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Thread: 20 gallon tank lighting

  1. #1

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    . I've been lurking for a while, reading a topic here and there. I hope South Africans are welcome ^^

    My problem is this: I recently bought a 20 US gallon tank for the purpose of growing CPs. That's 3'x1'x1'. I can get double fixtures in 2', 3' and 4' that will has the potential wattage of 20, 30 and 35 respectively. Which works out to--since there will be four bulbs--80w, 120w and 140w. I want to grow Venus Flytraps in the tank and, from my meanderings across the forums, I have learned that I need more light than usual to grow good looking VFTs. Therefore 140w would be my best bet. Is this right?

    I have also learned that the fish tank's lid has to go, as it cannot house two fixtures of any length greater than 2'. I decided that 3' at 120w would be enough, unfortunately, it seems the fixtures of that size is not easy to find, which means that I will have to go for 2' (altogether 80w) or 4' (140w).

    The tank is 3' long, therefore the 4' fixtures will exceed it's length by 1/2 a foot on each side. -_-

    Are two 4 footers my best solution? Bare in mind that I live in South Africa and certain product may not be available here.

    Also, the lid, should I build it, will be a basically an upside down wooden box with a glass bottom. This will be balanced on top of the tank. Do you think I should leave it open, or put glass/perspex underneath? Anyone else have a similar design?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    trainspotting's Avatar
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    Dont think I can help you much but...
    I dont know how the humidity is there but I dont think its good.
    If you go for the 4' then youll have to design a way to trap the humidity in, but yes I think the more light the better. A trick for getting as much light as possible on your plants is to wrap your terrarium in reflective material, I us aluminium foil, but aquarium backing works best I'm told.

    Welcome to the forums!

    Chris
    Im a terible speeler, but I are collage stodint.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" -Epicuris

  3. #3
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Welcome to the forums.

    Lately, there's been a lot of talk on lighting issues, so you may want to read recent posts for ideas. The good news is since your tank is only 1' high, you won't have to go through much trouble to get your plants close to the lights!

    In my mind, there's three feasible options:

    1. Keep the lid and place 2 2' fixtures on it (80W). Directly below the lights, there should be enough light for most CPs (even VFTs, with the possible exception of red-colored cultivars). On the sides of the tank (where light is a bit less), you could grow some shade-tolerant species such as D.adelae and certain pings.

    2. Find some 3' long fixtures and put them ontop of the lid. I have a 3' long tank with lid, and this is what I did. (Buy online from Home depot?)

    3. Put 2 Fluorex bulbs (65W each) on the tank. One of these can fit on a 10gal tank, so you can certainly put 2 on yours. (Buy online from home depot?)

    4. Put the 4' fixtures on....I wouldn't recommend this for many reasons, first of which being aesthetics.

    Good luck
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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  4. #4

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    Thank you trainspotting and chloroplast for your responses.
    I have decided to get two 2 foot fixtures for the moment.

    Now for the plants themselves...

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