Planted Tank VIP
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
You're correct in your assumption that a 4100K will provide a plant with enough of the spectrum it needs if it is intense enough. But the problem is that it is providing a whole lot of the wrong spectrum in the process and could fuel some pretty strong algal growth.
I definitely suggest the GE Plant & Aquarium bulbs or the Sylvania Aquarium Gro-Lux bulbs (Lowe's doesn't carry GE bulbs, only Sylvania/OSRAM). My favorite is actually the Sylvania Gro-Lux wide spectrum.
You can get either T12 or T8. The T8's will provide almost as much intensity with much less power consumption. The T12's will provide slightly more light, but will consume more power. Home Depot or Lowe's won't have the 5000k T8 bulbs. Find a local lighting supply store in your Yellow Pages if you want the T8 bulbs, but I'd just go with the T12 bulbs if I were you.
I'm actually thinking of selling my CSL Power Compact metal strip light and just sticking with two overdriven T12's.
But it doesn't matter if the ballast is for T8's, it will work with the T12's. Did you get a ballast for four bulbs or two?
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage