Lighting question? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-16-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
Lighting question?

I'am going to be setting up another 10 gallon tank this weekend, and I came across a 14 watt T5 20'' Flouresent light fixture. The bulb says 4100K, I plan on moving some of my baby amazon swords in to this new tank. Will this light work? or do I need a better bulb? Oh and it's a single.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-16-2012, 11:48 PM
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I would aim for 6500K
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-17-2012, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
I kind of figired that but just had to be sure!! Any idea what a T5 14 watt 6500K "20 bulb would cost??? Either way I'am going 2 the LFS on the weekend!!
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-17-2012, 01:28 AM
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$5-10 depending on where you get it and brand name
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-17-2012, 01:53 AM
I have a 10 gallon tank. I've had problems with the full hood and the bulb it came with, by Aqueon, and I've been trying to decide on replacement lighting.

I'm concerned that a T5 might be too bright for a 10 gal as I was advised not to use one by one person, and it was not among suggested lighting by another person. The second person recommended 10-inch brooder lights (2) from Home Depot (compact fluorescent).

It's a difficult business for me to figure out if a bulb is going to work. I have to rely on the experience of others. There's a guy named Quantum who pitched in on my thread who might be willing to make a recommendation, and there's Byron who has years of hands-on. Hope maybe someone jumps in for you.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-17-2012, 01:42 PM
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First issue is what you want in the tank. If you are going for moderate (and low) light plants with some floating plants, and a natural method, then a single T8 tube will work fine. A single T5 with a NO tube is about equal to this, but with an HO tube you are into more light so that might create issues depending upon your setup. More intense light is going to mean more nutrients to balance [and it is possible to literally burn plants out with too much light if the balance is out] or algae will be more of a nuisance, and it likely will mean less duration is possible again due to the algae.

The above is one issue. Another is spectrum, no matter what tube you have. Plants definitely do best under around 6500K (between 5,000K and 7,000K). I prefer the 6500K because it is a cooler crisper white.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

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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