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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've a 33 gal (approx) tank perpendicular to north-west facing double balcony doors, therefore lots of afternoon sun although it's winter so days are short.

These doors have some kind of coating on them that I presume is anti-glare or heat reflective?

1) Will this coating adversely affect the quality of light my NPT receives?

My confusion lies in figuring out how much artificial light to put on a timer to supplement the sunshine. I have two lamps as choices:
-a T5 with 3 x 21w tubes (one blue- is this actinic and so for corals?!) giving me nearly 2 wpg I believe
or
- a 2 x 18w CF lamp = roughly 1wpg?

or of course put both on the tank = 3watts per gal

...but I've read that compact fluorescent bulbs are more powerful than wattage suggests

ouch my head is starting to hurt again ;-)

2) Is 3wpg too much considering sunny aspect/ tinted windows or just have 2wpg with the T5s?

3) How long should they be on for in these conditions as I know its 8 - 10 hrs but where does natural light factor in?

and

4) How do forum members enjoy their NPT on long winter nights as I hardly get to see mine in actual daylight until the weekends due to work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ cs_gardener
thank you for your informative response, the LFS replaced the actinic so I now have 3, 10 000 kelvin, bulbs. Your sneak peak into timing schedule is exactly the kind of straight forward advice a newbie like myself requires. Plus it's interesting to read how the pros do even the basic things!

@skuser
I'm sorry but I don't know what a 'low-E' is and therefore how to tell if it is one. The previous owners put on a film on the outside of the doors and it is quite reflective so I presume it was an attempt to keep the unit cool as we get a lot of sun in summer - but it's not that effective because we had to install blinds as well to combat the glare.

'Fishies getting sunburn', never thought of it that way- how refreshing:) I have to be mindful of bright light as I have two clown loaches that need their hidie holes- either that or I get them caps, sunnies and some suncream!:)

Thank you
 
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