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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to buy 2 48" Fluorescent Light Bulb. But not sure what kind?
I only have low light plants.

The 2 bulbs I had were coral lite. Which came with the light fixture.
Any suggestions thanks
 

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What size bulb do you have? T5's are a newer type of bulb and are usually T5HO (T5 is the size of the bulb and HO stands for high output), then there are T8 and T12.
T12 are the old fashioned, standard fluorescent tubes that are approx. 1 1/4 inch in diameter and are 40 watts. T8 bulbs are 3/4 inch in diameter and are 32 watts. T5HO bulbs are 1/2 inch in diameter and have 54 watts. These wattages are all for bulbs for 48 inch fixtures.
Once you determine what size bulbs you have, then you can decide on the kelvin. Usually a planted tank would want a bulb with a kelvin between 5,000K and 10,000K. You can use a combination, such as one 5,000K and one 6,700K. If you look on your current bulbs, you will likely see the K rating of the bulb printed on it, along with the wattage.
I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What size bulb do you have? T5's are a newer type of bulb and are usually T5HO (T5 is the size of the bulb and HO stands for high output), then there are T8 and T12.
T12 are the old fashioned, standard fluorescent tubes that are approx. 1 1/4 inch in diameter and are 40 watts. T8 bulbs are 3/4 inch in diameter and are 32 watts. T5HO bulbs are 1/2 inch in diameter and have 54 watts. These wattages are all for bulbs for 48 inch fixtures.
Once you determine what size bulbs you have, then you can decide on the kelvin. Usually a planted tank would want a bulb with a kelvin between 5,000K and 10,000K. You can use a combination, such as one 5,000K and one 6,700K. If you look on your current bulbs, you will likely see the K rating of the bulb printed on it, along with the wattage.
I hope this helps.

wow that's a bunch of info. had no idea it was that specific. im not at home now to check but I know one of them is 10,000k from what I remember and the other may be a regular. ill have to check on that.
 

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When you go to the store, you will see all the different types of bulbs, and it can be confusing! So, it is a good idea to write down what you are looking for. The 10000K bulb will give quite a white, clear light. A 5000K bulb will look quite pink, and are often sold as "plant bulbs". In my four bulb fixture, I have two 5000K, one 6700K and one 10000K. In my two bulb fixture, I am currently running two 6400K bulbs.
 

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ill probably go with something like that two 6400k bulbs. I read that's the minimum requirement for low tech plants
Don't confuse the color temperature of the bulbs, 6400K, for example, as being anything but the apparent color of the light. It has nothing to do with how much light the bulb emits. The "minimum requirement for low tech" refers to the intensity of the light, not the color. As long as you like how the tank looks, you can use just about any color temperature bulb you want. Generally speaking, the 10,000K and higher bulbs look bluish and/or very stark white. The 5000K and lower bulbs tend to look more yellowish. Plant specific bulbs tend to look pinkish or lavender.
 

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T5's are a newer type of bulb and are usually T5HO (T5 is the size of the bulb and HO stands for high output), then there are T8 and T12.
T12 are the old fashioned, standard fluorescent tubes that are approx. 1 1/4 inch in diameter and are 40 watts. T8 bulbs are 3/4 inch in diameter and are 32 watts. T5HO bulbs are 1/2 inch in diameter and have 54 watts. These wattages are all for bulbs for 48 inch fixtures.
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T5 bulbs aren't new at all. Been around for decades. the t5ho bulbs are relatively new I suppose (since the 90s or so). But I wouldnt' say most t5s are HO and you shouldn't assume that since they are quite different and really are not interchangeable.

Your sizes are incorrect. florescent bulbs are measured in 1/8 of an inch. A T8 bulb is 8 1/8's of an inch....or one inch. A t5 is 5/8 of an inch and a T12 would be 12/8 of an inch or 1.5 inches.
 
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