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Fish-addict 06-15-2008 12:05 PM

What kind of fluorescent tube is this?
The fluorescent tube light that came with the 20 gallon setup I recently purchased reads:
natrual sunlight
Made in Thailand for Marineland

I have never seen a light like it, and I was wondering what f15t8 and 46k meant.

Cody 06-15-2008 12:50 PM

I know the 46k is 4600 kelvin. This is what bulbs are rated by. For Marine, you want 10000k at the very least.

As for the f15t8, I am not sure. I would guess the bulbs are t8, and maybe there are 5 of them, but I have no idea as to what the f1 is.

Fish-addict 06-15-2008 02:42 PM

Thanks for replying.
If F15T8 means that the bulb might be T8, would It be okay for a few low light corals?
Also, why do I need 10000 k lights? What happens if I use 46k?

Cody 06-15-2008 05:17 PM

T8 bulbs are more commnly used for plants. T5 is for reef.

If you use the 46k bulb, then your corals can and most likely will die from lack of light. Also, any life on live rock will perish. 10000k is closest to sunlight (look for 10000k - 20000k) and promotes coral growth. Anything else wont do anything.

Fish-addict 06-15-2008 05:40 PM

So I think I will go with either T5 or Power compact. The only thing that worries me is the fact that I might go out and buy an expensive light and over time the "k" will go down along with the intensity and soon enough my corals will die. Is there any kind of light that is good until it dies, and affordable?

Saltwater is looking more complicated every day. What will happen to live rock/live sand if I don't use special lighting, and start with a fish only system? Will all of the life die, and the tank will be harder to maintain?

Cody 06-15-2008 05:49 PM

You have to change the bulb out every year, maximum. It doesnt matter how long it lasts, because all bulbs do what what you said; they lose their intensity over time (even though we dont notice). 10k should be changed a 12 months, 14k at 10 months, and 20k at 8 months.

Is this a 24" tank, or 30"?

Look at the Metal Halide 150W here: . I know you said no MH, but that is very affordable for that kind of light. These PC lights are nice as well:

Fish-addict 06-15-2008 06:03 PM

Way out of the price range I am wanting to spend, but thank you for the suggestion. I think I will check my lfs or a pet store for a single strip light, probably an actinic, T8 or Powercompact, that will fit in the lamp that came with the tank.
I do not know the exact length of the tank I have, but I do know that it is a standard 20 gallon tall.

So, do I need 10000k+ lighting for a fish only system with tufa rock and live sand?

Cody 06-15-2008 06:12 PM

What is your budget? I can try to find you something if you like.

Oh, forgot to add. 10000k bulbs make a tank look way more bright and better to look in. Anything less makes a dim apperance.

For FO, then no, you dont need 10000k. But, if you ever get LR, then you need at least 10000k for growth.

Fish-addict 06-15-2008 07:09 PM

So all of my live rock will just die in a fish only system without 10000k+ lighting?

Cody 06-15-2008 07:13 PM

If you have LR, then you have a FOWLR.

And, to your question, I have seen it happen if the lighting is not adequet. LR turns into base rock.

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