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Discussion Starter #1
So, the 20 gallon reno has a kit fixture with an 18" bulb, T8. It's currently a Marineland daylight with no Kelvin rating and I am sure that it is 4 years old. The tank is 16" deep.

Is just changing this to a new properly rated bulb going to be enough or too much? As much as I would rather swap it for an LED (then I wouldn't be asking anything as I know how well that works and what to expect) with a glass lid, I am going to blow the budget on plants and fish instead.... although there isn't really a budget I want to see how it goes before buying more hardware... and some of the plants are coming from my tank to add to the two existing.

I suppose that I sort of want to do this on the cheap just to see how well starter kit stuff and old hardware will do.

If ANYTHING so much as looks at me wrong though, it's outta there and in with the new.:evil:

Jeff.
 

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with the bulb being 4 years old its defiantely time to replace as they start to lose intencity after about a year. changing it to a "proper rated bulb" shouldnt change much in my opinion if anything the plants will benifit from it but i dont see a need for excess fert or any risk of a algae bloom. wanting to go on the cheap side you could probobly even go pickup a bulb from walmart. as you know the plants will still use it but dont expect record breaking growth rates and you wont need to fert as often if at all.
 

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I have two 18" T8's on my 60g Marineland. Go to Wallymart and get a GE Daylight 6500k bulb. My tank is 24" tall so the T8's are a bit lame, but support my mass of floating Anacharis fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ahhh... my bad, this is a pretty equipment specific query.

I have had no luck finding a suitable bulb. 2 Wallymarts, and a petshop so far. I found some marine bulbs and 3000k "daylight" bulbs. 18" isn't a very common bulb size with any selection apparently.

I may just go ahead and upgrade to LED and be done with it.... I might be able to use my home unit, which is 24", at the office and upgrade to the 36" at home. I would have to create a support for it but the change from 8 x 1 Watt bulbs to 16 will need to be seriously considered. Double the light over the entire aquarium might be too much. I do like my 14+ hour light schedule and I would need to reduce it I am certain.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I really hesitate to double up the light at home, but if I let the duckweed get really wild I actually expect it might work out.

It turns out that the office tank has no top trim. This means I can't put a glass top on it nor can I use a spanning style fixture that uses the lip to sit on.

DRAT!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The ceilings are 16', not wanting to sued anything. It looks like the plants are doing OK even with the old light. Now these are the dwarf hygros and they grow like weeds anyway but it at least lets me not be too worried about the light. I asked yesterday about light period.... 24hours.

I'm obviously going to have to put a timer on it. The poor fish have never really had anywhere to get out of the light either. I mentioned that it is a 24 hour operation but the main lights do get dimmed so the tank could get mostly dark where it is. I am considering blocking one end to help with this too.

I'll order if I need to. I do plan on ordering some stuff anyway but I will try the main LFS first.... They just happen to be an hour away and not anywhere I normally go expect for business stuff in the city.

Jeff.
 

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Over a 20g, a single T8 18-inch tube is fine--with a good tube. Life-Glo, or ZooMed UltraSun. LED is another option, as is an incandescant two socket fixture using 2 10w CFL Daylight 6500K bulbs.
 

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as far as if you order light tubes through the mail. you obviously think about them being damaged through the mail. when I ordered my t5 setup I ordered lights separately. well when I got everything in one bulb was no good from being slammed around and one was good. luckily drfostersmith has what seemed to be a USA based cust service dept. they shipped me new bulbs that day at no extra charge and had me send in the old ones when the new came in. was a seemless return. not to mentuion they sent the other bulbs with 5x more packageing then the original ones.

well point im getting at - if you order online I highly recommend them
 

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Discussion Starter #12
as far as if you order light tubes through the mail. you obviously think about them being damaged through the mail. when I ordered my t5 setup I ordered lights separately. well when I got everything in one bulb was no good from being slammed around and one was good. luckily drfostersmith has what seemed to be a USA based cust service dept. they shipped me new bulbs that day at no extra charge and had me send in the old ones when the new came in. was a seemless return. not to mentuion they sent the other bulbs with 5x more packageing then the original ones.

well point im getting at - if you order online I highly recommend them
Thanks, we have a Canadian supplier that I might try, saves the customs nightmare. I have a couple of shops that I will be near tomorrow and will look first. Taking Mr Pleco back tomorrow too. If its that much of a hassle and I have to order something I will probably order LED anyway... I need to consider that the fixture (ballast) is quite old, it would be a shame to buy a bulb then have the fixture go next.

Jeff.
 
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