Question for Byron...or anybody else
I noticed in your (Bryon's) tank setups and also in your sticky threads regarding natural planted aquariums, that you use GE/Philips T8 6,700K bulbs AND a glo-life T8 bulb. I also read that you said if one has a dual T8 fixture, plants can benefit from using these 2 different bulbs.
As for my aquarium, I am currently running 2 GE T8 bulbs at 6,700K. I am looking to add a bulb such as the glo-lifes you use on almost all your aquariums, but I do not have any stores around me with these bulbs.
Are there any other bulbs you would recommend in place of the glo-lifes (ex. coralife 10,000K, etc.)?
Do I count as "anyone else?" :lol:
On all my planted tanks and even marine for that matter I use common home depot/lowes type 6500K lighting in utility fixtures.
For smaller (non 4' wide) tanks I use compact flourescent spiral bulbs in round reflectors. 6500k from wall mart.
Hope that helps.
and my .02
I believe what he was meaning is that you can mix colors on dual tube fixtures to get a different color to your fish. Some people prefer warmer (low K) while others like more cold (high K).
So you need to have at least one tube in the 'ideal' range while the other can drift higher, or lower, and still provide some benefit to the plants (red for low K and blue for high K).
"Life-Glo" is 6700K and it is made by Hagen. Zoomed also makes one similar under the name "Ultra Sun" which is 6500K.
The hardware store tubes (By GE, Phillips, etc) are 6500K actually, not 6700K (at least that I've seen). Regardless, they are pretty much the same as the Life-Glo and Ultra Sun (but the more expensive pet store ones may have slightly better intensity).
So you could mix a 6500K and a 10000K if you wanted a colder look, but no I do not believe you will get any better plant growth. The K value is nothing but color temperature, it has nothing to do with the 'power' of the light (so what I'm saying is higher does not mean better).
I meant 6,700k earlier
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As my name appeared, I'll just stop by to say that I concur with Geo's post.
Aquarium plants will grow under almost any light provided it is of sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis, and this intensity has red and blue wavelengths. The so-called "daylight" tubes have this, and they work well. And a Kelvin around 6500K seems to be what to look for, according to Walstad, Randall, Noble, Farmer, Wilson... in other words, all the planted tank gurus who write articles and on reputable websites.
Geo was right when he said the Life-Glo is more intense than the cheaper tubes. It is better made with the phosphors, and you pay for this. The intensity is not only a bit stronger, but it lasts longer. My Life-Glo tubes can go 18 months before I notice the plants slowing down [or algae increasing which is what often occurs when the light intensity drops], but the GE, Phillips and Sylvania I have used tend to reach this point at 12 months. But they are basically the same light, so on dual tube tanks I use one Life-Glo and one less expensive tube, though this is mainly because I got a bunch of Life-Glo's at 1/3 cost when a local store closed. For many years I used two Sylvania or two Phillips tubes and the plants were fine. I replaced them every 10-12 months. And I just put my last Life-Glo tubes in the three big tanks this month, so in 18 months from now I may well stay with must the GE and Phillips--unless another store closes and practically gives the Life-Glo tubes away.:lol:
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