Is this light good enough for my plants?
I recieved a new tank asa gift the other day and I need to find out if the lighting will be good enought for my plants. The tank is the Aqueon 25 gallon aquarium and stand from PetSmart. 5he light is Full Spectrum 15w T8 18"
If you can find the Kelvin rating somewhere on the packaging or the tube, that would be helpful. It is shown as 6500k, etc. Personally, I haven't had as good of luck with the full spectrum tubes as I have with daylight tubes with a kelvin rating of 6500k. Of course, the type of plants you intend to keep makes a big difference also. For instance, if you want to keep low light substrate plants and floating plants, your current lighting would work out because the floating plants, which typically require brighter light, would be close to the light.
That sounds liek the same tube that came with my 29g (it has a 24-inch tube as the tank is 30 inches in length) and it will not grow plants other than very low light ones. The Aqueon fixture is good, I like it, so just a new tube will work for you.
On single-tube tanks I use Life-Glo. If you can get ZooMed, their Ultra Sun is about the same. Low and moderate light plants will grow with either of these, even with some floating plants. These are 6700K and 6500K respectively, like the ones fishmongedr mentioned.
The less expensive hardware store tubes like the GE 6500K Daylight, etc are not sufficient in these small sizes. I tried one for 3-4 months and most of the plants died.
After some searching, I found the bulb. Aqueon Full Spectrum Daylight T8: 8000K. Im not sre how bad that is :-/
I picked up some liquid flurish for my fert, my light is on an average of 9 hours a day, my tank gets a bit of indiract sunlight, and it has water wisteria and both kinds of the bulbs from WalMart. I hope to later get some Java Moss and Water Sprite.
I can't order anything OL and the nearest aquatic store is a long drive away. Are you sure that there is nothing I can pick up at WalMart or a hardware store? :(
That is the same tube that I had. Java Moss will be fine. Floating Water Sprite probably but this will mean nothing below except the moss will last. Wisteria wil not do well without brighter light.
The sad thing about these basic fixtures is that they are intended for someone with no plants, and a tank of colourful fish. The light brings out red and blues. I had to replace two of my old dual-tujbe 4-foot fixtures a couple years ago, and I got the All Glass, which are well made, but the tubes were much the same and they went into the recylcing as soon as I got them home.;-)
I don't know what Walmart carries, if you can get brands like the Hagen (Life-Glo), ZooMed or maybe Coralife there, you might be OK. There is a good Coralife tube but I can't remember the details, they make so many, and some are useless for planted tanks, others only work for marine.
What I meant to say was is there any non-aquarium brand lights that I could buy for this. Like if I found one that was 6500K that would fit. Also, the floating plants are a maybe. No one around here caries them :-/
Go into the lighting section of walmart and look for the right length. GE makes a 6500k bulb but it says "Daylight" on it. It's usually blue/white packaging. DO NOT GET THE ONE THAT SAYS "AQUARIUM" on it. That one is only 3500K and will kill your plants.
This bulb isn't as good as the ones Byron posted, and might need to be replaced maybe every 6 months, but until you find a better one, this one should work.
Lowes/HD might carry this bulb as well.
One thing I did on my 29 gallon (30") was to retrofit the fixture using a little craft/hardware knowledge and instead of a 24" tube I ripped out the components and wired in 2 standard lightbulb fixtures and some aluminum flashing (near the gutter section of HD) as a reflector and now I can run 2 23w daylight spiral compact flourescent bulbs. They're pretty much the same as 1 single t8 IMO, just in a curly shape instead of straight, and I can now fit 2. those bulbs are very easy to find.
Thank you hun! That should work just fine until I can find a proper one. And I will ask my dad one day if he knows how to retrofit the fixture. :)
The cheaper tubes won't do the job. I mentioned using the GE Daylight 24-inch over my 29g and within 2-3 months the plants were all dead, or nearly so; prior to this they had been under a Life-Glo and were thriving. Nothing else changed. I replaced the GE with a new Life-Glo and within a month those plants that had not completely died began sprouting new leaves. I had pygmy chain swords, crypts, Jave Fern, Anubias and Java Moss, and Water Sprite floating. Even the floating WS began to weaken under the GE. The intensity of the tubes is vastly different.
With the GE you could manage Java Moss and some floaters, maybe. The 4-foot GE and similar work fine, I use them on my larger dual-tube tanks.
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