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Old 02-09-2004, 06:06 AM   #1
ddooltl
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Bare with me. For the time being, I'm going for the cheap bare basics of planted tanks. (Hey I still have issues with paying $2 for a fish! ops: )

I have a 20L with a 18" 15 W fluorescent strip light. The only available ones in the stores were GE and Phillips P&A bulbs and Sunshine bulbs.

I decided on GE P&A and don't care for the results. It's dim and yellow. Is it my tank (it might have a slight tinge of yellow from driftwood, bronze colored gravel) and strip light (plastic might have yellowed- got it used) or is it the bulb?

Will either brands of Sunshine bulbs give me a brighter whiter look? Still good for plants (considering low light plants only of course)?

Thanks! 8)
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:27 PM   #2
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You may want to look at the spec. of the bulbs (usually stated on the box). Look for the color temperature. It may be written something like 5000K, 6000K etc.. Your yellow bulb may have temp color around 5000K. If you want something closer to white, you want to get a bulb with color temp. between 6500K to 10000K. The 10000K will have bluish tint and the 6500K may have a slight greenish/yellowish tint. I know that the 6500 and 6700 are good for plant. Not really sure about the 10000K. I would think it should be ok too.
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:35 PM   #3
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As far as the plants are concerned, intensity is dozens of times more important than color spectrum. Either one of those bulbs will be equally adequate (or inadequate, in this case). Your problem is intensity. The P&A bulbs are some of the least "yellow" bulbs, so the tint you are seeing could very well be from the tannins being released from your driftwood, which is even further decreasing your light intensity levels.
Some low light plants might be able to survive in your lighting, but they will never thrive and grow. I strongly encourage you to try to get your lighting to around 2 watts per gallon.
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:13 PM   #4
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As I have said many times, "magic" plant bulbs will not make up for lack of light. Like Sam said you really need more light.
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:42 PM   #5
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Hi The plant and aquarium lightd are very good for growing plants BUT bad for viewing. They are around 3000k in temperature but are strong in the far ends on the non visible spectrum. The green yellow part of the spectrum does not help plants grow,they reflect most of it. If you were able to retrofit a two bulb ballast use one P&A bulb and one sunshine bulb.(home depot has some electronic ballasts)That will boost your plants growing ability and provide much nicer viewing..
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOTIA
They are around 3000k in temperature but are strong in the far ends on the non visible spectrum.
They're visible; they're just not as perceptibly bright to our eyes. Otherwise we're talking about ultraviolet and infrared light.
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Old 02-11-2004, 10:36 PM   #7
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OOPs I should have said less visible... Anyhow those cheap P&A bulbs work great with a 6500k bulb to balance out the CRI>
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Old 02-15-2004, 06:51 PM   #8
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Fortunately I have an extra light strip (15w fl). Unfortunately, I can't find a daylight bulb in 15w where I live. Are those available in stores? I can only find cool and warm white, and sunshine. Is sunshine the better one even though it's only 5000K? Wouldn't that still give me a yellow tint?

I know it's still not much wattage, but it's possible to have real plants, right? You don't think even low light plants can thrive in 1w/gal or less? Although I know it will get addicting, I'm not looking for an overly lush tank. I just don't want a brown rotting mess in there.

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2004, 01:03 PM   #9
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We're definitely talking potential brown rotting mush with less than 1wpg. I've managed to grow Anubias and Crypt wendtii in 1wpg, but it was very small, and grew so slowly that the old leaves eventually became covered in algae since they weren't being replaced by new growth fast enough. We're talking one new leaf a month here.
Just pick the bulb color based on preference. If you can't find them in home improvment stores or lighting supply stores, the LFS's have them (they're just three times as expensive).
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