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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, all. I currently have the Aqueon Deluxe hood (single T8) for my betta sorority NPT, but I would prefer a T5 double fixture or something equally good for plants. I am having no luck, however, finding anything that is also fully lidded, and I need that because the betta may jump. Can any of you recommend anything? My Google-fu is pretty good, but it's failing me for this. Will something other than T5 work well? Am I wrong in thinking I need more than this single light?
 

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I think you're fine with the light you have, depending on the bulb that's in it. What bulb do you have?

I worry that with a T5, you'd run into some nasty algae issues with so much bright light.
 

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I actually was just talking to Byron about this same issue. I have a 30g, 30 inch tank and I was wondering what T8 tube to get. He suggested the Hagen Life-Glo or the ZooMed UltraSun tubes. These lights are said to do the trick with low and moderate light plants. So you shouldn't need to get anything more than the single T8 tube. Hope this helps! :-D
 

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As an alternative you good get a glass lid then you can put whatever you want over it. I have an LED fixture over mine and it works very well. The glass keeps ALL the moisture in the tank where it belongs... I lose more water to testing than I do from evaporation. I never liked the bulky look of a hood. Check my awuarium shots in my profile if you want to see what it looks like... with LED anyway.

Jeff.
 

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I agree that the glass covers, such as the Versa aquarium covers are the way to go when fixtures don't include a full enclosure. They're hinged, so they provide convenient access to the tank for maintenance. For some reason, full hoods for 30 gallon tanks seem to leave a lot of area on the sides that are not so well lighted. I can understand why you want to make a change. The single tube hood over my 30 gallon just doesn't seem to cut it.
 

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So I ended up buying the Life-Glo tube yesterday, put it in and I'm absolutely amazed. :shock: The brightness and quality of the light is fantastic! It lights up my whole 30g tank wonderfully. Just thought I'd let you know. :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, all! I had bought a Zoo-Med Flora-Sun tube yesterday, which is advertised as being great for plants. It doesn't necessarily look brighter, but there is something much different about the spectrum of it, and it brings out the colors in my betta girls beautifully! I will see how it works before going the route of getting a glass canopy and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In comparison to the earlier picture, which was under full-spectrum, here's a picture under the Flora-Sun. Several of these girls looked almost the same color before, and you can tell now that they're definitely not.
 

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You may not have sufficient intensity with the Flora-Sun tube, unfortunately. When you are dealing with a single tube over a tank, there is a fine line between what can work and what won't work.

The so-called "plant" or "aquarium" tubes are high in the red and blue wavelength [this is why the Betta look so lovely, the light is highlighting their colours]. While it is true that plants need these colours for photosynthesis, the intensity of these tubes is quite weak. Also, there is evidence now that plants seem to need the green/yellow light just as much. This may be due to the added intensity when this light is present. But whatever the reason, all else being equal [nutrients, etc] plants will grow better [=photosynthesize faster] under light having a Kelvin rating from 5000K to 7000K, with around 6500K being best. The so-called "daylight" tubes provide this. The light intensity is about double that of the "flora" and similar tubes, so this makes a fair difference.

The cheaper "daylight" tubes by GE, Phillips and Sylvania can work fine over larger tanks where you have 48-inch tubes, and two of them. I have used all three, and currently am using the GE and Phillips on such tanks. But these are no where near sufficient over the smaller tanks with a single tube, such as the 24-inch tube over a 29g. In this case you must use a stronger light, and I have found the Life-Glo to work the best. ZooMed's UltraSun is pretty much the same. Both have 6500K (LG is actually 6700K).

I have experimented with some of these over my 29g. The GE Daylight killed most of the plants due to its low intensity. The Life-Glo works fine. Photo below shows the plants under a single 24-inch LG T8 tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, Byron! Yeah, you can see that my plants were not faring well under the full-spectrum, and the cycle is not doing well because of that. I'll be going back to That Fish Place next week, so I'll look for one of the other tubes then and try it out.

I do love the way this one makes the bettas look, though....:)
 
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