Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Brandon 01-15-2007 11:48 AM

Hey i was looking through my stuff and i found everything i need to wire a light for my fw tank. The light bulbs are NOMA mini spiral 13 watt. They are equal to a 60 watt in brightness. I wanted to know if it had anything harmfull in it. Also could i grow plants under this?

Brandon 01-15-2007 03:51 PM


tophat665 01-15-2007 05:33 PM

You should still count them as 26 watts total. Check the color temperature and lux ratings if you can. For setting up 2x23 watt spiral fluorescents over a 10 gallon tank, I just screwed them into a 10 gallon incandescent hood. I had to remove the refector and paint the interior white and had to tinker with the arrangement to dissapate the heat they threw off, but 13 watt bulbs will fit just fine, and generate half the heat, so you shouldn't have any problems.

Depending on the color temp of the bulbs, the size of the tank you may be able to grow moderate light plants, low light plants, or algae.

Check out for a good if brusque treatement of the whole lighting issue.

Brandon 01-15-2007 08:04 PM

The light is pretty bright. Im building a hood with a normal light fuxture so ill take pics when m done. I just wanted to kow if this would harm my fish. Ill check the colour temp and get back to you.

Lupin 01-15-2007 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by Brandon
The light is pretty bright. Im building a hood with a normal light fuxture so ill take pics when m done. I just wanted to kow if this would harm my fish. Ill check the colour temp and get back to you.

Bright lights don't harm some fish although it does stress any fish whose origin has subdued lighting or is totally dark. Peter's Elephant-nose is one example which does not like bright lighting.

Brandon 01-15-2007 08:09 PM

I looked at the 10 wat one and all it says is Light Output-520 lumens
energy used-10w
and life span 8000 hours(5 years Whoa)

Wait!! i found it its temp is 2700k soft white (will this change for a 13w(60w) ?)

P.s you have any pics of yours?

tophat665 01-15-2007 10:33 PM

Soft white will grow Algae. It's not a good color spectrum for plants at all. Sylvania makes a full spectrum light that Lowes carries and Home Despot might that's got a color temp about 5500K. That's about the minimum you want. If I have two bulbs going, I like to have one around 6700K and one 9000 to 10000K. Unfortunately, it has gone out of my mind for the moment exactly what color ranges plants use most, but cool white ain't it.

Remember, tropical aquarium plants are adapted to make best use of tropical sunlight. This is hard on the eyes but good for the plants. There are some plant bulbs that strike a good balance in a sort of pink-ish range that look really good when paired with a high temp daylight bulb.

Brandon 01-16-2007 11:53 AM

Thanks ill see if i can find any thing like you said. And i was thinking of just one light. Would a julli cory not like this light? And wouldn't it be good to grow algae because i have a algae eater? or would it be to much, lol.

tophat665 01-16-2007 07:08 PM

The fish won't mind the light at all, but the spectrum that soft white lights put out is pretty much exactly the spectrum many algaes use to grow, whereas the higher color temperature lights put out spectra closer to that which plants use. Therefore, under soft white, alage will be able to out compete the plants for the available carbon and other nutrients, and your plants will fare poorly.

I cannot say for sure that this won't produce more algae than your algae eater will want to eat, but regardless of what kind of algae eater you have, there are types of algae they won't eat. Even SAEs won't eat black brush algae if they can easily get something else, and they won't eat green water and may have trouble with green spot.

Bottom line, you don't want to encourage algae. You'll get plenty with no encouragement at all.

Look for full spectrum lights and you'll do alright.

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