Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Help with choosing appropriate light bulbs. (

andersatan 10-29-2010 05:46 PM

Help with choosing appropriate light bulbs.
So I currently have a single 15w T8 18" bulb over my 25g aquarium. I want to plant my tank more but this doesn't seem to be adequate lighting for most plants. I don't want to buy one of the overpriced bulbs from the LFS so i was gonna head to the hardware store later tonight to find something.
So far I think what I need is a 6500k or so, T5 and about 50-60w or so.

I'm curious if I should be looking for anything else or those are the only important factors in choosing a lightbulb, and if my numbers are right.

zof 10-29-2010 08:16 PM

I believe T8 and T5 are not compatible with each other, for one I think the ends are different and two I also believe you need a different ballast(higher wattage?) for T5 bulbs.

Stick with a 18" T8 bulb with a wattage your ballast will accept.

RipariumGuy 11-07-2010 10:08 PM

Zof is right, you need a T5 fixture to use T5 bulbs. Wattage has nothing (or atleast very little) to do with plants. PAR and Kelvin are what really matter. You are going to want a 5000 to 1000k bulb(s) that provide somewhere between 25-50 micromoles of PAR for a low light tank. I would suggest getting a double bulb T5NO fixture to replace your currest one, as the single stock T8 you have currently would only, maybe grow java fern.
Good luck with the tank!

By the way, here is a link to The Planted Tank Forum with more stuff on PAR and lighting by Hoppy -

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