| | An Interesting (?) Comparison
I have 3 smaller aquariums (3 20s and 1 29) that I keep primarily to quarantine new fish in. They all have HOB filters, similar substrates and about the same pH (7.4). Recently I have started planting them with plants from my primary aquarium (410 gallons) because I have an abundance of offshoots, crowding, etc. Finally, after 12 years! Now to the interesting part. The 3 20s are each lit with a single 15 or 17 watt fluorescent plant bulb while the 29 has 2 compact fluorescents each of which is 65 watts. What a difference in growth! All of the plants are fertilized the same and none of the tanks get CO2 so the only clear difference is the wattage of the lights. From less than 1 watt/gallon to 4.5 watts/gallon. Granted there is probably a difference in wave lengths but the T8s are brand new and the compact fluorescents have been in constant use for 12+ years! A clear case of recognizing what my limiting factor is.
A quick search has turned up no compact fluorescent fixtures from Coralife (the manufacturer of my current fixture) although they do have replacement bulbs. They do have led fixtures so I have been trying to get in touch with them to see what they would recommend, from their inventory, to get light comparable to the compact fluorescents for my 20s.
The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know.