04-15-2012, 11:47 AM
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Yes and no. Fluorescent tubes come in various widths such as T12, T8 and T5; the "T" refers to the diameter in 8ths of an inch, so a T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch, a T12 is 12/8, and a T5 is 5/8. I suspect your fixture is T8, the "standard," and this will be printed on one end of the existing tube so you can check. T8 tubes come in specific wattages for the tube length. However, manufacturers are now making more energy-efficient tubes, and these use less energy to produce the same or sometimes more intense light. And watts is simply the measurement of the energy used by a tube; it has no direct relevance to the intensity.
But at this point, it is possible to buy a better tube, one that produces better light which can be with reference to the spectrum and/or intensity, and this is important. The watts really have no bearing on this, so we need to consider other factors.
I happen to have a 29g with an Aqueon hood, and assuming the tubes that came with mine is what came with yours, it is not worth much. I tossed mine into the recycling bin. You can buy good tubes for this fixture. You have a 24-inch tube [mine is this length] so there are several options. A T8 in 24 inches is what you want, and within this range you want a tube with a good spectrum. A kelvin (which is the measurement of the colour temperature of light) around 6500K is ideal both for plants and a natural rendition of fish and plant colours.
If you want to spend more, the best tube is the Hagen Life-Glo which is 6700K. Also good and slightly less expensive is the ZooMed Ultra Sun with 6700K. The CarribSea ColourMax tube is probably OK too, it is around the same price I believe. Aside from these, you can also use much less expensive tubes that you can buy in hardware-type stores. GE, Sylvania and Phillips all make them, they are called some sort of "daylight" and have a Kelvin of 6500K. It is the Kelvin that you must look for, whatever the tube may be named.
I have a Life-Glo in my 29g fixture, but any of the others named above will work well. Hope this helps. If you have further questions, ask away.