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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 45G tank equipped with 260W Compact Fluorescent (4x65W). My tank height is 15", and the light is above the water surface around 1". The lighting system lets me use either 1 pair (2 bulbs) or both 2 pairs (all 4 bulbs). I also have a pressurized CO2 tank running at 2 bps controlled with electronic selenoid.

My tank is newly set up. I am growing glosso and blyxa japonica. I know that glosso would require a lot light to keep it grow horizontally.

I need your advice to "program" my lighting system. To me, I have 2 options:

1) Run all 4 bulbs simultaneously for a photoperiod of 8 hours (Example: 8am - 4pm). That would yield 100% intensity of light for 8 hours.

2) Run each pair of bulbs for 5 hours with 2 hours of "peak" time in the middle (Example: 1st pair: 8am - 1pm ; 2nd pair: 11am - 4pm). This would also yield 8 hours of photoperiod. First 3 hours would have 50% light intensity, middle 2 hours would have 100%, and last 3 hours would have 50%.

I am a beginner to the planted tank, so I have no experience. Of course, my "program" of lighting above would not be perfect. I hence need your advice. Please feel free to share your thoughts. I really appreciate that.
 

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Myself and lots of others are using a photoperiod similar to your option 2. It's commonly referred to as a noon burst.
 

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Depending on reflector efficiency you could have WAY too much light on a 15 in. high tank. Since it is newly setup I personally would recommend using only one pair of bulbs for now. Consider adding a noon burst after the tank is more mature and plants are filling in. Otherwise algae woes are sure to occur.

I know that glosso would require a lot light to keep it grow horizontally.
You will have enough light to grow most any plant. I must disagree that Glosso is a high light plant. It's particularly sensitive to shading by other plants which probably accounts for many thinking this. IME repeated low haircuts are needed to make it grow horizontally. Also when planting, leave only 2 leaves above the substrate.

Also, since you state you are new to planted tanks having a CO2 drop checker might help you to balance light/CO2. Cheap glass ADA knockoffs can be had on ebay for cheap (like below).
http://cgi.ebay.com/Co2-Drop-Checke...photoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

Welcome to the hobby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used to turn on all four bulbs for 8 hours a day. Now, since I noticed the apperance of some green algae, I reduced the photoperiod to 6 with 1 hour of break in the middle. Specifically, lights are turned on 3 hours first, off for 1 hour, then on for another 3. Do you think that this method would still provide enough light for the plants and offset the growth of algae?
 
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