11-03-2008, 10:22 PM
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Some fixtures will run T8 and T5, some won't. Have to look up the specifics for the fixture to know if it will. I actually run a T12, 2 bulbs over two 10 gallon tanks and it is a lot of light for them. A dual T12 might do it. It doesn't make any difference what type of flourescent lighting. T12, T10, T8, T5 or even screw in compact flourescents. They will all grow plants as long as you have enough wattage, high enough lumens and the right Kelvin rating. The only real difference is the size of the fixture and the number of bulbs to get the same wattage and lumens. That and the cost for both the fixture and the bulbs.
As for DIY CO2, my total cost to run it on two 10 gallon tanks for 1 year was $57. This included sugar and yeast. I changed one bottle out on each tank every 2 weeks without much of a problem. I have yet to find a pressurized system that costs under $250 for the entire setup and that is up front. Well for any I would buy anyway. If you have a few bucks and want to inject CO2, DIY works just fine. Even I can afford $4-5 bucks a month and I am broke the day after I get paid.