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Okay, first off, I should preface this with an apology if I am breaking forum etiquette of repeating a topic- however I have searched and searched on this and never found a concrete answer (if there even is one!), and I want some firsthand advice from the real experts- fellow enthusiasts.

Every time you read about lighting a tank- you find the WPG rule, then a little note about how a 10 gallon tank does not apply to this. However, I have never found anything about what those of us with 10 gallons should do!

I have read that when lighting a 10 gallon, you should worry about the spectrum and intensity, rather then the watts.

I have a 10 gallon, CO2 injection, EC substrate. For lighting, I have two 15 watt standard florescent lights on top. Am I providing adequate light? Plants include Ludwigia Repens, Anubias (unknown type), Blyxa Japonica, & sagittaria subulata. Should I switch to a single with screw in CF? I know there are many variables involved, so hopefully we can get to some guidelines that will benefit everyone.
 

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Funny, I was going to post a thread on this too. I've heard that some use 72 watts on their 10 gallons, but I have DIY CO2 and can only imagine what would happen should I forget to replace the sugar/yeast for only one day.

Myself, I'm running the coralife 28W fixture. The blyxa doesn't seem to do well at all with the lighting, but everything else does OK. I think a lot of people have success doing the retrofit 36W from AH Supply.

By the way, does anyone know if there are any T5 bulbs I can fit into my 28W coralife fixture? It's 20" long, and from what I understand any bulbs should work fine, but they'll be overdriven?
 

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http://woo.gotdns.com/Aquarium/Lighting.htm

i used that and have 92 watts over my ten gallon.(one dual daylight 40 watt pc, and 2 srew in cf 26w/6.4k from 1000bulbs.com)

and for diy co2 i use 2 bottles one a 1 liter which uses the standard sugar yeast mix plus a teaspoon of molasses makes it last longer and a 2 liter with the jello recipe plus a teaspoon of molasses-i add the jello sugar and molasses all in then the 2 cups hot water, mix, then add the other 2 cups cold water, last close to 5 weeks(jell-o recipe- http://aquariumboard.com/forums/689-post3.html)

i also use the powerhead diffusion method, i have very stable co2 levels and good pearling(my algea balls float from pearling)
 

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That's an interesting read Ben, thanks for sharing.

I think the general rule for 10 gallons in my experience should be 30-40 watts of CF light over a 10 gallon to grow almost anything. For NO bulbs it should be on the upper end of the scale since I never got great results running them with only 20-30 watts.

I used a 36 watt AH kit over a 10. More than enough light to grow anything. CO2 and ferts must be adequately dosed or algae will occur. I'm currently running pressurized CO2 with it, and still have some algae issues that I'm resolving.

I also used (2) 25 watt screw-in CF bulbs from lights of america. No algae issues, and ran with DIY CO2. Plants grew well. Only complaint was the weaker spread of light in the center. This led to faster growth on the sides and slower growing in the center. Definately not a bad choice for those on DIY CO2, and looking to keep maintainence low and cheap.

-John N.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
John N. said:
That's an interesting read Ben, thanks for sharing.
Agreed- it is definitley worth checking out.

John N. said:
I also used (2) 25 watt screw-in CF bulbs from lights of america. No algae issues, and ran with DIY CO2. Plants grew well. Only complaint was the weaker spread of light in the center. This led to faster growth on the sides and slower growing in the center. Definately not a bad choice for those on DIY CO2, and looking to keep maintainence low and cheap.
I looked at your 10 Gallon journal- I have the same fluorescent hood laying around- almost ready to pitch it... but I think I will put two CF's in it- your tank looked great with them. How serious was the lack of growth in the centre?
 

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Not very serious, I justed noticed the stems moved towards the light, so it had a slight (very slight) V effect. You do notice the brightness of the light is just on the sides though and not as evenly spread in the center. For me this was distracting enough for me to try out the AH kit.

Although I like my 36 watt ah kit, I'm torn between recommending an AH kit over those two screw in bulbs. I had less problems in terms of tank maintenance with the screw in CFs than I currently do with the 36w kit. The only thing that puts AH over the top in my cases were that it provided an even spread of light, and also made the tank look 90% brighter.

-John N.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John N. said:
Not very serious, I justed noticed the stems moved towards the light, so it had a slight (very slight) V effect. You do notice the brightness of the light is just on the sides though and not as evenly spread in the center. For me this was distracting enough for me to try out the AH kit.

Although I like my 36 watt ah kit, I'm torn between recommending an AH kit over those two screw in bulbs. I had less problems in terms of tank maintenance with the screw in CFs than I currently do with the 36w kit. The only thing that puts AH over the top in my cases were that it provided an even spread of light, and also made the tank look 90% brighter.

-John N.
I guess the main difference is $40. :)
 

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I put two 20 watt CF bulbs over the tank. They have a color temp of 2700 K, and an output of 1200 lumens a piece.
 

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Thank you for this thread.
I like it when people try to sum things up as best they can.

I have contemplated AH Supply kits, but again I like simple.
If I had more time to assemble things, and had a lower chance of losing parts in my house before I assemble it - I might someday go for it. From what I have read they sound wonderful, especially the reflectors.

From my experience with my 27 Gallon tank and my 2x40 Watt Dual Daylight bulbs (which I love) I think I will keep my simple screw in CF Bulbs for a bit.

Getting comfortable and growing confidence with growing plants takes time. Changing one variable at a time works fine for me.

I look forward to reading more in this thread. Thank you.
 

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aquariageek said:
I put two 20 watt CF bulbs over the tank. They have a color temp of 2700 K, and an output of 1200 lumens a piece.
Have any pictures? I'd like to see how that type of lighting looks.
 

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Burks said:
Have any pictures? I'd like to see how that type of lighting looks.
Just like this. This is JohnN's pic- but mine is identical. Im not quite sure I like the yellowish color in the tank or if it is helping.... :roll:

 

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For those interested in Wizzard~Of~Ozz's article, here's an Excel compatible (macro-free) spreadsheet you can mess with that lets you combine different bulb types: say, 40w CF plus 20w T12.

In addition to lumens/sq in, it gives "Equiv T12 wpg" (Lumens/(Lumens/T12 watt * Tank gal). It also includes "Tong's WPG," which comes from (lumens/sq in)/(5.63 lumens sq in/1 WPG). (A standard 55gal aquarium with the average T12 bulb with an efficient reflector is 5.63 lumens/sq in.) The bulbs book has lumens/watt and it starts the conversions, in case you want to change it for a specific bulb.

Tong on AA has raised the point that short (say 24" and less) bulbs have less lumens/watt than the ~48" bulbs we did quick and dirty deviation on to obtain average lumens/watt. He explains this and other points in the fourth page of this thread, offering another interesting reason why wpg breaks on small tanks. Eventually there'll be an updated calc and supporting bulb samples for this.

Wizzard~Of~Ozz has a survey linked in his article, and more entries from APC would be real cool to use as the standard to compare calcs/ideas to. Just saying.

To add two cents to John N.'s posts, screw-in CFs (for incandescent sockets) lose a lot of light due to, as I understand, "restrike." The parallel U-tube style above is theoretically better than the spiral bulb shape. IMO they still get destroyed by "true" CFs with lower total wattage. Here's some pics of various lighting over an 8gal for comparison.

Here is 2*23w spiral screw-in CF inside a painted white hood
2*13w AHSupply Bright kit (their reflector)
(Light in the sump, 23w spiral screw in CF in a desklamp, is the same in both pics. Especially notice how much light hits the bottom of the comparison tank.)

20w T12 NO with bent metal as a reflector.
2*13w AHSupply bright kit.
together.

HTH
 
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