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I was just looking for some advice on T8 bulbs. I recently set up a 48in worklight with two ZooMed Plant Gro bulbs which says they are 5000k.

The first question I have is,

The lights I bought were 21.99 each, yet at home depot they have 5000k and 6500k bulbs for 10.00 for 2.
Is there anything that is special about the zoomed lights or for that matter the coralife plant bulbs, do they do anything else special to them,

or is a 5000k light a 5000k light.

Second question I had was,

What is the best light value for a fully planted 75gl tank that is 48x21x18.

Thanks
Jamie
 

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I'm not an expert but the ZooMed Flora Sun (if that is the bulb you have) has peak emissions in the red & blue spectrum which is supposed to be more useful to plants. The 5000k & 6500k are considered "daylight" bulbs that are also good for plants.

I personally like the look of my T12 Gro-lux bulb mixed with the 6500k bulb from Home Depot. To me it adds a more natural look & tones down the stark bright white light of the 6500k bulb. Others don't like the way the reddish/pinkish bulbs make the tank look. It's a personal thing.

I think the best value is the shop lights or even better the Diamond Plate shop light from Home Depot. The PAR readings on the chart doesn't make the Diamond Plate fixture appear that much better than the cheaper white painted shop light but I just can't believe it and I'm the one the did the readings. The diamond plate fixtures have much better reflectors. Wish I would have had an actual PAR meter to see if that would have made a difference.

I just ordered the ZooMed Flora Sun in T8 so hopefully it will look similar to my T12 Gro-lux bulb. Before buying it during my research the ZooMed FloraSun had higher peaks in the red/blue spectrum as compared to the Aqueon FloraMax. Didn't compare to a Coralife since I didn't see a "grow" bulb where I was shopping and the ones I looked at didn't appear to be any better than regular 5000k or 6500k bulbs.
 
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