What light to use~10,000k 18,000k both?
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What light to use~10,000k 18,000k both?

This is a discussion on What light to use~10,000k 18,000k both? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> The tank I bought used came with two lights; a Powerglo (18,000k), and a 10,000k. Could I combine them for the right tone for ...

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What light to use~10,000k 18,000k both?
Old 03-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #1
 
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Red face What light to use~10,000k 18,000k both?

The tank I bought used came with two lights; a Powerglo (18,000k), and a 10,000k. Could I combine them for the right tone for my plants, or is that overkill? I have a gift certificate for my local pet store where they have Agualux lighting as well. Would those be a better choice?
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
 
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6500K would make a better choice for keeping plants. 10K+ will appear more blue.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
 
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6500K would make a better choice for keeping plants. 10K+ will appear more blue.
Thanks! They both look orange to me. I've been having trouble finding a 6500k for my tank here.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
 
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Thanks! They both look orange to me. I've been having trouble finding a 6500k for my tank here.
You could always to go a hardware store. Plus they're cheaper there.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
 
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I'm guessing this is a dual T5HO fixture?

In a lot of cases, that is too much light unless you are running CO2?

Those fixtures are more for reef systems that need intense light for corals.

If you are not doing CO2, I would test your fixture to see if it will work with a single bulb, if so you're set. Otherwise, may want to consider alternatives.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:52 AM   #6
 
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Yes, we need info on the fixture, if it is T5 or T8. At one end of the tube will be some printing, and in this there is usually a "T8" or "T5" or whatever.

The combo suggests this was a marine system initially. We can go into this more when we know the T number, as there are some very inexpensive options depending.

The Kelvin rating (like 18000K and 10000K) is the colour temperature of light, which is the hue in the aquarium that we perceive. Plants need adequate spectrum, which is not the same thing though it is usually related. Just some background.

Byron.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
 
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Thank you for all the replies!
These are two separate fixtures. I didn't think to ask him, but the more I read up on the stuff that was thrown into the buy, it looks like he had a salt water tank. The power glo 18,000k is a t5, and the 10,000k seems bigger. I couldn't find the marking on it.
I really don't know anything about CO2. Details please. :)
Jayy, my bf works at Lowes. I'm betting there will be a 36 inch 6500 there.
To sum this up, are neither of these good for my plants? I'm in kind of a desperate mood to keep them alive, since a broken tank has forced me to do a fish in cycle.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by CatSoup View Post
Thank you for all the replies!
These are two separate fixtures. I didn't think to ask him, but the more I read up on the stuff that was thrown into the buy, it looks like he had a salt water tank. The power glo 18,000k is a t5, and the 10,000k seems bigger. I couldn't find the marking on it.
I really don't know anything about CO2. Details please. :)
Jayy, my bf works at Lowes. I'm betting there will be a 36 inch 6500 there.
To sum this up, are neither of these good for my plants? I'm in kind of a desperate mood to keep them alive, since a broken tank has forced me to do a fish in cycle.
T5 is a higher output, designed for marine setups. T8 are a more common tube used on tanks. With the t5 you have to add ferizlers and co2, which is a high tech setup. Many people like this way, but it's more work and more costly. While with t8's you can have close, if not the same planted tank, with half the work. To set up a planted tank all you need is good lighting, balence, good substrate, such as sand, and good feritlziler add once a week. I'm sure some will go in to more depth.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #9
 
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Careful, if this is two separate fixtures with one single bulb each than you are fine, just use a single fixture.

If each fixture has 2 bulbs (total of 4 bulbs) then you need to see if one or the other will work with just a single bulb in it.

The T number (T5 or T8) just stands for the diameter of the tube in 1/8 of an inch. So a T5 is 5/8" in diameter while the T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch in diameter.

The HO in T5HO stands for High Output. You can not use a T5 bulb on a T5HO fixture, the ballast will be providing too much power. Regular T5's are rare and hard to find, while T5HO is very common in the marine world.

"Low Tech" just means no carbon dioxide (CO2) injection. Plants use CO2 as a nutrient, they need the Carbon (C) and in the process release oxygen (O2) which most people know. The CO2 can come in a couple ways. Naturally the fish produce CO2 as they breath, just like we do. In addition organics breaking down will produce CO2 (waste and excess food for example).

Plants will photosynthesize all out until they run out of a nutrient, once they do they stop. In a low light to moderate light setup, there is enough CO2 naturally for a balance to be reached. With high light the natural CO2 will be used up very quickly and must be supplemented, this can be done either in a DIY setup for small tanks or through a pressurized system. DIY is relatively cheap to get started but does have a recurring cost. Pressurized is very expensive to get started, but cheap then after. As mentioned, using CO2 is considered a "high tech" setup, in addition to the CO2 daily fertilizer dosing is needed and most people who go this route will buy dry fertilizers and create their own mixture as it is cheaper than buying pre-made.

At the top of this forum is a sticky for the natural planted aquarium, and will give you tons of information in addition to just light on how to do a 'low tech' system. Low tech is really low maintenance, and quite easy for the most part.

Back onto light, either a single T8 or a dual T8 is enough to give you low or moderate light respectively. What size tank?
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatSoup View Post
Thank you for all the replies!
These are two separate fixtures. I didn't think to ask him, but the more I read up on the stuff that was thrown into the buy, it looks like he had a salt water tank. The power glo 18,000k is a t5, and the 10,000k seems bigger. I couldn't find the marking on it.
I really don't know anything about CO2. Details please. :)
Jayy, my bf works at Lowes. I'm betting there will be a 36 inch 6500 there.
To sum this up, are neither of these good for my plants? I'm in kind of a desperate mood to keep them alive, since a broken tank has forced me to do a fish in cycle.
Geomancer and Jayy have responded but I will just add a couple of ideas. Forget the CO2, at this stage you should go with the natural method.

If the one fixture is a T5, then only T5 tubes will work in it. You cannot use T8 tubes in T5 fixtures, or vice-versa; for one thing the pin alignment is different. [I think this is what Geo meant but typed T5 instead of T8]. A single T5 tube over your tank will likely be sufficient [what is the tank volume and length?] and you can use the Power-Glo. It will give a slightly purplish hue which I personally don't much care for, but I know it will grow plants. My choice for a T5 tube would be the Life-Glo 2 (same manufacturer) or the ZooMed Ultra Sun. Both have a 6700K. These are sold in fish stores. I've no idea what, if any, T5 tubes are carried in Lowe's and similar, I get T8 tubes from these stores.

If one of the fixtures is T8, taking "regular" tubes, then again a single tube will likely be sufficient [knowing the tank specs will help us here], possibly two tubes (both T8). Life-Glo 2 and ZooMed Ultra Sun come in T8 too. And you can get the "Daylight" tubes with a 6500K made by GE, Phillips or Sylvania at Lowe's (whichever they carry).

But we really should pin down the tank and fixtures before we send you off hither and yon.
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