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Light for a 10 gallon plant tank....

Greg D Pillar wrote:

>I have a question on the lighting for a 10 gallon plant tank.  I recently
>set up this tank about 4 weeks ago.  I have had success with my plants,
>the only plant not doing well is one green foxtail, which i know needs
>lots of light.  However, with my one 15 watt 10,000k bulb I have troubles
>with it heating the water a little and raising the temp above the safe
>zone.  Now i have heard of some people using 2 or 3 15 watt bulbs on a ten
>gallon.  Isn't this too much light?  Is my 1 15 watt too little.  I know
>you want about 1-2 watts per gallon, do i have to buy a twin tube light
>for my 10 gallon, or is there another way i can get more light in the
>tank without buying a brand new hood?  Do I really need more light?  My
>nutrients and CO2 levels are great, (I have a yeast reactor).  Any
>comments on this would be appreciated.

1-2w/g is at the low end of acceptable lighting in a planted tank, and a
10,000K bulb is not really appropriate for plants either.  It is meant for
use in reef tanks.  That said, a 10G tank is a very small tank.  It is
perfectly possible to have a very attractive little tank with a single 15W
bulb, but you need to choose plants that do well in lower amounts of light.
 Foxtail is not one of them.  

The flip side is that BECAUSE it's a small tank, you will be happier in the
long run with slower growing plants.  Foxtail under GOOD conditions for
growth would literally fill your tank in a week!!!  Stick to slow growing
plants like Anubias, Java ferns, Crypts and the like and the tank will be
more stable and the plants will have enough light for their needs.  If you
need "nutrient sponge" plants, add some Salvinia or Azolla on the surface.
This is close enough to the top of the tank to get plenty of light, and you
can manage nutrients simply by scooping the excess plants off the top of
the tank regularly.

This is how we manage out small (10g) tank in the school project, and they
do very well indeed on 15W of light.