Any sugestions???

Karl R

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Allright folks I am kinds stuck right now with this cheesy little 24 inch florescent bulb taking (explative deleted) light. In this light sits a zoo med tropic sun on the bulb it says. F17t8/5500k what do these numbers mean? And is this light strong enough for plants under 22" of fresh water? Is there a stronger light I can get that will fit my current light just till I can afford to buy a better light set up? Thanks in advance for your tips and advice.
 

Nutter

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Unfortunately with Flourescent tubes the only way to increase lighting intensity is to add more fixtures & tubes. They are made to match & only a specific diameter & length tube will fit into the fixture. Unfortunately all of the suitable tubes will be within one or two watts of each other so no real difference is made.

Here's what the numbers on your tube mean: F17 simply means that it is a 17w tube. (probably actually 18w). T8 is that the tube is 1" in diameter. Flourescent tubes come in different diameters & these are coded with the letter "T" & then a number. 5,500k refers to the colour of light that is emitted by the tube. The "k" refers to Kelvin Rating. This is a system used to determine what colour the light should appear to the human eye. The higher the number the bluer the light looks. The lower the number the more yellow the light will look. 10,000k is pretty much white. 18,000k is fairly blue to look at & 5,500k is a pretty yellow looking light. It's important to note that Kelvin, "k', is only a guide as to how the light appears to humans & has nothing to do with what parts of the spectrum are used to make up that colour.

In a 40gal tank I don't think it would be a good idea to try to grow plants with only the one 18w light. IMO you will be better off waiting until you upgrade your light fixture. Something like a 38w T5HO would be good. T5HO flourescents are thinner in diameter & are High Output, giving approximately twice the light intensity per watt. A fixture such as this would let you have a wide selection of plants.

Here's a couple of links to help you understand lighting a bit better:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquarium_light.htm
 
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Karl R

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Well thanks for the info there friend. It is appreciated! Looks like tonight is gonna be big purchase night at lfs.
 

blasto172

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topdogsellers on ebay

Myself and 2 other members here have had very good luck with an ebay seller called topdogsellers. They offer a variety of light fixtures (Power Compact, Metal Halide, and T5 High Output) at very good prices. I bought a 48" T5 HO, 108watt fixture for $55 and $18 shipping.

forum post
https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/lighting/67468-topdogsellers.html

ebay store
 
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Karl R

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That sounds like a pretty good deal right there! Thanks for the link btw. I love getting info that saves me that kind of money over the lfs! I hope I have an opprotunity to pass this on to someone else! Y'all who answer my questions are awesome.
 

blasto172

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not a problem. there customer service is great, and did right by me so I've been spreading the word about them on the forum. I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality, the only thing I'd say was "cheap" was the reflector but then again I cant imagine needing the light to be any brighter.
 
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Karl R

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Thanks there buddie! I just ordered two t5ho's from them one for my 40 gallon and 1 for my 30 gallon. I thank you for the feed back and I am sure my plants will thank you as well. Btw I saved quite a bit of loot over the price at my lfs for the same lights! I am glad you shared that info with me! I hope to one day return the favor!
 
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Karl R

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Btw nutter thank you very much for your answer to my question. You obviously have a great understanding of the topic! I appreciate you takeing the time to explain each part of my question to me. I have since ordered new lighting fixtures for both of my aquariums at an outstanding price thanks to the link that blasto172 sent to me. Y'all are awesome! I hope your aquariums thrive for all your lives!
 
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