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-   -   Got to work with what I have, T8 18" bulb? (

JDM 03-29-2013 04:39 PM

Got to work with what I have, T8 18" bulb?
So, the 20 gallon reno has a kit fixture with an 18" bulb, T8. It's currently a Marineland daylight with no Kelvin rating and I am sure that it is 4 years old. The tank is 16" deep.

Is just changing this to a new properly rated bulb going to be enough or too much? As much as I would rather swap it for an LED (then I wouldn't be asking anything as I know how well that works and what to expect) with a glass lid, I am going to blow the budget on plants and fish instead.... although there isn't really a budget I want to see how it goes before buying more hardware... and some of the plants are coming from my tank to add to the two existing.

I suppose that I sort of want to do this on the cheap just to see how well starter kit stuff and old hardware will do.

If ANYTHING so much as looks at me wrong though, it's outta there and in with the new.:evil:


MoneyMitch 03-29-2013 04:55 PM

with the bulb being 4 years old its defiantely time to replace as they start to lose intencity after about a year. changing it to a "proper rated bulb" shouldnt change much in my opinion if anything the plants will benifit from it but i dont see a need for excess fert or any risk of a algae bloom. wanting to go on the cheap side you could probobly even go pickup a bulb from walmart. as you know the plants will still use it but dont expect record breaking growth rates and you wont need to fert as often if at all.

AbbeysDad 03-29-2013 06:35 PM

I have two 18" T8's on my 60g Marineland. Go to Wallymart and get a GE Daylight 6500k bulb. My tank is 24" tall so the T8's are a bit lame, but support my mass of floating Anacharis fine.

JDM 04-01-2013 09:36 AM

Ahhh... my bad, this is a pretty equipment specific query.

I have had no luck finding a suitable bulb. 2 Wallymarts, and a petshop so far. I found some marine bulbs and 3000k "daylight" bulbs. 18" isn't a very common bulb size with any selection apparently.

I may just go ahead and upgrade to LED and be done with it.... I might be able to use my home unit, which is 24", at the office and upgrade to the 36" at home. I would have to create a support for it but the change from 8 x 1 Watt bulbs to 16 will need to be seriously considered. Double the light over the entire aquarium might be too much. I do like my 14+ hour light schedule and I would need to reduce it I am certain.


MoneyMitch 04-01-2013 08:23 PM

you already know what too much light does to a tank, and im telling you DONT DO IT lol. if you can splurge on the leds id stick to them they work for you. but then again theres always the alure of trying something new but with higher light comes higher responseability :P

JDM 04-01-2013 08:42 PM

I really hesitate to double up the light at home, but if I let the duckweed get really wild I actually expect it might work out.

It turns out that the office tank has no top trim. This means I can't put a glass top on it nor can I use a spanning style fixture that uses the lip to sit on.


MoneyMitch 04-01-2013 08:44 PM

in my opinion rimless can be really pretty, anyway to maybe get some type ot fixture that u can suspend over it? you could get a brighter light and play with the light height but then again that could be a pita messign with the light height every week untill you get it right.

jentralala 04-01-2013 08:45 PM

What about ordering online for the bulb?

JDM 04-02-2013 06:05 AM

The ceilings are 16', not wanting to sued anything. It looks like the plants are doing OK even with the old light. Now these are the dwarf hygros and they grow like weeds anyway but it at least lets me not be too worried about the light. I asked yesterday about light period.... 24hours.

I'm obviously going to have to put a timer on it. The poor fish have never really had anywhere to get out of the light either. I mentioned that it is a 24 hour operation but the main lights do get dimmed so the tank could get mostly dark where it is. I am considering blocking one end to help with this too.

I'll order if I need to. I do plan on ordering some stuff anyway but I will try the main LFS first.... They just happen to be an hour away and not anywhere I normally go expect for business stuff in the city.


Byron 04-04-2013 07:46 PM

Over a 20g, a single T8 18-inch tube is fine--with a good tube. Life-Glo, or ZooMed UltraSun. LED is another option, as is an incandescant two socket fixture using 2 10w CFL Daylight 6500K bulbs.

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