Originally Posted by aunt kymmie
Byron- what tubes are your preference? You may have told us somewhere in another thread but you know how it is...at our age we're lucky enough to remember what day it is.
Know what you mean Kym, really do.
First thing is full spectrum, or modifications to suit the situation. On my smaller tanks with one tube I always use Life-Glo2 which is 6700K and about the nearest to mid-day sun (which is around 6500K). Colour looks natural, plants respond (my single 25w over the 33g had very good plant growth as you previously remarked). The regular Life-Glo [without the "2"] is more intense but also about $10-$15 more, and as the Life-Glo 2 has worked well i can't see changing.
On tanks with two tubes I use one Life-Glo2 and then one Lightning Rod T6 Super Daylight 11,000K (on the 115g and 90g which are deeper, and blue penetrates water better and is the colour most required by plants to photosynthesis) and one Phillips Daylight Deluxe which is ever so slightly warmer (almost unnoticeable) on the 70g (this tank is shallower, and is being aquascaped as a SE Asian marsh so the warmer hue suits it).
Over the past few months I tried a couple of other tubes. I had a Zoo Med Tropic Sun 5500K mixed with a Lightning Rod 11000K on my 90g and it was good (plants did well, and the higher blue of the 11000K balanced the higher red of the 5500K; you can see this combination in the photos of my (now former) 90g aquarium. On the former 70g (still the one in the photos) i had a Life-Glo 2 and a Phillips. When I reset the 115g a couple of weeks ago and moved the plants and fish of the 90g into it, I settled on a Life-Glo 2 and the Lightning Rod. I intend to go this same mix on the 90g when the lfs gets more Lightning Rod tubes in. The new 70g has a Life-Glo 2 and a Phillips. Photos will be posted of the new tanks when I manage it.
The Life-Glo 2 is the more expensive (in my area stores) but having tried others I see the value. I was also lucky to pick up 9 tubes from the local Petcetera store that is closing at less than 1/3 cost, so I'm set for this tube for three years.
The Zoo Med series is less expensive but from my experience a good tube, and comes in similar varieties to the Hagen -Glo series. I check the spectrum charts and K ratings and have tried them accordingly.