Best Lighting Option for Low Tech Tank

  • #1
I have a stock T8 15 watt bulb from Aqueon that came with a full hood. Was wondering if I should upgrade my bulb to a higher wattage T5 bulb as well as change my hood out into a glass hood for better light output? I noticed the back side of the tank seem to be lacking a light source. My Java Fern is thriving and sprouting new plants on the tip of the leaves while my rooted plants seem to starving for some light. I am also thinking about getting a couple Amazon Swords to fill up the back more and dosing some Seachem Flourish and root tabs. Lemme know some opinions on lighting please!
  • #2


  • #3
I usually look for cheap solutions first, then try to find a happy medium of cost to quality.

A. Get a glass top and add another light like the one you already have.

B. I've seen a lot of good reviews from people on the beamswork. Should be able to find several posts around these forums about it.

That is the single bright and would do fine for a low stock low light setup.

There is also this modular setup-

You can add up to 3 day bulbs and moon leds.

Or an even cheaper solution to all of the above...

T8 Led, it only uses 20W (Check your fixture for wattage compatibility) but is equivalent to a 60W. You may not need to do any hood replacement with this.

And lastly. DIY (AT YOUR OWN RISK)
If you are handy, i've seen people retro fit their existing single bulb fixture with the CFL bulbs (spiral bulbs). You still get a variety of brightness and Kelvin output making it a cheap and effective solution if you're handy. Stick with 6500K daylight bulbs for the best spectrum coverage.

To give an idea of parts-
Dual socket-

2 Bulbs-

Then you would have to do some electrical work with the wiring to the outlet and a switch if you aren't using a timer.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Is this a good glass top? Having a hard time finding one.
  • #5
Is this a good glass top? Having a hard time finding one.

Yes, I have that one on my 46g. They're actually owned by Aqueon (you can see the Aqueon name on the handle).
  • #6
I received a pm from chaaan30 and let them know I would post theirs and my comment here for more info or to help others.


Wanted to thank you for giving me some options to upgrade my lighting. My question was my light fixture seems to only hold 19 watts. If I went with the 20W Led fixture would that cause any sort of issues? Would I need to find something with less wattage, but same amount of power for the fixture? I just don't want to end up blowing out or shorting electrical stuff that'll be over a tank.


No problem. I'm just trying to help by offering my opinion

If the MAX wattage of your fixture is 19W. For safety reasons, I would not recommend someone else do it. Especially in a worst case scenario, you are over the specified rating of the fixture. If it were my setup at home.. It may be a different story. But still not worth the risks.

The safest thing is, like you said, find a lower wattage bulb. For a 10 gallon, the few watts less may actually benefit you by not over powering the tank.

Here is a lower wattage bulb. Matches the 15W you currently have and is a direct replacement (no electrical work). It says it is a 32W equivelent which should be a good boost in light.
(make sure to select the 5000K bulb)

One thing I learned in looking at these led t8 tubes is that they are not created equal. You need to make sure they are direct replacement bulbs or they may not work. The one I linked above to earthled says they will work as a direct replacement.

I posted this to you're thread just in case others have some better info on this subject or are in the same situation and looking for help.

Hope this helps.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Glad you posted in here as well!! Kind of hard to find the right answers even through a Google search since a lot of stuff that comes up are from 2011 or older.
  • #8
Ok. Change of plans. I screwed up.

Somehow I forgot or didn't read the subject to see you were working with the 10G tank.

I couldn't find any led t8 in that size. If you are going with the glass top you inquired about above. The easiest option would be to get a new light. It doesn't have to be anything crazy expensive.

With the glass top. Something like this may be good-

I've seen youtube vids and heard good things about it. If you were to have all 3 tubes, it could be pricey but gives you some options for a semi-custom configuration. They have the 6500K daylight and Colormax which provide some of the red spectrum.

Otherwise, keeping the glass top in mind. The beamswork seems to be a pretty popular choice for low budget lighting.

Here is a long thread at plantedtank just for the beamswork brand. Make sure to check what fixture they are using as there is a fairly wide variety.

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