Originally Posted by rexpepper651
sorry ot be off topic kinda but would a Life-Glo 6500k tube work better then using a normal 6500k Phillips tube normally found in local diy stores?
Yes, there is quite a difference, but the significance depends upon the specific situation.
All T8 tubes are not the same. Aside from the spectrum and colour (Kelvin), there can be a difference in intensity (brightness) which is dependent upon how the tube is made. For a very simple example, the T8 tubes were developed as more efficient versions of the original T12 tubes. A GE, Phillips or Sylvania T8 Daylight 6500K produces more light intensity and with less energy consumption than a T12 of the same type/manufacturer. But even within T8's there are considerable variances according to the way the tube is made.
I use GE and Phillips T8 48-inch tubes on my larger tanks than have dual tubes. There is sufficient light over these tanks that I do not notice much of a difference. For years I used only Sylvania, then Phillips [Home Depot changed from carrying Sylvania to Phillips]. For the past 4 years I have used one Life-Glo and one Phillips or GE over each tank. [I took advantage of a store closing to buy up several Life-Glo tubes at 1/4 cost. When these are gone I will go with just GE and/or Phillips on these tanks.] The slight increase in intensity with the Life-Glo caused brush algae to increase, so I had to cut back the duration to balance; I ended up going from 11 down to 8 hours to do this, so the additional intensity of one Life-Glo was fairly significant.
I recently experimented on my 29g single tube tank. The Life-Glo tube became exhausted after 1.5 years, so to replace it I bought a GE. The plants began dying off. I left this for 3 months before replacing the GE with another Life-Glo. I could see a considerable difference in brightness, and obviously the plants did too, as they began to rebound, growing new leaves from the roots. Nothing else had changed in this tank during all this time.