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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I picked up a 55gal off CL for $50, not sure if it was all that good of a deal now as it looks like hood is warped, glass scratched a bit and only 1 fixture works :( Oh well time to fix it up.

I got some GE Silicone 1 as the silicone inside is gone.

My real question here (as this is the lighting section and all) is I bought a cheap 2 bulb T8 fixture at Lowes (may pick up a second) and need to get bulbs. I searched "5000k vs. 6500k" and it looks as if 6500k is what I want (?) I also read that they all will look different.

Any recommendations on which bulbs will work good for plants (hopefully on the cheap from Lowes or HD as the LFS lights seem to be at least double the price)? Also should I use 2 or 4? (21" deep tank). I do also have a 18" 9325k I can throw in there also. I am planning on building a hood.

This is my first planted tank so I apologize for all the questions.

Thanks
Steve
 

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All the major stores sell bulbs in the 6500k range. Normally they are labeled as "daylight" as opposed to cool white or soft white or office use, so look for anything with "daylight" and you should be good.
 

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Your Lighting Question

Good morning Steve...

If you're interested in low to moderate light plants, then a two bulb strip will be more than enough. I have low light plants in my 55 Gs and use a single 6500 K, 32 or 40 watt, T8 or T12 (see attached pic).

6500 K bulbs are recommended for growing most aquatic plants, because this bulb best mimics natural daylight (5500 K). You can get these at most hardware stores for less than $10.00 each.

There's really no need for high end lighting if you don't keep the more light demanding plants.

B
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds good, Thanks.

I was just planning on getting the daylight 6500k, but sometimes reading through 4 or 5 lighting threads causes more questions then answers. lol

Just didn't want to buy things twice, weel at least this early in the game, I'm sure I'll switch things up after I have it set up for a while or want to try new things :)

Steve
 

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If you have any red plants or red fish you may want to try a Daylight/plant bulb mix. Plant bulbs usually have good amounts of red light in them (that 9325k also has a nice amount of red in it)...which will enhance those colors. Plants don't really care what color light they get, as long as it is intense enough. Two T8 bulbs should give you ~18 PAR...=low light, 4 bulbs =36Par...high end of low light.
 
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