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Old 03-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
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Help with Lighting?

Hi all,
I'm new to the site and kinda new to the hobby. I have started a 15 gallon aquarium and it's been running for a month now. I do have quite a plant collection already and it's come to my attention that I will need fluorescent lighting in order for my plants to flourish (as oppose to the two 15 watt incandescent bulbs I am using now). Now I really do not want to get into CO2 infusions, so I am wondering what wattage I need for CFL bulbs in order to maintain my plants? Is a 1 watt to 1 gallon ratio good enough to sustain my plants? Can I get away with say two 13 watt CFLs and not have to use CO2? I do use liquid plant fertilizer once a week to supplement them. I currently have one Melon Sword, two Moneyworts, one Red Ludwigia, a Wisteria, and a Crypt. Parva.

Any information you can give me will be of great benefit. I look forward to your replies. Thanks!
K
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #2
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If you've got incandescent bulbs, CFLs are a great replacement. I run two 18W CFLs over my 20L without CO2. I have a little bit of BBA on the java moss directly under the lights, but that's it. I would think that two 13W bulbs would be enough for your tank.

You may have trouble keeping the moneywort and the red ludwigia going without high light levels. My moneywort lost all its leaves except for a few at the very top when it was in a low-med light tank. I threw the last remaining sprigs in my 20H with my new LED fixture and they've started growing well. Red plants in general need a lot of light.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for your informative reply. I have now got two 15 watt CFLs installed. Let's see what happens. I'm moving my biggest planted Moneywort directly under the light to get the best exposure. It's pretty healthy bc I just bought it, and I know they don't dose with CO2 at the petstore. Thanks again!
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