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Hi all -
Hopefully I am putting this in the right place. I've been around the site for a little while on and off, I'm just starting up my tank for my D. auratus again. I have only been keeping them for about a year now, but anyway here's the question..

What is considered "high light"? I've been in the saltwater hobby for many years (I work at the New England Aquarium and am graduating BU in marine science this year) so I understand the lighting requirements of corals, but not as well for plants since I'm just getting started with this.

I have a 20H and right now just have one 27w 6500k Ecosmart CFL from Home Depot in those simple aluminum reflectors over it (I have another but only one is active over the tank now). I'm guessing this puts out 1000-2000 lumens based on other CFLs, and I would feel uncomfortable growing anything but low light corals under it, but what does this equate to in terms of vivarium lighting? I haven't been able to find anything about the lumen "parameters" of high/med/low light. Would two of these over the tank be too much for most ferns? Too little for them? Thanks in advance, I would love to properly provide for my critters!

Tyler

PS - I am currently designing with the carpenter/glass worker here at BU a big big tank which I will be putting much more light over...I'm thinking 4' square base, 6' tall, but that's for another thread.
 

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i say 2x27 (54 total) watt cfl would work good. Thats actually exactly what i have over my 20 gallon. Are you talking spiral cfl's or the quad bulbs? i have two quads over my 20. In my opinion i would call it med/high light. I'm getting pretty good growth without frying anything. Just make absolute sure that the bulbs are not overheating. In my fixture i have a 30cfm cooling fan running full time, and the bulbs are still a tad warm.
 

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When Im using spiral compact flourescents or T-5s I shoot for between 2 or 3 watts per gallon. The upper areas will be "high light" with a nice gradient for shade loving plants in the lower levels, especially in a hex or vert
 
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