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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!

Pretty recently I was inspired to start up my 10 gal tank again, and have acquired everything but a light fixture.I was wondering what kind of light would be recommended for a 10 gal tank with plants. Are there any good LED all in one fixtures that people have had success with?

Also quick question, if I do go with florescent lights how far should I keep them above the surface of the water on my 10 and 55 gal tanks?
I have glass on the 55 so can I keep them right on the glass? Or a few inches higher?

Thanks
 

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The legs on T5 fixtures are adequate for above the glass but on those T8 strips
I'd put something uder the edge of it to raise it about 1/2 inch so air can circulate.
Most LED lights are too high for a 10g tank unles injected CO2 is used except for the Marineland Double Bright which was made before spectrum was recognized as important and they have the intensity but not the correct spectrum so most say they don't grow
plants or at least not well, but for a 10g they should be OK since it is so shallow.
One T8 bulb is enough for low light plants and some med light plants in a 10g tank.
If you are very careful/w which bulbs you use, two works well in a 10g. But use the wrong bulbs and you will get algae.
A two bulb shop light in T8 is adequate for lots of plants in a 55.
The light that I'm talking about is without CO2. Adding CO2 can/will bring up the light needs to a higher level. I use two T8 bulbs in one of my 10g tanks with little algae
on the glass...needs about two weeks before you need to scrape the glass.
No Excel/CO2 in that tank. But the other one has two T5 bulbs and needs Excel to have
just SOME algae on/in it...way overkill for a 10g.
Home Depot has a $29 shop light which is made from floor plate and chrome plated
but needs some type of skirt around it to help keep in the light. For the 55.
I have a custom glass cover on both my 10g tanks which is just cut glass a bit shorter than the tank so heater cords/air lines can go in. On one I just use two of the "Lights-of-America" strip lights from Walmart $8 each just placed on top of the glass but I do have a mirror glass cut 7" x 17" that I place on top of them also to keep the light in the tank. Doesn't look altogether Kosher but not horrible either.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=14281&pictureid=55650
That is a second generation wall covering which I like less than the first generation
of it. This tank will be replaced shortly but the light fixtures will be hidden in a DIY hood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the replies!
Well, I wasnt planning on doing Co2 because I can't afford the pressurized system right now, but I could probably do a DIY setup on the 10 gal. Right now I just have the two 24 inch t8 light fixtures, both with a daylight 15 watt florescent bulb. The only thing is it doesnt look very nice, and something like this would look better on the tank :Amazon.com: Marineland LED Aquarium Hood 20 by 10: Pet Supplies

But I just don't know if plants would grow from something like that, from what I heard it wouldn't be the best option.

So with these two t8's I currently have thats 30 watts total on the 10g tank, would that be enough like to warrant the use of C02? Would it be overall beneficial to my plants or not?
 

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I'd look at the Finnex FugeRay Planted+ rather than that Marineland fixture if you want to stay low tech/no CO2 but support plant growth. Or the next model up with the Finnex if you want more light/ to run CO2.

With your 2x15 T8 current fixture I think you'll probably need CO2 and/or regular Excel (or can let the plants get tall and shade the tank to moderate the light level a bit). With a smaller tank like this, DIY CO2 should be fine.
 
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