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Old 01-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #11 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I have taken all the hoods off my tanks so that I can get two light strip over them to get better light penetration to the plants without the light having to go through the plastic part of the hood and it gets the light strip a tiny bit closer to the plants too....
I cut a yard stick down to size to make slats for the light strips to sit on and this has worked well for me...the slats are even strong enough to hold a fat cat my cats like to sleep on top of my tank lights...laffs.....

The top of the tanks are mostly enclosed too with the two light strips- so I don't have fish jumping out problems-but still with enough of an opening that bugs can fly in and hit the water for fish food in the warmer months when I have the house opened.
You do get more evaporation with open tops but you get great plant growth with the added light strips.

My photoperiod is 12h-you may want to increase to at least 10h and go from that point....

When looking for bulbs the kelvin is more important than the watts-for plants you want bulbs in the 6500-6700k range to give the plants the red/blue spectrum they need for photosynthesis
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