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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have a 20 gallon high tank that I would like to upgrade the lighting on. Right now I just have a dinky 15w fluorescent light that came with the tank; the only plants I have right now are a couple of scraggly java fern clinging to life, and my hornwort couldn't even survive in there. So I want to buy a compact fluorescent fixture but Im confused about how much K to have and whether daylight or dual is better.

I like the single satellite cf fixture foster and smith sells, it can take either a sunpaq dual daylight 6700K/1000K, or a smartpaq daylight 10000K/460 nm. I'm not totally sure what all those numbers mean, is 6700 or 10000 better for growing plants? is the nm important? Can anyone point me in the right direction? I originally purchased this tank to grow plants and if I"m going to spend 70+ dollars on a light I want to get the right kind.

Thanks

Heres the link that shows the light: Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures
 

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what you really need to be looking at is Watts Per Gal (WPG) the K rating is second..... on that fixture you are looking at 65 watts for a 20 gal tank giving you 3.2 WPG now the K rating come into play with the depth of the tank.... meaning britghness of the bulb the higher the K rating the more intense the light is on the color specture. which will get you in reds or green a bunch tech stuff that you can research on your own and learn... to answer you question a 65watt 6700K bulb will work very will on a 20gal long tanked tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your advice, thats very helpful;
on the same note I have heard that you can use an incandescent hood and screw cf bulbs into it, you get the same wattage but not as expensive. Does anyone have an experience with this? Does it work, can an incandescent hood handle cf wattages and heat? I'm on a budget and always looking for a good deal, but haven't had a lot of luck with diy projects.

Thanks!
 

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Yes the CF bulbs that you can buy at the store work if you can find one that fits in the hood. You can DIY a hood and use them also, but a draw back is that they will not give you an even coverage of light. Also they run hotter that incan. bulbs, so watch that for heating the tank up and melting the housing.
 
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