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Old Yesterday, 08:32 AM   #1 
MichelleA
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Help me upgrade my lighting in a 10g

So rather than having some Anarchis like I thought I actually have a bunch of Mayaca fluviatilis. Which I have learned requires high lighting and must be why its yellowing. I really just love this plant and want to keep it so I am going to checking out some better lighting today and I was wondering what I should be aiming for? I currently have a regular top fin black top that has two spots for bulbs but says it can only hold 13 watts max. Im using two 10 watt 5100k clfs.

I read high lighting would be something like 5 watts per gallon? Well that would be something like two 25 watts or a 50 watt bulb? Is it alright to buy those silver looking clip on things and set it on top of a screen or is that too much for the screen? Is it going to burn the screen or anything? Or should I get a plastic or glass sliding top? Or should I really be using the clips so it doesnt actually touch whatever I put on top of my tank?
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Old Yesterday, 08:49 AM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Watts per gallon is a long gone myth much the same as the one inch of fish per gallon "rule".

There's a lot more that goes into lighting than just the bulb, there are three main components: the kelvin temperature, the height of the tank, and how well the light is reflected into the tank. That whole thing bundled into one is known as Parabolic Aluminized Reactor rating or PAR rating. They use it for car headlights too ^_^

So for you, it'd be easy enough to find 6,500K or 6,700K CFLs at Walmart and replace them in your hood. The 13 watts max is for each side, not combined so you can do the 9 watt ones they have in the fish section if you wanted or there are other watts if you go to the actual light bulb section in hardware. Home Depot and Lowes never had bulbs above 5,500K so I wouldn't bother with them.

Something else you can do is make sure that the plastic between the light and the water is always nice and clean so the light can penetrate well, and then you can even use aluminum foil in the back of the bulbs to reflect the light into the water better. Lastly, you can paint the back of the tank black or put some sort of background on it so the light is reflected back into the tank rather than just disperses out the side/back.
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Old Yesterday, 08:53 AM   #3 
Stone
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You can use higher watt cfl's in the old screw in bulb hoods, the 13 watt is about the old style bulbs the incandescent ones, they run much hotter than cfls do, I have a 26 watt and a 13 watt in most of my, some 2x 26 watts cfl's and have had it this way for years, but if you want to get fixtures you can get the cheapy clam on type desk lamps from walmart, or the cheapy silver ones from lowes/homedepot
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Old Yesterday, 09:11 AM   #4 
MichelleA
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Oh wow lol I am glad I asked before I went shopping! I really dont want the clippy things or to change my top as I just feel those silvery holder things would be unsightly on top of my tank.
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Old Yesterday, 11:46 AM   #5 
MichelleA
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Well I could find 9 watt 5500k and 20 watt 6500k cfls at walmart so i got two 20 watts get home and realize the hood is a 25 watt per bulb max not a 13 watt max. Perfect! However, I had to take the metal reflectors off the hood above the lights and the plastic pieces that covered around them to fit the clfs. Am i going to catch my house on fire or melt my hood!? I also got a few new plants from my LFS and a peice of Malaysian Drift Wood. Couldnt help myself.... : /
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 AM   #6 
lilnaugrim
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If you can, where the metal was, replace it with Aluminum foil so you can still direct the light into the tank, otherwise it won't help anything. Which kind of CFL's did you get? The spiral or straighter ones?
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Old Yesterday, 12:01 PM   #7 
MichelleA
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They only had spirals with high daylight ratings all the rest were soft white. Please dont tell me that was a mistake lol
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Old Yesterday, 12:03 PM   #8 
lilnaugrim
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Oh no no! It's fine! I just was wondering is all!
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Old Yesterday, 12:14 PM   #9 
MichelleA
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Ok Tin foil done. I really notice the difference in lighting. Its so much more brighter. Before i felt like my floaters were blocking out all the light. The water i boiled my driftwood in.... BLACK as black can be. Hopefully i boiled it all out! Now time to rescape. SOO EXCITED : D
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Old Yesterday, 04:05 PM   #10 
Flint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
The 13 watts max is for each side, not combined so you can do the 9 watt ones they have in the fish section if you wanted or there are other watts if you go to the actual light bulb section in hardware.
De'Anna, the bulbs in the fish section at walmart (the flourescents, not the incandescent "plant lights" they sell in almost an identical box) are actually 13 watts and it's a 15 watt max on each side of the hood. My tank is just under a year old now (Walmart AquaCulture Kit purchased in late October of last year) and I bought the bulbs for it at the beginning of this year. Just so you're updated.
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