nutrient issue.

What ferts are you dosing?
How often?
How much?

It's not the height of your aquarium. At 20" tall it's not a "deep" aquarium by any means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll try to post some pics tonight. kh has been been staying fairly low....about 5....haven't checked in awhile b/c our water supply has been very stable over the last yr. I had a very heavy plant load until a few days ago, so I'm sure I didn't dose quite like should. Yes, I'm one of those dunces using seachem; flourish, excel, trace, root tabs, iron. I dose just a little more than the recommended, but I'm still trying to get used to dosing now that I'm using press. CO2. I'll get specifics tonight when I get home. Thanks all.
 
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