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Hello all
I have a 120gal planted tank. 60 X 18 X 24
Trying to figure out what lights will be best for me and I'm completely confused. Currently have two duel 48 inch ho t5 light fixtures. I bought used and they have a mixture of coral bulbs and plant bulbs. I'm sure all 4 need replaced I'm just not sure with what. Any and all help is greatly appreciated
 

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Hello all
I have a 120gal planted tank. 60 X 18 X 24
Trying to figure out what lights will be best for me and I'm completely confused. Currently have two duel 48 inch ho t5 light fixtures. I bought used and they have a mixture of coral bulbs and plant bulbs. I'm sure all 4 need replaced I'm just not sure with what. Any and all help is greatly appreciated
First think about color.. Then growth.. Makes life easier..
Mr. Greystoke's chart is quite handy.. Personally I'd go 1 zoo-med
5000k per fixture, then one other bulb of a shade of color that will either enhance warm i.e yellowish or enhance cool i.e bluish..

Ask 100 people, get 100 answers..btw: I've never tried this bulb... ;)
http://www.bigalspets.com/5-000k-flora-sun-t5-ho-fluorescent-lamp-54-w-48.html
 

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1 @ 650nm
1 @ 460nm
1 @10,000K..for more brightness in tank + plants
1 @ 6700K...plants /viewing...Loew's for $10
Top two are plant growth spectrums specific.
Top two are extra/can be three 6700K and one 10,000K or two of each.
 

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It doesn't sound like it is being made any easier, if you feel overwhelmed. You could just get two 65-6700k and two 10000k from Home Depot/Lowes and put one of each in each fixture. These are just as "plant specific" as any other bulb out there, but they don't have the added cost for calling them such.

Is this a 72" tank?
 

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Hello all
I have a 120gal planted tank. 60 X 18 X 24
Trying to figure out what lights will be best for me and I'm completely confused. Currently have two duel 48 inch ho t5 light fixtures. I bought used and they have a mixture of coral bulbs and plant bulbs. I'm sure all 4 need replaced I'm just not sure with what. Any and all help is greatly appreciated
You are confused because you are doing things from the top down, not from the bottom up. First read up on what wavelenghts of light plants need for photosynthesis also know as photosynthetically active radiation. There are charts online for this. Once you have a good understanding, then shop for lights.Ignore sales pitches. Look at the spectral distribution output graphs if there is one for each light, find one that provides good par.
 

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Just to add a little more confusion, you'll want to know the CRI of the bulbs your interested in. This is important for true colors of plants, and fish in your tank.
I use Zoomed 6700K, and 10,000K (1 bulb per fixture), and get good growth, and fairly true colors.
 

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Just to add a little more confusion, you'll want to know the CRI of the bulbs your interested in. This is important for true colors of plants, and fish in your tank.
I use Zoomed 6700K, and 10,000K (1 bulb per fixture), and get good growth, and fairly true colors.
I did not include that for it would added to his confusion.
If you are at high elevation where the suns color temperature is bluer then your statement is true. However, the plants in our tanks are not high elevation plants, therefore your true color recomendation is false. All of the plants we grow experience a color natural color temperature of approximately 5500-55??K. I forget the top range, but not less than 5500K. Even so, bulbs of those two K temperatures can work because manufactures often include enough red producing phosphor.
 

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And I thought the OP came here to get un-overwhelmed. You guys are throwing everything into this, most of which don't really matter as much as simply buying bulbs somewhere, doesn't really matter where, in the planted range. Let them worry about where he sits on the globe a few seconds after he gets going...geez!
 

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And I thought the OP came here to get un-overwhelmed. You guys are throwing everything into this, most of which don't really matter as much as simply buying bulbs somewhere, doesn't really matter where, in the planted range. Let them worry about where he sits on the globe a few seconds after he gets going...geez!
I agree. When starting out with a planted tank there is a lot to learn, so it is best, in my opinion, to just use a light that gives you the right range of intensity, without concern over the spectrum of that light. If you stick to cool white fluorescents, or the 6500 - 6700K fluorescents, you will have light adequate to grow almost any plants. If you use Odyssea 2 bulb T5HO lights, http://www.aquatraders.com/24-inch-2x24W-T5-Aquarium-Light-Fixture-p/52121.htm for example, you will have plenty of light to grow any plants. You could use a couple of 24 inch long lights in one row across the tank and probably get good enough light coverage. You will need to use Seachem Excel, or equivalent, with that much light, to help avoid algae problems.

Later, when you have accumulated more knowledge and experience, and want to take a step up, you can then look at finding a better spectrum light to make your plants and fish look better, and possibly help the reddish plants be more red.
 

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A lot of people have had very nice planted tanks just using cool white or 6700K fluorescent bulbs, so there is no reason to toss all of that experience out of the door. No question that lights that have the best spectrum will produce more real color in the tank, and will grow plants better, assuming the same light intensity. But, when starting out with a planted tank, why burden yourself with the job of seeking the very best light before you even know how to maintain the tank? Save some of the fun for later, when you are not so intimidated by the whole project.
 

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Having just researched the same question I settled on what seemed to be consensus of a rose colored bulb such as the Colormax and a daylight bulb at 6500K. The plants like the rose colored bulb best and you'll like the daylight bulb. The latter can be a anything from a 5000K to 6700K. Beyond 6700K it will start to get too blue.
 
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