best fluorescent light for planted 10 gallon aquarium
What would be the best fluorescent tube for a 10 gallon planted aquarium? - Fresh water of course. I want a nice planted aquarium for a small community - or specimen tank.
First question is, do you have a T8 or T5 fixture? The tubes for each are not interchangeable. On a 10g it would likely be T8.
A "daylight" tube with a Kelvin rating around 6500K has been shown to promote the best response in aquarium plants. You have a fairly wide selection to choose from, depending upon how much you want to spend. And remember that the tube should be replaced every 12 months as it weakens in intensity as it burns.
If you want to go with fish store tubes, the Life-Glo by Hagen is ideal. ZooMed's Ultra Sun is as good, slightly less expensive (most places). Both are 6700K. Others here have the Coralife, I've not personally tried it.
Less expensive tubes from hardware-type stores are made by GE, Phillips and Sylvania. Here look for the one with a Kelvin of 6500K. The manufacturers have "daylight" somewhere in the name of these tubes, but the K is the thing to look for.
With all the above, you want the length that fits your fixture, in T8.
It is T8. I bought a new Aqueon light that came with a "full spectrum" bulb for "general aquarium use". It doesn't have any other info on it as to kelvin value. I figure it isn't the best choice for plants so that is why I am inquiring. Should I replace it?
If the light is rather purplish, this is certainly what you have. Measure the tube end to end, that is the tube length (not including the prongs), it is likely a 15" or 18" tube, so you look for that in one of hte tubes mentioned earlier. Finding these small tubes in hardware stores is not always easy, so you may have to go with the more expensive tubes from a fish store. Depends where you live, and the stores there. I know they are limited where I am.
Thanks! Very helpful!
The Aqueon tubes are 8000K, if you were wondering.
I use GE and Phillips tubes in my fixtures, very inexpensive.
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