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Lighting For A Planted Aquarium


amynmitchell

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I have a new to me 30 gallon tank and the hood is for a flourescent bulb. The one that it came with is 17 watts. I want to try and get the lighting up to at least 30 watts. The question is can I buy a flourescent bulb at the hardware store and use it or does it need to be an aqarium bulb? Does anybody have any suggestions as to wattage I need?

I have an small sword plant, four wisteria plants and a java moss log.

Thanks!

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I have a new to me 30 gallon tank and the hood is for a flourescent bulb. The one that it came with is 17 watts. I want to try and get the lighting up to at least 30 watts. The question is can I buy a flourescent bulb at the hardware store and use it or does it need to be an aqarium bulb? Does anybody have any suggestions as to wattage I need?

I have an small sword plant, four wisteria plants and a java moss log.

Thanks!

Hey, I just found this one. Well, to be safe, in case there's something waterproof about these bulbs, I'd want to stick with bulbs made for aquarium tank covers. Also, if you needed to up your lighting to accommodate for plants, there are retrofit kits so you can use different bulbs or stronger bulbs, but as I don't do live plants, I can't really talk about all this specifically.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I've been looking at those lights...they are supposed to be great! I think you are right that I would need to invest in a whole new hood. I've been kind of holding off in case I end up upgrading tanks again (even though I just got this one...you know how it is).

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Another possibility to consider is a new hood that uses incadescent bulbs (screw in type). If you can find the proper size, you could replace the regular bulbs with a couple of 15 watt compact fluorescents. To keep the plants nice and healthy, it's best to use bulbs labled "6500K" or "Daylight". the daylight bulbs tend to put out a whiter light than general aquarium bulbs. This would give you the 30 watts that you are trying to get, not to mention the bulbs most likely would be lower in cost. That is what I use on my 10g planted tropical tank.

Edited by br553
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Thanks...that is a great idea, too! My plants are still really healthy and green, but I am starting to get some brown algae (oddly, enough I also have some bright green algae) which says to me the light is a bit too low.

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