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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
This is my first post and I am so totally confused:rolleyes: I have a 20 gallon long tank that sits in the corner of a brightly lit room. It does get some sunlight, but not as much as the rest of the room. I bought a light at Wallyworld that was made to grow terrestrial plants indoors. It says that it is 7500k and puts out 75 watts. It is in the normal light strip that came with the tank which is sitting on a glass top. I was planning on a DIY CO2 set up.
I guess my question is, will this light be sufficient for "easy" plants? I've been reading quite a few forums and it seems the more I read about lights the less I understand! What is a reasonably priced light set up?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the link to the lights! It does look like a reasonably priced set-up. I just want to do this right. I don't know what kind of light bulb it is that I have right now. It came in a fixture that you hang under your cabinets or shelves so that you can grow house plants. I took the bulb out and put it in my aquarium fixture. Figured if it put out enough light for house plants it may work for the aquarium. Do you think it could?
 

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I have the 30" Freshwater Aqualight T-5 Dual Linear Strip on a 20 gallon long tank and it puts out enough light to grow very demanding plants. You will need to keep on top of your ferts and CO2 if you want to keep the algae away though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the answers but, of course now I have more questions. When you say keep up with your CO2, will a diy system be enough? Thats all I'll be able to do right now. Didn't realize that this would be such an expensive adventure! I know nothing about ferts. Any suggestions? How do you know when to add the fertirlizers? Is it a weekly thing? Thanks again!
 

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There are forums on this website about PPS and EI fertilizing methods so all of your questions can be answered there. A DIY CO2 setup should be fine as long as you stay on top of it, they are nearly impossible to regulate and so are less stable than a pressurized setup. They are also much more maintenance as you may need to remix the bottles every week to two weeks. However in the beginning it will be fine. I saw an interesting recipe on another website(that I can't remember right now) that involved protein powder and you didn't have to completely change out the mixture you just added a little to it every week or so. If you dose fertilizers or even have fish in the tank but don't provide the plants with enough CO2 to synthesize the nutrients then the light and excess nutrients will cause algae to form. It is quite the balancing act as treating one type of algae can make it easier for another type to proliferate. Also keep in mind that some methods of fertilizing can also be stressful to different fish and inverts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What about adding the Sea-chem excel? Would that help along with a DIY
CO2 system? Would that help keep algae down and at the same time help
with the CO2?
 

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Flourish Excel can be used alone or with a DIY CO2 system. It can also be used to keep down algae by overdosing (3x to 5x normal) on a weekly basis.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
eegaads! I'm still confused! So I bought a Coralife T5 series double linear strip. It has a Colormax full spectrum & 6700K plant lamps. Together this is 36 watts. My tank is a 20 long. Is this considered a low light, moderate light, or a high light set-up? :confused: Elsewhere I read that in order to determine watts per gallon you devide the watts by gallon. In that case it would only be 1.8 wpg. What would this be considered?
 

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I have that same light fixture on the same size tank. That is a high light setup and will do best with at least fermented CO2. The watts per gallon rule really only applies to standard fluorescent lamps. T-5 bulbs have a much higher output.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you very much! I have kept fish for about 15 years but I feel like this is all new. I am going with a diy CO2 system and I have the Flourish Exel to supplement. I plan on planting very heavily. Am I off to a good start? Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another question: What type of ferts do you use and when do you start to add ferts in a brand new set-up?
 
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