Light For Small "cube"

Crafty Cichlid

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I have a 10.5 x 10.5 x 11.5 inch tank. The L x W is 10.5

It's planted, and the light I have is pretty good for an off name-brand light with no lumen/kelvin rating.

I'm trying to get monte carlo to grow, and it's doing alright, but there isn't a lot of pop. I just got a nicrew for my 30g, and love the light it provides, however there isn't one that's really small enough for my little tank.

I'd like to be able to signal the International Space Station with my light, right now I'm at about Sputnick level - an exciting potato that can kinda do the trick, but is really just the precursor to something better.

I don't use gaseous CO2, just API CO2 booster liquid, (excel killed my lungs, it's too hard to figure out dosage for a small tank, in a small room.) I also have light coming in from a nearby window, and now that we're getting more hours of daylight, I'm experiencing more algae - the snail is pleased with this development, but it's a conversation for another thread.

Thoughts? Maybe this: - I have a hard time trusting Amazon, without referral, because it's really just a craps shoot most of the time.
 

DutchAquarium

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The reason the monte carlo isn't popping is the lack of co2 and ferts. co2 booster isn't at all the same as actual co2. Co2 is also going to help check your algae. However, lacking one of the 3 main principles of a planted aquarium, lighting, ferts, co2 will give you problems if you have excess. While you can get away with a low tech, very high light and little co2 will give you algae. However, in corespondance with your question, i only use twin star lights now. they give you the best color and health for plants. they are a bit expensive but worth it. However, i wouldn't go brighter in your aquarium without first fixing your imbalances. Another thing to combat algae is to have a siesta period in the middle of the day. 4 hours on and another 4 hours is very beneficial since algae doesn't work as fast as do plants, but you won't have complete effects with another limiting factor.
 
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Crafty Cichlid

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How much do you think a quick and dirty (but effective) CO2 system would be for a tiny tank?

What's a good light timer? My option would pretty much just be leave it off while I'm at work from 6am-4pm, and turn it on when I get home for a few hours until I go to bed, or the timer.
 
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Crafty Cichlid

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Also, @DutchAquarium I'm glad you answered, because I'm guessing you do dutch aquascape. I'm interested in that but not sure where to start, what plants to use, equipment, and how arrangement would qualify as Dutch vs natural. Any insight would be appreciated, if that's the reference.
 

DutchAquarium

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You could always do a diy co2 system, in my experience though these seem to be unreliable. I don't know what your budget is but you can get a complete co2 system for around $150 if you buy everything separetly. This includes solenoid, tank, regulator, and all the in aquarium devices. I currently have 10 gallon tanks and you only need to fill them up every 4 months for usually around $8.00 and any beer store. As for the aquascape, It's easier to do these with a bigger aquarium. I do a lot of water based clay sculpting and normally i will do a small model of what i want the end result to be. I think the hardest is getting a dutch aquascape to not have too many spots that take your attention way from main view point. this isn't to say though that you can't have mulitple attention getters.
 
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