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Old 05-28-2004, 05:02 PM   #1
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Brighter lighting - is it worth it?

I’m rather curious. Most people here recommend having 1.5 - 2 watts per gallon (roughly) for a planted tank. I couldn’t afford to upgrade the lighting in my 20 gallon, and so have stayed with the 15 watt bulb that I have. Many of the plants in my tank have been growing like weeds, and all have shown some form of growth over the last month or so.

That said, I was wondering what kind of a difference a brighter light supplies. I’m wondering if it is worth saving for.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:27 PM   #2
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the quick answer is that it depends on what plants you want and how badly you want them. if you're happy with the current plants, i wouldn't worry about. what do you have in your tank now?
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Old 05-29-2004, 12:05 AM   #3
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So far you have been lucky with your plant growth. I would say that the growth will stall out and the plants will eventually die. What type plants do you have?
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:29 PM   #4
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Some plants like anubius will do dine with low light while others like rotala macronda would die on ya with out proper light
Thats the red plant rotala macronda
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Old 05-30-2004, 01:35 PM   #5
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A 55 watt AH Supply wouldn't set you back too much, and would give plenty of light for a 20... over 3 watts per gallon because of the superior design of their reflector. http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm
I have a 55 watt AH Supply on my 26 gallon bow.
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:58 PM   #6
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All answers have been good so far. Aquatic plants are like terrestrial plants...some need full sun, some partial shade, and some can survive where ever.

Essentially there are 3 categories of aquatic plants - low, medium and high light.
As Marcus mentions, most of your red plants like rotala macranda need 3 watts per gallon, or more, to survive.
Other plants, like anubias nana and java ferns can survive and even thrive under abysmal lighting conditions.

It sounds like you've probably got some very easy low light plants, and maybe a few moderate light ones that are doing ok for now, but could go sour at any time.

If you'd like to try some new plants, you'll wanna upgrade your lighting. When you upgrade that lighting,you'll need to add some CO2 because the plants will use it up too quickly, and if they use it all up, you'll end up with algae.
You'll also have to get serious about fertilizing your plants under high light conditions. They'll literally tear thru nutrients to the point where you'll have to add nitrates and phosphates to keep them looking healthy.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:40 PM   #7
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Sorry for the delay in writing back. I have been trying to find the list of my plants from when I purchased them. I have however, been unable to locate it. The plants I have, as best as I can remember their names, are,
Cabomba
Pygmy Sword
amazon Sword
Money wort
There are two others, though, but I can't remember their names. One has elliptical leaves that grow in a set of four around nodes at various levels of the stem. It has been growing like a weed and requires quite a bit of trimming. The other plant is redish at its base, with the new sprouts being green in colour. Its leaves look like short rosemary leaves.

My budget is unfortunately quite tight right now. So tight that I can only afford to spend about $40-$50 CAD per month on non-bill items. I will try placing some tinfoil on the inside of the tank light hub. Hopefully that will get me a bit more light.
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Old 06-03-2004, 06:54 PM   #8
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white paint or mylar are much better than tinfoil.
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