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Using normal (screw in) CF bulbs - OK for plants?
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.19(Tue)23:09    Post subject: Using normal (screw in) CF bulbs - OK for plants? Reply with quote

I have a 55 gallon tank that is in the process of cycling. I want to keep some medium to low light plants (java moss, java fern, hornworts, dwarf hairgrass, and eventually some sword).

I brought a Top Fin 55 gallon with a kit, so the lights are pretty low power - just enough to see the fish. Instead of investing in a glass top and new light strips, I was wondering how plants would do on regular compact flourescent bulbs - the kind you get from Home Depot. The CF bulbs I have are suppose brighter and white instead of the normal orange tint. They are advertise to be more like natural light. Are these bulbs any better than normal CF bulbs? Do you think they'd have more of the wavelengths that plants would use?

These are still general purpose lights - not the special aquarium lights. But I thought since I'm using a regular "clip on" reading light with these bulbs, I place them outside the tank, closer to the bottom, and I'll plant the plants near the glass to take most advantage of the light.

The benefit I see is that the light intensity wouldn't be diminished much because it doesn't have as far to travel to reach the plant. I might get some algae on the part of the glass where the light is pointing...but I can deal with that.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks and Happy Holidays,
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Cathy G

Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.12.20(Wed)3:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run some full spectrum compact flourescent screw-in bulbs over 2 of my tanks. I get mine at Walmart - they are around $4.50. THe "K' rating is 6500 (5000 - 6500 is Full Spectrum), and the color of light is good looking too. THey come in 10 and 15 watts which would work for clip on lamps.

THe other thing I did to get cheap/good lighting was to set up a double strip shop light over my tanks. (48inch tanks). I put full spectrum bulbs in - Walmart again - and hung them on nice chains over my tank. I raise/lower the fixture as I need to feed and clean by using a couple of hooks.

I still had to get tank covers though.

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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2006.12.20(Wed)5:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option is to retro-fit with AH Supply's 2x55w Bright Kit and the highly recommended GE Aqua Rays Fresh & Saltwater 9325k bulbs...

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Joined: 23 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.20(Wed)14:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I have the 2x55 set up from AH on my 29G. Although I would rather mix a 6700 and the 9325 since both bulb on my tank is the GE and I think there're too blue. When I try to take picture with digi cam the picture will usually look too bright. The GE bulb really enhance the color of the fish. But over shadow the color of the plant keeping them from standing out.
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fish man

Joined: 02 May 2005
Location: canada

PostPosted: 2006.12.31(Sun)23:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

wall mart also has 25 watt bulbs witch is what I use I have 2 over my 10 gallon and 4 over my 33 gallon
90 gallon planted
43 gallon salt water
55 gallon cichlid
10gallon plated guppie tank
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