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Old 08-31-2012, 10:44 PM   #1 
Badjer
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Lightbulb Is my lighting adequate?

So I just redid my divided 20 gallon. I got a stand for it as it was too close to the window and algae was taking over and killing off my plants! I also got some more pieces of driftwood, got my lights on a timer, and ordered some new plants from Planted Aquariums Central. My plants came in and I got them all in the tank and it looks GREAT! Which makes me really, really want to keep them alive, despite my black thumb! I have root tabs buried for the rooting plants, and I also have SeaChem Flourish fertilizer (if someone could give me a good dosage schedule for this, I would really appreciate it!). Now I'm just concerned that my lighting isn't good enough. I'm not exactly sure what type bulb I have, as it was just the original bulb that came with my hood. On the back it says it's a 30" fluorescent aquarium reflector that's 120 volts, 20 watts, and 60 hz. It's set to be on from 5 PM to 11 PM as these are the hours I'm home during the fall and can enjoy my tank. Do I need a new bulb? Should I have the light on longer? My plants are as follows: Green Tiger Lotus, Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis, Anubias Barteri 'coffeefolia', Amazon Swords, flame moss, Brazilian Pennywort, Small Swords, Java Fern, Marimo moss balls, Anubias Afzelii, and some sort of anubias that I'm not exactly sure of the species.

Sorry for the block of text, but any help from some knowledgeable plant people would be much appreciated!
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:02 PM   #2 
MSG
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Most light fixtures don't come with lights that plants can see. You need to look at the fixture and see if you can find the K rating. If not, your plants won't flourish. They'll live for a bit and start to decay from nutrient deficiencies.

Having a sufficient light source will enable the plants to process their food.

Post a picture of your reflector hood and a overall view of how your tank is setup and it'll make it easier for people to give you more accurate answers.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #3 
kfryman
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All you need to do is get a new bulb that is rated from 6500-7500k. There is no need for a new fixture, it will just be a low light tank, which is perfectly fine, and I find easier to manage.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:26 AM   #4 
Pixielator
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What does "k" mean? I'm going to be getting plants for my tanks soon, so I'm curious about this too.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:08 AM   #5 
Hallyx
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The color temperature of a bulb is measured in Kelvins. 2500K is the yellowish tint you'll find in incandescent bulbs.

5000K to 7500K approximates tropical mid-day sun. 6500K bulbs are most common.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:16 AM   #6 
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The color temperature of a bulb is measured in Kelvins. 2500K is the yellowish tint you'll find in incandescent bulbs.

5000K to 7500K approximates tropical mid-day sun. 6500K bulbs are most common.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #7 
Badjer
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The kelvin rating for this bulb isn't listed. Thankfully mom's on board with project "keep the plants alive" and said she'll pick up a suitable bulb for me next time she's out! Thanks for all the help!
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