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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always been on the el cheapo side of doing things, so this is the reason for doing this test.

I have got a 65watt PC light and a nice reflector on one of my 20 gal tanks that was way more than what I wanted to pay for. lol

On my other tanks I had 2 shop reflector with 2 26 watt daylight bulbs cost was about 20 bucks for the whole setup.

I noticed that the el cheapo lighting was about as good as the expensive setup. But I wanted to see if I can make it even better for still be cheaper. In one of my Physics class there was a guy that works in the universities greenhouse, and asked him what lighting did they use on there more difficult plants. He said they use Phillips Plant lights, hmmmmmmm that makes since.

So the test involves 3 random sword plant,(dont realy know what kind it is I got them from petsmart),one 65 watt pc 6700k light,one 75watt incandescent bulb in cheap reflector,and 2 26 wat cfl 5100k bulbs.All plants were identical size all tanks had same parameters Co2 and ferts.

Results: After 2 weeks the cfl and the PC lighting had almost identical results with the pc lighting a little ahead. The plants grew about 2inches and reached midway to the top of the 20 gal Aquarium.

The 75 watt incandescent Phillips Plant Bulb whipped both the cfl and the PC put together. The plants grew to the top of the water and are starting to rise out of the tank.

So in short I will never buy the expensive lighting again.

Would someone else please do the same test so that I can confirm my findings??

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4,116 Posts

Back in 1983 I grew about 6-8 species of plants in a 12 or so gallon tank. Plants that I remember were Ceratopteris, Fontinalis (never grew, but never died either) , Crypt affinnis, Bacopa caroliniana, Cabomba and a few other stems, don't remember which ones.

The tank was pretty short - about 13 inches of water column - and about 2 ft. long. No special substrate, just inert sand. No CO2, noone had heard about it. No filter. There was very little water flow from an airstone and a weak pump. No fertilizers. The tank had a heater, haha!

The tank was covered with a glass top. On the glass I had two 25 watt incadescent light bulbs mounted inside "reflectors" made of shiny bread pans, for baking bread. The heat was so much that the "reflectors" had to be propeed 45 degrees in the back so the heat can escape:

Bulbs were on about 10 hours a day. 1/5 of the water was changed once a week. Fish where fed very carefully so no food fell on the bottom.

Why is that interesting? Simple - every single week I collected about 6-8 oz of clippings. Try to collect that amount of clippings from a 10 gallon tank! Especially non-CO2! How and why I had these plants growing like that I can never explain. Magic communist times water maybe.

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