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Old 12-14-2009, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Bulb Recommendations?

So, my 50 gallon's 6 36" bulbs have been running for at least 3 years for about 8 hours a day. This is way too long, correct?

I'm considering replacing them all with new Flora Sun Bulbs from Zoo Med -

Is this a good bulb, or can I get a better value for my money?
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Bulb Recommendations?

It seems like now days, with the technology used in aquarium bulbs for planted tanks, the main question is whether or not you'll like the way they look. My main issue is with bulbs that have really high green spikes in the spectral output. Anyway, compare spectrum graphs and spend a while in the lighting forum to see what others are using and how they like them. Personally, I like the Geissman Midday (expensive, but last a long time) which was recommended to me by TexGal and TexGuy, and I absolutely loathe anything with a 6700K rating because the ones I just removed were just too "green".

I just realized these are not what I thought they were, but the spectral graph should still be on the outside of the packaging for you to compare with others.

Last edited by mudboots; 12-24-2009 at 01:09 PM.. Reason: added next note
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Bulb Recommendations?

Thanks for the note. After replacing the Flora Sun bulbs, which spike in the red and blue, everything in the tank had a pinkish hue. I swapped a few of them out for full spectrum bulbs because the plants barely looked green at all!
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Bulb Recommendations?

The Flora Sun bulbs are very good plant bulbs and they bring out the red and blue colors.

mudboots suggested the excellent T5HO Midday 6000K bulbs, but they are not available in T8.

Years ago, I used to mix Flora Sun bulbs and Interpet's Triton bulbs. They worked very well together and looked great, but the Tritons are hard to find now.

You may want to mix your Flora Sun pinkish-blue bulbs with 1, 2 or 3 other K rated bulbs. The Floura Sun by itself doesn't look very natural when used alone. When mixed, they are a hard to beat T8 bulb.


Flora Sun:
"This high intensity lamp with peak emissions in the blue and red regions serves to maximize the photo biological processes in plants. The emission spectrum closely resembles the absorption curve of chlorophyll-A, promoting maximum photosynthesis, ideal for planted aquariums, or terrariums. Also great for shy fish species such as dwarf cichlids, discus, etc. Use in conjunction with Ultra Sun or Tropic Sun. Zoo Med's line of fluorescent aquarium lamps are made in Europe for ultra high quality, color, and longer burn life. ..."

Ultra Sun 6500K:
"The Ultra Sun is a 6500K high intensity trichromatic full spectrum daylight lamp. With a CRI rating of 98, it provides excellent color reduction for optimum viewing of your freshwater or marine fish and live corals with a balanced full spectrum of visible light and UVA. Promotes photosynthetic processes in plants and marine algae. Ideal for all freshwater and marine fish as well as reef tanks. ..."

Tropic Sun 5500K:
"A 5500K bulb that is ideal for freshwater fish and live plants. The Tropic Sun is a full spectrum daylight lamp, which simulates natural sunlight for optimum aquarium viewing. Our Tropic Sun daylight bulb brings out the natural beauty of fish and plants and is our most economically priced bulb. ..."

You may even want to mix in an Ocean Sun 10,000:
"The Ocean Sun is a 10,000k high intensity lamp which creates a beautiful "deep ocean" effect in your marine or freshwater aquarium. This emission spectrum, strong in the blue regions, supports the photo biological processes of marine algae and freshwater plants. Ocean Sun promotes the growth of zooxanthellae algae, essential for the growth and well being of all photosynthetic corals and invertebrates. Ideal for all marine aquariums, and freshwater aquariums where a deep water effect is desired. ..."

Did you notice that ZooMed has T5HO bulbs now?
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Bulb Recommendations?

The UltraSuns are a very good bulb but looked green to my eyes. You might consider mixing in a few AGA 8000 K bulbs to balance things out with your pinkish bulbs. They grow plants well also. When I was using 3 x T8 25 watt (36 inch) fixture, I eventually went to using only the AGA 8000 Ks that came with the fixture.
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