03-30-2009, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FishinFool
Hey im just curious about lighting for a live plant tank, I have a 10 gallon with the standard flourescent 15w bulb, would i need to buy a new bulb like the Tropic Sun ones or others I have seen at the LFS? Or if anyone has good lights to suggest, thats awesome.
One 15w tube will give you plenty of light, as MBilyeu said and recommended a good one. The main thing is to get a full spectrum or equivalent, which is what those are. Most of them will have a 6500K or close rating. Some have slightly different tints, by which I mean the tank may appear a little more yellowish, or bluish, or purplish, depending upon the type. It is generally recognized that aquarium plants need light in the blue spectrum the most, and some emphasize this but balance it with red. A full spectrum is deemed to be the equivalent of full sun at noon, but some might be a bit stronger in the blue and/or red area. "Tropic Sun" I have tried, and it is more yellowish than blue. If you have a lfs with good staff they might be able to show you the various bulbs over tanks, or allow an exchange. I have found the Life-Glo a good single tube, but there are others that may be less expensive. You should replace the tube every year (12 months); even though it will continue to "light" for months, the strength of the output decreases rapidly over time and most agree one year is the max.