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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Very Quick Bulb Help Please

i would like to order these today so any tiny bit of info would really help. i need to replace the (4) 36" 30w t-8s in the hood that came with the tank, with good bulbs for plants. i have searched and read for hours but the search engine is garbage and there just doesnt seem to be a clear consensus on this sight as to what the best bulbs/fixtures are. all i need to know is:

1) can i use other bulbs (t-12, t-10, t-6, etc) in my t-8 fixture?

2) can i use bulbs of differnt wattage in stead of my 30w bulbs. for instance 24w of the same length.

3) whats the best bulb to be replacements. for instance flora-glo, nutri grow, flora sun, aqua rays, etc. is the bulb below the famous GE 9325 or is it a knockoff? should i do a combination of two different bulbs?

http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/PROD/Aquarium/F30T8-AR-FS

4) what 36" 2x39 t-5HO fixture do you recommend. im about to get the current nova extreme below unless someone tells me differently.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+13822+16770&pcatid=16770

thanks for any help
 

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Re: Very Quick Bulb Help Please

[1) can i use other bulbs (t-12, t-10, t-6, etc) in my t-8 fixture?

No, different numbers indicate different diameters.

2) can i use bulbs of differnt wattage in stead of my 30w bulbs. for instance 24w of the same length.

Don't think so as it has to do with how much wattage your ballast can handle.

3) whats the best bulb to be replacements. for instance flora-glo, nutri grow, flora sun, aqua rays, etc. is the bulb below the famous GE 9325 or is it a knockoff? should i do a combination of two different bulbs?

http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/PROD/Aquarium/F30T8-AR-FS

They will all grow plants, with the main difference being the color you see. Some are pinkish, some are yellowish, some are greenish, and still others are bluish and whitish.

4) what 36" 2x39 t-5HO fixture do you recommend. im about to get the current nova extreme below unless someone tells me differently.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+13822+16770&pcatid=16770

Current Nova is good. Tech lite is also good. Just depends on your budget.

Hope this will at least give you some quick idea:D
 

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1) yes T12 and T8 bulbs (and T10 im pretty sure) can usually be interchanged. Go with the T8s over the t12s. you get more light down to the plants in the same way t5s get more then the t8s and such.

4) what size tank do you have? The current novas arent really considered good compared to other fixtures because they dont use individual reflectors. It all depends on what level lighting you want. Obviously the Teks are on the top of the list but are pricey and give off lots of light. I like something in the middle, like the catalinas because you get the benefit of the individual relfectors without breaking the bank, they got them on ebay for a decent number. Personally if your trying to go High light Id probably go with something more then a current 39x2. You can always use extra lights for a midday burst if you have too much and its better to have too much then not enough. Again personal preference tho. if you went with something with better reflectors then 2 t5 bulbs could be enough again depending on what you want.
 

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1) yes T12 and T8 bulbs (and T10 im pretty sure) can usually be interchanged. Go with the T8s over the t12s. you get more light down to the plants in the same way t5s get more then the t8s and such.

quote]

Very interesting. Are they really interchangeble? Would love to see someone post pictures of such example.
 

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I don't have pictures but as long as a T-12 (1.5" diameter) bulb will fit in a T-8 (1" diameter bulb) enclosure it will work. I can run T-12 lights in my T-8 shoplight. It should be the same with a T-10 bulb also. Most fixtures that use T-8 lights have an electronic ballast that will drive most bulbs at 32 watts, i.e a 40 watt T-12 bulb will be only be given 32 watts of power. That said, a T-12 fixture that uses a magnetic ballast usually will not light a 32w T-8 bulb. I don't think a lower wattage bulb will be driven at the higher ballast wattage but I may be wrong.

I have used the GE Fresh and Saltwater bulbs on my tanks. I currently have them in all of my 10g fixtures. I love their color rendition as it makes the reds "pop". I try to get as close to this rating as I can in my other tanks. I also like Zoo Med's Flora Sun bulbs which are rated at 8500K or 8800K. As stated, it really depends on the way you see the light and what color you prefer. Most of the lights we have now days are pretty decent for growing plants.

I'd hold off on the T-5 fixture personally. You don't mention your use of CO2 on your tank but if you go with the T-5 setup it will probably become a requirement. T-5s are much more intense than T-8s and it seems you need CO2 once you get into the 1.5 watts per gallon range. I would replace the T-8s with the same size bulbs and add CO2 before upgrading your lighting. CO2 will help quite a bit and you will then be prepared for increasing the lighting should you decide you need/want it later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the help. yes i will be running pressurized co2 on my 125. i have tanks and regulator, just need a solenoid, bubble counter etc. im shooting for a low/medium light tank, i just want everything to be healthy. the reason i was asking about interchanging bulbs is that i am having a difficult time finding 36" 30w t-8s anywhere. ive tried ebay, google, fostersmith, aquariumguys, everywhere and i cant find any plant bulbs that fit. they are all wrong wattage or t-10s or t-12s. does anyone know if the bulbs that i linked to in the original post are the GEs? thanks for mentioning the catalinas. im new and dont know of all the options or how good the different brands are. i will check them out.
 

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All of the Zoo Med bulbs are T-8s and their wattage should be just fine with your setup. Do you know if your ballast is electronic or magnetic? A magnetic ballast (at least aquarium fixtures) usually has a "starter" on it. Most 36" T-8 bulbs are 25 watts and the 36" T-12 bulbs are 30 watts. As with any rule, there are always exceptions.

Again, the GE bulbs you linked to in your first post, the GE Fresh and Saltwater, are the 9325K bulbs. If you look them up on Foster and Smith they list them at 9325K. They are linear tubes versus the compact fluorescent that most people talk about on the forum when they refer to GE9325s but they give off the same color light, maybe just a tad less pink. The Zoo Med Flora Suns are very similar to the bulbs you linked to, maybe a bit more pinkish tone to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
All of the Zoo Med bulbs are T-8s and their wattage should be just fine with your setup. Do you know if your ballast is electronic or magnetic? A magnetic ballast (at least aquarium fixtures) usually has a "starter" on it. Most 36" T-8 bulbs are 25 watts and the 36" T-12 bulbs are 30 watts. As with any rule, there are always exceptions.

Again, the GE bulbs you linked to in your first post, the GE Fresh and Saltwater, are the 9325K bulbs. If you look them up on Foster and Smith they list them at 9325K. They are linear tubes versus the compact fluorescent that most people talk about on the forum when they refer to GE9325s but they give off the same color light, maybe just a tad less pink. The Zoo Med Flora Suns are very similar to the bulbs you linked to, maybe a bit more pinkish tone to them.
thanks for your help. i have no clue if my ballast is magnetic or not. its the standard light strip that came with the tank. either perfecto or AGA, cant remember. it flickers for a while when it comes on if that tells you anything. is it even necessary to replace the bulbs? all they say is "eclipse full spectrum" am i going to see any actual difference in growth, or would my 50-60 bucks be better spent elsewhere? i will be getting most of my lighting from t-5s anyway, i just figured i might as well keep the light strip on since i already have it. i have grown amazon swords and java ferns with just the strip before.
 

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thanks for your help. i have no clue if my ballast is magnetic or not. its the standard light strip that came with the tank. either perfecto or AGA, cant remember. it flickers for a while when it comes on if that tells you anything. is it even necessary to replace the bulbs? all they say is "eclipse full spectrum" am i going to see any actual difference in growth, or would my 50-60 bucks be better spent elsewhere? i will be getting most of my lighting from t-5s anyway, i just figured i might as well keep the light strip on since i already have it. i have grown amazon swords and java ferns with just the strip before.
Electronic ballast are instant start so I would guess you have a magnetic ballast. Do you have a round "starter" that either pulls or screws out of the fixture somewhere? If you plan on going with T-5s you probably won't need the extra fixture on the tank. Then again, it is always nice to have an extra light source even if you only use in for a couple of hours each day ;) Is there any way you can get a pic of the under side of the fixture? That may help ID it better.

I'm not at all familiar with Eclipse Full Spectrum brand of lights in the T-8 size so hopefully someone else with some experience with them will chime in. If they have been in the fixture for more than 6-9 months, I would replace them if you want to continue using the fixture.
 
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