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I really have to jump in and say that although the power compact laser beans may provide more light, the normal flourescents will provide more choices and greater quality of light.

A Power Compact bulb, at least not yet, can't beat the quality and beauty of lighting of a normal flourescent. The Zoomed Ultrasun (CRI 98!) and Florasuns in a 2:1 ratio will bring out the colors of plants and fish best.

Power compacts are strong, but rather harsh. I use them but don't think the lighting quality, at least to my eyes, is all that great.

Carlos
 

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Raul,

6x25w is fine for your 58g aquarium. Actually, you might even find it easier to grow some of those plants since the lighting won't be as intense as with the power compacts.

I would just use the high CRI Zoomed Ultrasun bulbs (4) and intersperse them with a couple of the pink Zoomed Florasuns to pop out the red coloration out of the plants and fish.

Florasuns and Tritons are very similar in appearance to each other, but I think I actually prefer the Florasuns. Plus, the Florasuns are less expensive.

Space the bulbs out as much as you can on your canopy. The more, the better, but there isn't a set rule on placing a bulb X inches away from another as long as they all fit.

Carlos
 

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Well, less lighting within reason.

Most hobbyists who invest in pressurized CO2, high lighting, and the works are usually using MUCH more lighting than what is truly necessary to grow the harder species -- this is a uniquely American phenomenon I feel.

If you check the specifications on several of the top ADA layouts and other Japanese aquaria, they are using far less wpg to create those beautiful aquascapes. Why? They don't care so much about growth rates as much as about plant health and stability. WIth lower lighting levels, the plants are not being "pushed" as hard to grow and are less sensitive to an accidental bottoming out of nutrients if we don't have time or forget or underestimated the amount to fertilize the night before.

Layouts also keep their 'look' for a little longer when lighting isn't so intense, it is easier to turn plants red through nutrient manipulation, etc.

These are some of the things I grew successfully with a single 96w power compact bulb over a 55g (1.75wpg):

Bacopa caroliniana (bright pink, robust)
Hemianthus micranthemoides (very bushy, stems were large)
Ludwigia repens
Hygrophila difformis
Heteranthera zosterifolia (stargrass)
Lobelia cardinalis 'small form'
Anubias barteri var. nana
Limnophila indica
Rotala wallichii

When I ran 2x55w over my 55g (2wpg), I also grew these very well:

Alternanthera reineckii "rosaefolia"
Rotala macrandra
Glossostigma elatinoides (flat carpet!)
Blyxa aubertii
Didiplis diandra

Carlos
 

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I will be using 2wpg of PC lighting over my 55g with an extra 2x36w pair of PC bulbs coming on in the middle of the day. I'll let you know in three months how it goes.

Carlos
 
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