What kind of CF bulbs?
I have a 100g, 4ft long, 1.5 ft wide, 2.5 ft tall tank that used to be saltwater, but was converted to freshwater. Always had trouble growing plants in it, now I think I know why. It came with two compact fluorescent light fixtures above it, each with 3 ft long compact fluorescet lights of 96 watts, but I usually only turn one on. Both have bulbs that are 50% actinic, 50% unknown "white". Markings on the bulbs aren't particularly useful other than wattage. I assume that they're 50/50 because half the bulb looks blue when turned on. Fixtures are made by a company that is now out of business (CustomSeaLife,Inc.), so no information on them except a box checked on the outside of them labeled: 51004 .5 Amp.
I'm assuming that I can buy new compact fluorescent 3 ft. 96 watt bulbs with a more appropriate plant growing spectrum and be OK since I don't know what kind of ballast (if any) is in the fixture. I would like to keep the fixtures as they seem to have nice reflectors, and it is easier to buy new bulbs rather than get all new fixtures. Also, what spectrum bulb should I get. My two goals are to #1 be able to grow low light plants like java fern, java moss, crypts, vals, etc. and #2 do a better job of showing off my rainbowfish. As of right now, the blues come out well, but the red on my splendidas is much duller in this tank than the breeder tank that only has a standard screw-in 23 watt CF above it. I was thinking some sort of 50/50 combo of 5500, 6700, and 10,000. From what I've read, any two of these three will grow plants better than my current actinic bulbs, but does anyone have an opinion of which combo would look best?