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Glass covers/reflectors

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.