Hi, I've just bought a new 30x12x15 tank filled it, put in some bits of bogwood and a few plants but want more plants. What's the best lighting. Confused by T5 & T8 what's the difference? Which is best? Do I need twin tubes or just one? Any advice appreciated.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
I gather the tank dimensions are in inches, so this is around a 25g, and the depth/height is the 15 inches, correct? Did it come with a basic hood with a fluorescent tube fixture, and if so, what is the length of the tube itself? I assume this is a T8.
The "T" refers to the diameter of the tube, in eighths of an inch. So a T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch diameter, a T5 is 5/8. But, these two tubes are not interchangeable, each requires its own fixture.
T8 is the sort of basic fluorescent tubes. T5 is a newer advanced tube that can produce considerably more light. The T5 also comes in NO (normal output) and HO (high output), and I think there is a VHO (very high output). T5 was developed mainly for marine and reef tanks where a lot of light intensity is required, and the higher-intensity T5 tubes means you need fewer of them than you would with T8.
When dealing with freshwater planted tanks, T8 can work well. T5 can too, but it is more intense light and often this can be too much if other nutrients are not balanced. I won't go further into that now. When I know the length and type of tube you now have, or whatever light fixture it is, I can offer some suggestions for tubes/bulbs/fixtures. Also, mention if you intend natural planted, or more high-tech with diffused CO2. This makes a difference with the light.
Thanks for your reply.
I used to keep tropical about 55 years ago and a lot of things seem to have changed.
I'm currently cycling the tank and things seem to be going ok.
Current tube is 1" x 24" long in an old hood I was given it's a bit tatty so I'm looking to buy a new one. I've seen some Monarch hoods that say can they take a full 30" tube so I'll probably get one of those. I'm looking for natural planting, Co2 stuff sounds a bit complicated for what I want, at least at present. The tank is 30"long x12"wide x 15"deep.
You will need a good tube, and the one that comes with most any fixture may or may not be "good." Just so you know. The photo below is my 36-inch 33g tank which has a 30-inch T8 [Life-Glo tube]. My 29g is the second photo, 30-inch tank with a 24-inch T8 tube [also Life-Glo]. Life-Glo is a superior tube and emits more intense light that tubes of the same length, so I use this on my single-tube tanks.
Thanks for that info it's really useful to know, before I spend money. The last lights I bought all those years ago were incandescent light bulbs!! All of your tanks look brilliant - I hope I can get mine to the same standard. By the way it was 45 years not 55 must have 'stuttered' on the 5.
Thanks for your help:-D
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