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Some cover is needed unless you are using waterproff end caps,and even
then is desirable- makes cleaning the tubes easier. I don't use glass
on plant tanks w/NO fluorescents, substitute thin plastics for higher
transmission and replace them periodically.
Reflectors are highly desirable, can/does increase light significantly.
The Triton liners are good but $$$. Machine-polished aluminum, mirrored
Mylar films, flat white enamel, etc are DIY options. Exact amount of
increase is too dependant on setup to be predictable, but something is
better than nothing.