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This is a discussion on lights within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> So I'm in the wally store and decide I'll try some new lights that just might support a plant or two. I get a ...

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Old 12-19-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
 
lights

So I'm in the wally store and decide I'll try some new lights that just might support a plant or two. I get a couple of 'Aquarium & Plant' lights and off I go.
I put them in without paying much attention to the stamp on the bulb. One side is a dingy yellow and the other is brite white. The dingy yellow was the aquarium & plant bulb while the bright white was a GE Daylight bulb. Liking the daylight bulb much better. Lights need to go back.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
 
Yeah from my experience most lights labeled 'Plants' often have a spectrum no where near ideal for growing them. Walmart sometimes sells GE aquarays which are one of my favorite bulbs. They have a great spectrum for plant growth and good color. If they had them they would be in the fish section. Other then that just go with some 6500K bulbs, this is probably what the GE daylight is.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
Yeah from my experience most lights labeled 'Plants' often have a spectrum no where near ideal for growing them. Walmart sometimes sells GE aquarays which are one of my favorite bulbs. They have a great spectrum for plant growth and good color. If they had them they would be in the fish section. Other then that just go with some 6500K bulbs, this is probably what the GE daylight is.
Yes, matter of fact, I was out replacing the lame aquarium & plant lights with the GE Daylight lights which in fact are 6500k while you wrote this. I think these will be much better, but I just don't know if these would be enough for a real planted tank as there is only one T8 fixture per hood, so there are only 2 lights and this 60g is 24" deep.
I'm gonna put these in and experiment just a little
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Yes, matter of fact, I was out replacing the lame aquarium & plant lights with the GE Daylight lights which in fact are 6500k while you wrote this. I think these will be much better, but I just don't know if these would be enough for a real planted tank as there is only one T8 fixture per hood, so there are only 2 lights and this 60g is 24" deep.
I'm gonna put these in and experiment just a little
I think your best bet and chances for success would be to stick with low light plants. Java ferns, some swords, anubias plants. Stay away from stems plants with the exception of Pennywort. That might work. I have also heard Moneywort is a low light plant.
I have a standard 55 gallon tank with 2 48" T8 bulbs and I still can't grow some plants. You will have even less light to work with.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
 
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A bulb configured to emit the proper wavelength for photosynthesis will almost necessarily look dimmer than a full spectrum bulb. Just because it may look dingy to us doesn't mean the plants won't like it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
 
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A bulb configured to emit the proper wavelength for photosynthesis will almost necessarily look dimmer than a full spectrum bulb. Just because it may look dingy to us doesn't mean the plants won't like it.
Perhaps, but the dim, very yellow hue was totally unacceptable to me for viewing and since my tank is fully planted with (plastic) plants with low light requirements, a whiter light looks much better
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
 
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I think your best bet and chances for success would be to stick with low light plants. Java ferns, some swords, anubias plants. Stay away from stems plants with the exception of Pennywort. That might work. I have also heard Moneywort is a low light plant.
I have a standard 55 gallon tank with 2 48" T8 bulbs and I still can't grow some plants. You will have even less light to work with.
Right, my two 18" T8's are less than half the light you have. The trouble is I'd need all new hoods/lights and it's just not practical right now.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #8
 
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Yeah, the plant tubes don't make for the best display, usually it's the pink hue they impart that is unapealling. That these have a yellow hue makes me think, as Mikaila suggested, that they have the wrong spectral output - no way of knowing for sure though without a spectral graph.

The 6500K is the best compromise between appealing display and good plant light.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:02 AM   #9
 
The yellow blubs where probably 3,700K which is what mimics incandescent light. "plant tubes" are just all over the board and there is no single reason why I avoid them. Take the zoo med line for example and compare all their "plant" recommended lights. There is absolutely no consistency. Yes you would need to know spectral output to get a good idea of the bulbs performance.

6500K bulbs are the most common and recommended, I wouldn't say the best. Best really comes down to opinion. Spectrum isn't linked to color temp very much. I have seen spectrum graphs of 6500K bulbs that IMO are poor for plant growth. 6500K is the lowest I will use as far as color temp. I love GE aquarays(fresh and saltwater) which are somewhere around 9325K. They have awesome color and a really good spectrum for photosynthesis.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:11 AM   #10
 
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The yellow blubs where probably 3,700K which is what mimics incandescent light. "plant tubes" are just all over the board and there is no single reason why I avoid them. Take the zoo med line for example and compare all their "plant" recommended lights. There is absolutely no consistency. Yes you would need to know spectral output to get a good idea of the bulbs performance.

6500K bulbs are the most common and recommended, I wouldn't say the best. Best really comes down to opinion. Spectrum isn't linked to color temp very much. I have seen spectrum graphs of 6500K bulbs that IMO are poor for plant growth. 6500K is the lowest I will use as far as color temp. I love GE aquarays(fresh and saltwater) which are somewhere around 9325K. They have awesome color and a really good spectrum for photosynthesis.
My 60g tank is separated on top to take two hood/light fixtures - 18", T8, 15w making bulb selections very limited. It's going to have to remain as is with the two GE Daylights's (6500k) for the foreseeable future.
They could support some floating plants and a little algae.

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 12-20-2011 at 08:18 AM..
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