Is this a good light for a planted tank?
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Is this a good light for a planted tank?

This is a discussion on Is this a good light for a planted tank? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I recently bought a used 40gal tank (I couldn't afford a brand new one), and it came with a light. I've tried researching the ...

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Is this a good light for a planted tank?
Old 10-10-2012, 01:59 AM   #1
 
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Is this a good light for a planted tank?

I recently bought a used 40gal tank (I couldn't afford a brand new one), and it came with a light. I've tried researching the lightbulb but I'm having difficulty figuring out just exactly what it is, and if it's okay for my tank. It says "Zoo Med, Reef Sun, 50/50, F17T8". Other than that I have no idea. I'm planning on a low-light/low-tech planted tank, with no Co2 injections, in a fluorite substrate. Is this a good light to use?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
 
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not the best for a planted tank, as the name suggests, it is intended for saltwater tanks, the 50/50 means half 6500K and half single wavelength (420nm), the light it gives off will have a blueish hue

a better balanced light would be better, Zoo Med's Ultrasun is full 6500K, there are others
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:28 AM   #3
 
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The hood on my tank will only fit a 24" light. The only light in my LFS that is that length (Zoo Med Flora Sun) has only 18 watts. This is really low for my 40 gallon, but my tank is in a room that can get a decent amount of sunlight if I open the curtains. Will this be enough light for a low light tank? I absolutely cannot afford a longer hood for my tank.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
The hood on my tank will only fit a 24" light. The only light in my LFS that is that length (Zoo Med Flora Sun) has only 18 watts. This is really low for my 40 gallon, but my tank is in a room that can get a decent amount of sunlight if I open the curtains. Will this be enough light for a low light tank? I absolutely cannot afford a longer hood for my tank.
The "watts" is meaningless, as only T8 (or T12) tubes will fit the fixture and they will all be roughly the same wattage as that is how they are made. We look for a good spectrum tube, and that suffices.

The UltraSun that Quantum mentioned is a good tube; another identical is the Hagen Life-Glo with 6700K. These are m ore expensive though, and if you want you can go to a hardware-type store and buy "daylight" tubes having a 6500K that will be just as good for a fraction of the cost. Take your existing tube with you just to ensure you buy the correct length, that is all that matters, and the one with 6500K. GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make them.

Byron.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
 
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Thank you! That clears up a lot of my confusion. Thank you so much :)
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