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T8 recommendation for low tech planted?

6264 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  goodbytes
I nabbed a twenty gallon at a good price and I want to set it up for a moderately planted, low tech, low light plants tank. What would be a good T8 bulb to use? The tank came with an 18" Aqueon Full Spectrum T8. Any recommendations are appreciated!
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Probably the bulb you have is about as good as any that you might use if brightness
and fairly good color are wanted.
I have used T8 on one tank now for 4 years and I find no one bulb that gives all the
spectrum plants need however. They can have lots of one, but not both red and blue.
The Colormax has a fair amount of both but to me gives the tank an awful hue.
The Zoo Med "Flora sun" has both, but lacks brightness.
Other than those I have yet to find a bulb/w red spectrum.
I have two 10g tanks and one has the T8 on it, but I do two bulbs on there. Two different types.
They are on separate timers and one is on for 9 hrs and the other in the middle of that is on for 3.5 hrs.
Since you didn't say 20 long I'll assume it's the regular tall one so your 4" taller and
that to me says one T8 bulb will only grow Anubias and Java Fern in there.
There is a list of plants which will grow in low light on the low tech section of the forum.
There may be other plants on there that will also grow in there. Some med light
plants will grow in low light, just slower. But I'd check those on the list(that you are interested in) first to see if they are listed as med light as those likely won't grow in there/w that one bulb.
http://www.zoomed.com/db/products/E...Qcm9kdWN0Q2F0ZWdvcnkiO3M6ODoiTGlnaHRpbmciO30=
That is the only single bulb T5HO fixture that I know of at this time. Unless you look at horticulture fixtures and the Sunblaster/w reflector is one bulb of T5HO.
Amazon.com : Sunblaster 904296 NanoTech T5 High Output Fixture Reflector Combo, 2-Feet : Plant Growing Lamps : Patio, Lawn & Garden
It will give you med light in that tank. Don't know if this would appeal to you but you
would need to raise it up some for being too much light. But cost effective it is.
 

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The link only brought me to a page of tanks but the 20g on that page says 12"x24"x20".
If it's 20" tall it will need at least two T8 bulbs and one T5HO may still only be in the low level light range or just into the med range.
Led's cost for the better ones that have a dimmer and colors other than just white bulbs.
Fluorescent bulbs have a window of spectrum while LED bulbs are focused in a more narrow band of spectrum. The Current Satallite Plus is a better one that would work on your tank well.
 

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I guess that must be the size of the package the tank comes in that they have listed for
it. I thought that looked tall as I had looked up the 20g tank on Marineland's site and
they list the sizes of all their tanks on it. They said 16" tall.
So after 2" of sub = 14 plus the legs so close to 16" again.
Best for not causing algae would be the Fugeray.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=875457
Might be a tad lower/w the 24" model.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. I bought a used 20 gallon that came with the standard T8 light and there aren't a whole lot of good options. Like Raymond S. said there's a compromise you have to make with each bulb whether it looks terrible or doesn't look bright enough. I'm just going to buy another 24" Finnex Stingray for $50.00 and I'd recommend the same for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm in the same boat as you. I bought a used 20 gallon that came with the standard T8 light and there aren't a whole lot of good options. Like Raymond S. said there's a compromise you have to make with each bulb whether it looks terrible or doesn't look bright enough. I'm just going to buy another 24" Finnex Stingray for $50.00 and I'd recommend the same for you.
Are you going to run the Stingray by itself or in conjunction with a T8?
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. I bought a used 20 gallon that came with the standard T8 light and there aren't a whole lot of good options. Like Raymond S. said there's a compromise you have to make with each bulb whether it looks terrible or doesn't look bright enough. I'm just going to buy another 24" Finnex Stingray for $50.00 and I'd recommend the same for you.
The link on post #6 shows the Stingray as having 25 PAR @ 16".
Do you have a tank/w a Stingray on it that has been going for more than half a year and has plants in it other than Java Fern and Anubias ?
25 PAR doesn't seem like near enough PAR, but the color of the light from the Stingray looks better than the Planted+ or the Fugeray so I am considering getting one if it will grow plants other than those two types I listed above.
 

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The link on post #6 shows the Stingray as having 25 PAR @ 16".
Do you have a tank/w a Stingray on it that has been going for more than half a year and has plants in it other than Java Fern and Anubias ?
25 PAR doesn't seem like near enough PAR, but the color of the light from the Stingray looks better than the Planted+ or the Fugeray so I am considering getting one if it will grow plants other than those two types I listed above.
I admit I was skeptical myself when I bought it for my 20 last October but my tank went from looking like it did in the first image in November to what it looked like in the second image a month before I broke it down in May. The Corkscrew Val exploded under this light and the Echinodorus really increased in size with the larger of the two propagating into another sword. I also grew 3 broadleaf HC plants in there from cuttings which I then moved. The Oak Leaf Water Sprite you see on the left there also expanded prodigiously from the original plants I had but that's no surprise as its really just a weed.


 
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