T5HO bulb replacements

escapay

I have my 36 gallon bowfront with a dual T5HO AquaticLife fixture and from reading, is probably due for bulb changes. It has been up and running since August 2012 and still has the same original bulbs.

I know I should get a roseate one, but the second bulb I wasn't sure on. Should I be getting another roseate or should I look into the Natural Light (6000K) bulb? I'm thinking the 10000K white bulb was going to be too much.

This is for a planted aquarium.

Does it matter if I use a different brand of T5HO bulbs than AquaticLife? I know they'll have the same fitting, but are some better or worse than others?
 

_Fried_Bettas_

It appears that AquaticLife designed their 6000K and roseate to be used as a pair. You can also use another brand and use two 6700K bulbs and this will give you a little stronger lighting since the roseate bulb is comparably dim.

I would avoid 10000K bulbs as they are further away from the optimal range (6700K) most used for plant growth, although some people like to use a 6700K and 10000K together preferring how the tank looks (to human eyes) that way. This is less optimal for plants, but if you prefer how the tank looks with this combination and you aren't trying to squeeze the most possible amount of plant growth out of your lights, there is nothing wrong with it.

There are differences in performance from different brands, but I have never researched it so I have little to say other than the fact that I know there is a difference.
 

escapay

Thanks for the response!

Maybe having my roseate bulb and the natural white (6000K) is the reason my tank seems to be more moderate light since I was able to stop my DIY CO2 system without ill effects. I'm curious what it would look like with both white lights.

I will avoid the 10000K bulbs. I'm finding just new bulbs in the tanks makes a difference, not necessarily the kind of bulb. For example, my 29 gallon had a Full Spectrum bulb replaced and the tank looks so much better even though the lights were pretty much equal.
 

_Fried_Bettas_

Most sources say that the life of a T5HO is something less than a year, before the light dims appreciably and starts to produce light that is a different spectrum than it was designed to. I've noticed that old bulbs tend to produce more algae, presumably because of this shift in spectrum.
 

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