Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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sweatpantstom 09-29-2007 10:54 AM

Confused about Lighting
I want to start a 15gal tank with plants and tetras but I am not sure what kind of lighting to get. The hood I currently have has a socket for a 15watt bulb and its a normal light bulb socket not for a tube. Would a 15watt CFL work or would it not be the right kind of light for plants to grow. I am also not planning on having it heavily planted so I am hoping i don't need to go super crazy with the lighting. The hood is a special fit and without the hood it looks really bad so I would like to still be able to keep my current hood.

fish_4_all 09-29-2007 12:15 PM

Well if it will fit you can use a screw in compact flourescent light. I am actually using 2, 20 watt bulbs of this type over one of my tanks and the plants are thriving. It might be hard to get it to fit the hood but if it does all the better. My tank is only 10 gallons though.

I would go with a 20-25 watt if it will fit. The wattage is misleading and you only get about 60-75% of the actual light to the plants. The wattage should grow some of the easy plants but a second light would do much more for the plants and give more plant options.

It only has one socket for a light?

sweatpantstom 09-29-2007 01:18 PM

Yes it only has the one socket rated for a 15 watt bulb

fish_4_all 09-29-2007 01:27 PM

The rating is for an incandescent if I remember mine right. The heat is the main problem. The compact flourecents give off 90% less heat. My sockets are rated for 15 watt bulbs and I run the large ones without much heat at all on the fixture nor to the tank temp.

gus6464 09-29-2007 06:35 PM

I've seen complete hood kits that use 18" compact flourescent bulbs and are designed for small tanks. Marineland makes a hood like that as well as aqueon and I've also seen some all-glass. They are around $30. I myself use a top fin hood that can house 2-25w screw bulbs. Right now I have 2-10w mini compact fluorescent bulbs on my 10g and my plants like it. Plants I have are Java Moss, Java Fern, Anacharis, and a Crypt.

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