04-06-2010, 05:03 PM
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My preference would be for a single tube that extends along all or most of the tank length, as opposed to shorter tubes in a pair. The light is more evenly distributed which obviously makes a difference on the plants under it.
So the tube itself is 36 inches, correct? DrsFoster&Smith website, which is in the US, has Zoo Med Ultra Sun 36-inch for 13.99, and Hagen's Life-Glo 2 36-inch for $17.49. These are both very good tubes, and are T8. Other sites may be less expensive than this, I only use them because of their technical data but have never ordered from them.
By the way, a T8 and T12 will fit the same fixture, the T8 tubes are better (T12's are being phased out). T5 requires different fixture, and it comes in NO [normal output which is comparable to T8 regular tube intensity] and HO [high output which is significantly more intense, about 1.5 times more than the same size NO or T8].