12-22-2011, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by shmish
I agree (having been advised by Byron in the past!). The one thing I'll say is that finding a T8 daylight bulb from places like Home Depot for your tank will be difficult. I'm not sure anyone actually makes them in 18" lengths. I couldn't find any in stores or on manufacturer's sites. The Life-Glo is the Hagen bulb that you want.
Hagen also makes a smaller series of bulbs (T5 HO), which allows you to mount two small bulbs instead of one larger one. In this case you could combine a Life-Glo with a Power-Glo. I don't know if there is much benefit to this, depending on what you have in your aquarium, but you might like a slightly different colour of light. I've never used the T5 HO bulbs before, so I can't comment on price and reliability.
T5 is a different type of tube than T8 and will not fit T8 fixtures. T5 is also more intense light. It was actually designed initially for marine reef tanks that need bright light, to provide intense light with fewer tubes than the T8 would require. Over planted tanks this can be very bright, and cause problems. I have tried T5 on my larger tanks and went back to T8 as more suitable for natural planted systems.