Can i use cfl light bulbs for planted tank ?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by scotty b, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

  2. NikitaWell Known MemberMember

    I think you should be able to.

    I used 2 CFL bulbs on my 10 gallon and I had excellent plant growth
  3. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    Both of those wouldn't have a color temp that would create a pleasing view on a planted tank, and the spectrum may not be right. The ones I've seen most commonly used are from home depot (26 watt GE energy smart daylight bulbs) and are a 6500K color temp, which is more suited for a planted tank. Although a high lumen bulb with a similar color temperature would be fine. As long as they are mounted vertically over the tank you may be able to achieve a low-medium light level 3 of them I believe.

    This link may help you some.
  4. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

  5. Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    I've used these with very good results. Saves a lot of money if you have an incandescent aquarium hood... which I believe are pretty rare nowadays. :)
  6. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    i have that type of hood on my 10 gall seem to work well for plant growth
  7. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

  8. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    im planing on havind 6-10 bulbs so at 10$ a bulb that would be almost not worth it
  9. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    You can get higher wattage bulbs. I have some 85w ones coming in the mail tomorrow or wednesday.

    However, T5ho's are not that expensive if you look around, I just bought some 4ft ones on amazon a few weeks back that were about $8 each and 7 or so for shipping, ended up getting 3 for about $31 shipped.
  10. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    My question would be why is your T5 fixture 'burning' tubes?
    Are you putting NO tubes in a HO fixture?

    CFL can be used, but you might find lower level plants don't get the light they need (light may not penetrate deep enough)

    A standard 55 is 20" high IIRC.
    If you want medium light over a 20" deep tank, you want 1 x T5HO tube directly above the tank -or- 2 x T5HO 12" above the tank (or 3 x T5HO @ 12")

    Again, I would investigate why your T5 fixture is burning tubes, IMO either the wrong tube, or something wrong in the ballast.

    Also remember, all flourescent tubes should be replace at least every 12 months, preferably every 6-9 months for optimum lighting.
  11. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    i have a 48'' dule non-ho t5 light with 2 6700k bulbs, it burnt one bulb (had the fixture 4-6 months) and all the local shops are asking 20-30 for a new bulb guess ill try looking around my thoughts where if i switched to cfl i wouldn't need to replace everything every 12 months
  12. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Not sure on the life of cfl.

    If it were me, I'd still want to figure out why the tubes were burning, sounds like a ballast issue or voltage, or possibly the fixture isn't water tight :;dk

    Oh - and what do you mean by burning? It is normal for the ends of the tube to go black/grey.
  13. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    one side of the bulb melted and shattered no water got in it so idk what is was that caused it
  14. mrb1324New MemberMember


    This is a really cool thread. If I ever plant my 29 this is probably what I'll try. Clamping work lights are 8 bucks at lowes or home depot and cfls are cheap.