Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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randersen86 12-31-2010 10:06 AM

Lighting question - First time with a planted tank
This is my first post here but I've just converted a 29G tank to a planted tank and have a lighting question. Right now I have one of the standard Aqueon hoods with a single 24" light. The bulb in it right now is a 20W T-12 6500K bulb, but from what I've read I don't think this will be enough light for the plants.

I'm wondering what options I have to convert this fixture to a double light setup or possibly to use a single T5 HO or VHO bulbs instead? Would a single T5 bulb provide enough light?

Here's a picture of the tank so far.

Thanks for any advice,

redchigh 12-31-2010 02:26 PM

I think a T-8 bulb in cool white would get you by...
wait for someone else to comment though. If you can't find a fixture, you could just move it where it gets a couple hours of sunlight...

Byron 01-01-2011 11:38 AM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Your fixture is fine. I would replace the existing tube. T12 are the "old" wider fluorescent tubes that are being phased out by most manufacturers now in favour of the narrower/thinner T8 tubes. The latter use less energy by emitting more light intensity for the same wattage, plus they last longer (2-3 years compared to 1 or less for T12). While they don't burn out in this time frame, they do lose so much intensity that they should be replaced regularly.

The 6500K is excellent, that is full spectrun or daylight, closely approximating the mid-day sun. You can get T8 tubes in this made by GE, Phillips, Sylvania at hardware stores for a couple dollars. Just measure your tube length end to end minus the prongs; don't pay attention to watts, as all tubes come in standard wattage for the tube length (although some manufacturers make tubes that emit identical light with less watts). I have a single 25w 6700K T8 over my 3-foot 33g and it is fine. For the plants in your photo [nice aquascape btw, those will grow in nicely] this will be sufficient.


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