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Old 10-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
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Advice on Lighting, CO2, and goldfish

(I hope this is the appropriate section to ask this in...) I'm trying to keep low light plants in a 36 gallon bowfront (21" high). Right now I have a single T8 FloraSun 5,000k 18w bulb in the hood that came with the tank. I would love to buy a better fixture, but can't find one that fits on my tank that isn't ridiculously expensive (and with the bowfront, a glass top is equally expensive).

What if I used this SunSystems T5 HO light (with reflector) and mounted it inside a DIY gutter fixture? I've looked at retrofit kits and DIY CFL setups, but I'd rather not tear up my current hood, and I know nothing about wiring. This great chart tells me I'd have medium lighting, but does that still count if it's not in a "proper" fixture?

Second question: If I up my lighting, especially if the gutter manages to give me medium light, I probably need better CO2, right? I have a Hagen CO2 canister that, according to my drop checker, wasn't really doing anything on it's own. I was thinking of adding a 2 liter DIY as well. My concern though is with the goldfish and his high O2 needs. Anyone have any experience with goldfish and DIY CO2? If I run the bubble wand at night, will that keep him happy and healthy, or is it even a concern with DIY?

Or am I just going overboard? Will the plants I have be fine with the current light, no CO2 set up? The plants are alive, and seem to be growing a tiny bit, but that's it. It looks like I might be growing some algae, though, so maybe the current light isn't as weak as I thought?

Further details:

Plants - Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, Onion, Watersprite, Wisteria

I dose with Flourish Comprehensive once a week and use Flourish root tabs in my otherwise plain gravel. Lights are on a timer, 10 hrs a day. Weekly pwc.

The algae(?) is fuzzy gray, mostly on anubias roots and driftwood (wood has been in tank for 2+ years).

Thanks for any advice/help!
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