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What wattage for 2 gallon NPT

551 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  SpookyTooth
I have a 2 gallon aquarium I am going to be setting up as an NPT (natural planted tank) housing red cherry shrimp - I know the most important factor in setting up an NPT is getting the correct lighting.

I understand lumens, kelvin and such but I am at a loss as to what wattage the bulb should be. I have been looking at aquatic plants all day trying to decide which ones I am going to order in the hope that this would help me understand what wattage I need but it unfortunately has not.

I have a 25watt CFL (colour spectrum 6500k) and appropriate lamp that I was going to use but I am concerned that this will be too powerful for a 2 gallon aquarium. I have searched for lower wattages and initially wanted a 15watt CFL but the only 15watt bulbs I can get have to be bought in bulk - and it isn't cheap. I've also spotted 11watt CFL 6500k bulbs but I do not know if these will be powerful enough. I've done research but can't for the life of me get to grips with what wattage I need.

As mentioned I am unsure of the species of plants I'm going to be using in the aquarium but am looking at the following:

Hygrophila Difformis (Water Wisteria)
Echinodorus tenellus (Pygmy Chain Sword)
Willow Moss
Water lettuce
Round pellia

I have a feeling I'll need more species, but the above are just some of the ones I've looked at today and quite like. My head is beginning to hurt. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you.
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I have found with the smaller tanks that watts under 15 is best....too high watts in shallow tanks can sometimes cause hair algae problems....the correct color temp is most important...6500k being ideal....I use the 7.5w 6500k bulb on my smaller tanks...

I usually can find them at walmart lighting section for under $8.00 each, I don't recall the brand-

They have a mini florescent screw in bulbs by Aqua culture-in the aquarium section that is 10w but I have never been able to figure out what the kelvin rating was on it... I have used that one on one of my 2gal NPT's and the plants grow fine, however, it also grow hair algae really well I don't stress over it...I just manually remove it as needed.

The Aqua culture Incandescent 15 watt twin pack-unknown kelvin-they have the clear bulbs and the blue bulbs they call planted tank bulbs....I don't really care for them especially the blue planted tank bulbs......waste of money IMO...

I do have some and use them on occasion but not alone-the clear ones look really yellow and the blue one seem too dark-I have one of each on a second light strip I use over one of my 10gal spawning tanks-but my main light strip has the correct color temp bulbs.

Watts are important and good for a general guideline-but truth be the kelvin that drives the plant growth-photosynthesis.....watts is energy used to run the light bulb....sometimes its best to use the proper watts for what the light strip is graded to use-for safety.....too high watts can blow the light strip and cause hair algae.

With florescent bulbs you also want to change them out every 12 months-the intensity is lost over time and if the light strip also uses a starter-its a good idea to change them when you change the light bulb and they are usually pretty cheap-less than $2.00 for 2-be sure to get the right size based on watts.

The 11w 6500k CFL should be fine for a 2gal NPT

Look forward to pic.....
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