best 30" T5 (non-HO) lamp for plants - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-09-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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best 30" T5 (non-HO) lamp for plants

I am currently using a Coralife 30" T5 dual lamp fixture for my tank.

It comes with 2 T5 18W tubes. one is their 6700k lamp, targeted for plants, and the other one is their "colormax" lamp, meant for enhancing the colors within the tank.

While I like the sleek profile of the lamp, and the silent operation (no fans), I am not a huge fan of the color it emits, particularly the "colormax" tube it comes with.

Does anyone have recommendations on what other tubes i can use in its place, that are good for plants? I know I can get a number of 6500k - 7000k lamps from the hardware store and even Walmart. I'm just wondering if there are any general consensus as to which ones are the best to get for plants.

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-09-2011, 03:52 PM
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Well, according to the studies, 6500k is best. I don't think there's a noticable difference between brands..

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-09-2011, 04:10 PM
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Actually redchigh, there can be a difference. The spectrum can be different while still resulting in a colour of 6500K. Which is why I always suggest Phillips and Sylvania and GE. Hagen's Life-Glo 2 is also good, though considerably more expensive. And ZooMed's Ultra Sun. Except for the GE, I have over the years used all these [and I have the GE CF bulbs at 6500K wehich are equal, so presumably their tubes would be too].

I was going to respond to this, then noticed it requires T5, and I've no idea what is available in T5 except for the HO which I have tried and found too bright. The T5 NO seems not easy to come by, at least around here. But I would assume a 6500K T5 NO by one of the afore-mentioned manufacturers should work.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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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 #4 of 4 Old 02-09-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. It sounds like my main challenge is to find a T5 NO at 30" !

Didn't realize I was painting myself into a corner limiting my bulb choices when I went with the Coralife. bad move to begin with :(

I'll go to the hardware store and see what I can find
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