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Lighting quandary - Experts?

Posted By: SusanA <susanccr@hotmail.com>
Date: Sunday, 2 March 2003, at 3:07 p.m.

I'm in a quandary about my tank lighting. I have a 55g tank with two AquaClear 301 powerheads on my UGF plus a Marineland HOB (with two biowheels) for mechanical (floss and pads) and chemical (coral gravel in one basket, and some ceramic doughnuts in the other) filtration. The tank has lots of water movement. I have an anubias nana, some java fern and a couple of crypts in my tank. They seem to be doing fine. I have new leaves everywhere and the java fern is sending off new sprouts. I have UGF and large loaches who dig, so I won't be going to a fully planted tank (in this tank anyway). I don't fertilize - the fish take care of that - although I would if necessary.

So here's my quandary. I originally bought a Hagen Life-Glo bulb at Gareth and Leadfoot's recommendation to help get rid of diatoms. I installed it and it workedtan - the brown gunk went away. I got an explosion of green algae, so as an experiment I took it off and put the original 48" regular flourescent back. Now my algae is under control and the brown gunk hasn't returned.

The loaches in particular seem to prefer the less intense light, especially since I don't have a planted tank, so is there any benefit to putting the Life-Glo back on? It's 5500k, which is nice although maybe a tad yellow to my eye after the bluer flourescent. It's got an internal reflector so it's very bright. I've been thinking about replacing some of the plastic plants at the back with anachris, but don't know if it would just break apart in the current or if there's a better plant I can use for vertical height.

Thoughts?
 

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