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I absolutely hate the bulbs that most fishtank lighting strips come with. They are TOO dim for my liking. Usually full spectrum bulbs are the dimmest. Since they are high in the red end of the spectrum, their light becomes diffused much quicker as it passes through the water. example: Any scuba diver can tell you that the first color to fade, as you go deeper, is red. so, Red is weak= full spectrum is weak. However, full spectrum bublbs emit a healthy dose of UV rays that most animals need in small doses.

I very much like to use cool white bulbs instead of, or with, full spectrum. They are much brighter, and because they are high in the white/blue and of the spectrum, their light penetrates much deeper. However, they emit no UV rays. Most of my tanks recieve some sunlight at some point in the day so I dont really worry about UV concerns.

One thing to consider is that most diurnal animals use UV rays to help in assimilating vitamins wich are directly correalated to skin and immune health. So, if at all possible, a mixture of the two types of lighting is recommended. A mixture of the two types of lighting is also as close to the spectrum you see from the sun as you cn get. So, you will be seeing the fish colors as they would be if they were outdoors, in a pond.

I don't think any serious long term health risks for the fish would happen if ONLY cool white were used.

So, yes, you can find replacement bulbs for your strips at yur local home improvement shop. The wattage bulbs you need are dictated by the length of your strip lights (between the clips). Generally, they are "about" a single watt per inch. So, a 2 foot flourescent bulb is usually 18-20 watts.

Sorry, I went off on a explanation tangent there. I do that quite a bit.... :lol:


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