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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there! I need some friendly advice on what cheap (Under 100 dollars) 48 Inch Dual t8 bulbs I should try to pursue? Or if theres something even better for a Low/medium light tank!

All the plants I wish to have a Low/Medium light, and I'd rather not watch them waste away! :frown2:

As of right now, in my 55 gallon I only have 32 watts that came with the tank set up. My Hygrophila doesn't seem to care, as long as I keep the root tabs coming! Lol. But to name off a few I'd like to have

Java moss, Hornwort, Crypts, Water Wisteria, Rotalla, Dwarf and normal Sag, Water sprite, Cambomba, and a few others. Just so you get the idea of lighting I need.

I'm trying to steer clear of any potential danger that is involved with most non-water resistant DIY fixtures. So i'd really appreciate some guidance!

My current set up is two 24 inch hood lights with 18in 16 Watt bulbs! I tried to buy some LED ones, but it left my poor Hygro Melting! Come to find out the place I got them from said they were 32 watt when they were only 2, I repeat TWO watt per hood! :angryfire
So they ripped me off there. Id like that to not happen again!:iamwithst

So any suggestions guys?!:icon_mrgr
 

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Hello there! I need some friendly advice on what cheap (Under 100 dollars) 48 Inch Dual t8 bulbs I should try to pursue? Or if theres something even better for a Low/medium light tank!

All the plants I wish to have a Low/Medium light, and I'd rather not watch them waste away! :frown2:

As of right now, in my 55 gallon I only have 32 watts that came with the tank set up. My Hygrophila doesn't seem to care, as long as I keep the root tabs coming! Lol. But to name off a few I'd like to have

Java moss, Hornwort, Crypts, Water Wisteria, Rotalla, Dwarf and normal Sag, Water sprite, Cambomba, and a few others. Just so you get the idea of lighting I need.

I'm trying to steer clear of any potential danger that is involved with most non-water resistant DIY fixtures. So i'd really appreciate some guidance!

My current set up is two 24 inch hood lights with 18in 16 Watt bulbs! I tried to buy some LED ones, but it left my poor Hygro Melting! Come to find out the place I got them from said they were 32 watt when they were only 2, I repeat TWO watt per hood! :angryfire
So they ripped me off there. Id like that to not happen again!:iamwithst

So any suggestions guys?!:icon_mrgr
Is there a reason you are trying to stick with a T8 fixture? There are some economical 48 inch led fixtures you could pick up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read some forum that recommended T8's. What ever doesn't get very hot, and is safe. I'd try!

I've also heard LED's don't grow plants all that well. The 2 Watt lights were LED, they were very pretty in the tank, but are they going to be healthy enough for the Plants?
 

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I read some forum that recommended T8's. What ever doesn't get very hot, and is safe. I'd try!
Sounds like the LED fixture might have been too powerful, i.e., too close to the water. I think the LED's were a good move. LED's use less watts than fluorescents, just so you know.
 

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Also as an fyi, you can't compare LED light output to fluorescent lights based on watts alone, as LEDs are much more efficient. They'll produce a lot more light as measured in lumens or PAR at less wattage.

As LED lights consume less electricity and don't require replacement every 6-12 months, they also save money in the long term.

I'd say LED is the way to go.
 

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There are some great threads regarding LED's in PT. They have good and bad issues. I'm sticking with CFL's until LED's come down in price, and go up in good reviews. #1 issue is circuit boards and water don't mix. You'll need to buy the high end LED's to get good lighting, which by the way, at that point don't save as much on electricity any more. CFL's are consistently growing beautiful plants, and are 2 bucks a pop. If water splashes on them, they may fail, but that is not often. Mine take humidity well, and I haven't replaced any for many months. Too many people are spending big bucks on LED lights that fail within months because of humidity. I think that the high end LED's like Kessil, etc., have better reviews for longevity, and for the price, probably have guarantees of some sort, I would hope. My opinions on LED's have never been received well by many on PT, so I expect the same will happen in this thread as well. I haven't owned many LED fixtures, but I have read hundreds of reviews on the internet and on PT. It has kept me from buying.
 

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I really should start a thread about my DIY TCP 9 watt A19 bulb in cheap reflectors. It's been two weeks since they been installed, replacing the hot running, spiral CFLs I was using previously.

BTW those TCP LED bulbs are meant for wet use, says so right on their 'base', good for outdoors and exposed-rain conditions. They are not dimmable, but neither were the spiral CFL's they replaced.

I've had a a small jump in my Crypt growth with these, I'm considering them low to medium light at their height above the tank's water surface, I've got them mounted at. I'd think they would punch down well in a 20 gallon high tank if mounted closer. Their CRI is good, they color my fish well, they are 60 watt incandescent equivalents doing the same growing job that 100 watt equivalent CFL's were doing. 6 bulbs for $22, I think they are a bargain. Cheap DIY LED has arrived,. IMO.
 
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