Which T5 HO bulbs work best? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Which T5 HO bulbs work best?

I know, that probably is too general of a question. My fixture is a double bulb T5 HO on a 20g high tank so 48 watts or a bit over 2 per gallon. It sits 17 inches above the substrate, (Caribe sea sand), and about 4 inches above the water surface.

In the past I had heard that T5 HO lights were more powerful and that the same watts per gallon formula that we used for T8 bulbs was not really accurate any longer and lately there have been so many advances in lighting that I no longer feel like I know how intense my lighting is or what the best bulbs to run are. My plants grow well and I do not have an algae problem but it is time to get new bulbs so I thought I would ask for opinions.

I am currently running one 6500k daylight bulb and one Zoomed Floralife gro bulb about 9 hours a day. What would you buy for this fixture?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 11:30 AM
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For a 2 bulb I like one ~6500K and one "red". It really comes down to what appeals to you, visually.

TrueLumen Flora is a nice bulb that doesnt cost a fortune. It is quite red in spite of being 6700K. Zoomeds are nice too.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 12:02 PM
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Have not used the Zoo Med "Flora sun" in T5. Always have used the ZM "Flora sun"
in T8 and I think it's the best grow bulb under $20. In fact you can get two for less than one of the Big G bulbs which no doubt are best if money is not a factor in the purchase.
The T5HO just doesn't come shorter than 24" and I have 10g tanks is the only reason I haven't used those.
But I find the T8 Flora sun has poor visible light(brightness)so I would run it/w a "white"
bulb in 600K-7000K range. I think that the Aquaticlife 6000K "Natural White" gives
great plant color...
So those together should be great together but I wish they made the ZM in 18" for me to use that combo as I already use the Aquatic life one.
The other bulb that I've tried which has good growth and looks good in my tank is
the True Lumen "Flora" if you don't mind the tank having a red hue to it.
They do come in 18" so I also have that one and the brightness is there along/w crystal clear light. No glare. When you look at a picture of a tank on here and the tops of the leaves are blasting you away...that glare...some bulbs do that...this one doesn't.
Odyssea does. Bought some because they were cheap.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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