So, it is by far time I upgrade my lighting, well the bulbs, on both of my tanks. When it comes to lighting, I have no experience. I currently have factory on both tanks... my 15g being of lower lighting than my 29g.
I need to know what kind of bulb options I have to replace my current ones without having to replace the fixture or breaking my wallet.
My 29 is the Top Fin 29g started kit Petsmart has always sold (measurements actually make it 30.2g). So it takes one long florescent tube for a bulb. Link to it here...
Top FinŽ 29 Gallon Starter Kit - Fish - Sale Category - PetSmart
My 15g is the kind of hood that has two spaces for screw in bulbs. The best I have done with it thus far is the florescent day light bulbs (the ones that look like the energy saving house bulbs, but are big U's verses spirals).
I've tried to keep my plants low light ones, but I have a few that would definitely benefit from a medium light, that way my low lights wont melt.
On the fluorescent tube fixture, presumably it is T8 (regular, not T5) so measure the existing tube end to end and look for that size. Within the size, you have some options. You can go to the hardware store and look for "daylight" or full spectrum tubes in that size. The watts is irrelevant as tubes are made in standard wattages, except for those manufacturers that make lower wattage tubes with special phosphors that increase light emission so they are more intense with less watts (watts is energy used). A kelvin around 6500K should work. Phillips and Sylvania make these, though not perhaps in every size, I've only used their 4-foot tubes. Another option is the more expensive fish store tubes, like ZooMed's series (their Ultra Sun is the closest to what we're talking about in spectrum and kelvin), or Hagen's Life-Glo 2. And there may be other manufacturers I've not used myself.
For the incandescent (screw-in) fixture, the compact fluorescent bulbs are ideal. A "daylight" with a kelvin around 6500K I have found to be good light. They come in different wattages, the 10w works well over a 10g, 15g, 20g high tank, with two bulbs. For larger tanks you can get higher wattages.
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