top fin starter tanks - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-26-2011, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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top fin starter tanks

I just bought a 29g Top Fin starter tank: Top Fin® 29 Gallon Starter Kit - Aquariums - Fish - PetSmart
My question is, should I upgrade the bulb right away? There is no mention of what kind of spectrum the bulb is currently in the fixture.

I plan on having a fully planted tank so I want something that is full spectrum. Has anyone used the tubes that come with this starter kit and know if the bulbs are good enough for plants?
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-26-2011, 10:19 PM
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Have you looked around the outside of the bulb sometimes they say on them, otherwise yes go with a new bulb once you plant your tank as typically start stuff the bulb is meant to show off the fish best not grow plants.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-26-2011, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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I looked and didnt see anything.

I figured it was probably a bulb not meant for plants so I think i'll end up replacing it right of the bat anyways.. but I was curious if maybe I might be surprised and it was already a full spectrum tube. :P
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 08:02 AM
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i wouldn't replace it the bulb should be sufficient for plants
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 11:02 AM
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I bought a 29g with fluorescent hood [not the complete kit] from PetSmart, the tube in the fixture is useless, it went straight to recycling. You will not have good plant growth with these tubes.

Presumably the tube is 24 inches like mine [if the tank is 30 inches], so get yourself a Life-Glo tube or a ZooMed Ultra Sun, in 24 inches. Both are excellent planted tank light.

You might find a tube at a hardware store, if they have 24-inch in the "daylight" types made by Phillips, Sylvania or GE. Look for a tube with a 6500K rating; these are usually referred to as daylight something or other. Phillips calls theirs "Alto Daylight Deluxe".

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up with this:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...:referralID=NA

any good? Theres no K rating on there but it does say for plant growth.

The only thing they had was Aqueon or coralife bulbs. I guess I shouldve gone to home depot >.<

Last edited by Jbrofish8; 08-27-2011 at 12:19 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 01:17 PM
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That Aqeon is probably the same or similar to what came in the kit. Topfin is the store brand, but manufactured by other companies. My guess is that it is Aqueon since they carry a lot from them, though I guess it could be Marineland or some other company. Aqueon and Coralife are the same company as well (subsidiaries of Central Garden and Pet), Coralife may be 'higher end', but they may be the same as well. I have had a Coralife bulb in the past and it was good.

I tried that Aqueon in 18" length, it was very dim. I don't know if they are all like that or if I had a defective one. Returned it and bought (at Petco) a ZooMed mentioned by Byron, which is much better. Mine is the FloraSun, which does have a slight purple tint, so if you don't like that go with the fuller spectrum.

The best T8 bulb I've had was GE. I think its called Plant and Aquarium, though probably the same as a general 6500K or so bulb you could get at the hardware store, nice bright white light and great plant growth as well.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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The orginal bulb was a marineland.

So I need to get a different bulb? The bulb I just got does seem a little brighter to me, as well as a little more purple
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 02:03 PM
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The Aqueon I had may have been defective.

If its nice and bright, keep it. The purple tint shows that it has blue and red light, which the plants need, so it should be good for plant growth.

Some people don't like the purple tint (I don't mind it myself) so they prefer a broader spectrum bulb, which will include yellow and green light to give a whiter overall appearance.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-27-2011, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbrofish8 View Post
I ended up with this:

Aqueon® Floramax T8 Fluorescent Lamp - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart

any good? Theres no K rating on there but it does say for plant growth.

The only thing they had was Aqueon or coralife bulbs. I guess I shouldve gone to home depot >.<
Not much data on the website, but I would guess this is not much better than what came with my fixture, which was an Aqueon. It is about half the intensity of the tubes I mentioned earlier.

Petsmart carry Hagen Life-Glo tubes in Canada, probably do in US too. Might be a bit more expensive, but it is excellent light. Tubes need replacing every 12-18 months too.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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