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Anyone ever try using T12 bulbs on a planted tank? I was just wondering cause I have tons of these ballasts in my garage and would love to know if I could do a planted tank with them to save a bunch of money.
I have a really old t12 aquarium fixture on my 75 gallon along with a t8 fixture. Ever since I added the t12, I've noticed substantial growth in the plants. I would say yes, use the ballasts if you have them!
T12 bulbs used to be the common lighting method for planted tanks. The watt per gallon rule is based on this type of bulb. Some of the reasons they aren't one of the more preferred bulbs for planted tanks any more is;
1. Higher energy usage
2. Larger unit makes fitting multiple bulbs on the tank difficult
3. Light intensity doesn't penetrate to the bottom of taller tanks as well as other options
4. They tend to run hotter than other options and can contribute to temperature fluctuations.
Thanks so much for the input guys! I will most certainly upgrade at one point, I'm just glad these are good enough for now and I can get it up and running.
Just remember, for a planted tank more lighting can mean more fertilizers will become necessary and possibly even CO2 supplimentation.
yup! I'm researching and planning it through before I start it.
The standard plant tubes from your local hardware store will work well for a planted tank. They're a whole bunch cheaper than the plant tubes from the pet store, and I haven't noticed any appreciable difference.