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Old 05-31-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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46 Gal Lighting

I am starting a 46g bow front and want to do plants. I purchased the Current USA Satellite 96watt 36" fixture. It has a single 10k and actinic bulb.

So in a sense this will be me 48watts of usable plant light? So I will be at 1wpg? Should I replace the bulb with a 96w or 65w 6500k or just leave it.

I want a good variety of plants but do not wish to use CO2. I do have some Flourish and Flourish Excel.

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Old 05-31-2007, 10:32 AM   #2
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The 10,000k will be fine for plant growth. The only question is if you like the color or not. Using that set up you will have plenty of light to grow low light plants and the atnic bulb will really make you fishes colors look great.

The traditional low light plants, anubias, crypts, java fern and moss should all do well. You can experiment with supposedly higher light plants, you may be pleasantly surpised.

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Old 05-31-2007, 10:38 AM   #3
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If you did want to switch out the bulb for a full daylight bulb then there is a good chance that you would need carbon supplementation, however your Flourish Excel would work just fine in that capacity. It would also allow you to grow more plants.

Your current lighting is sufficient to grow the easy low to medium low light plants, and would be a good place to start at. It would allow you to start learning the needs of a planted tank in a more controlled situation with less factors that you'd need to deal with. You could always upgrade the tank later should you decide you want to grow a greater variety of plants and/or have a more challenging aquarium.
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:38 PM   #4
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I have a 46 bow with 96 watts, and for over a year I have been running it on weekly Excel + light EI dosing. I have been able to all but a few medium light plants.

Personally I would replace the bulb because it really opens up your plant options, and still is low enough light that you don't need CO2 or dosing ferts every day. With the 50/50 bulb you will be really limiting your options, with the full 96w bulb there is not that much more maintenance required. I think it comes down to how much attention you want to give to the tank and how much reading you want to do.
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