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question about lighting

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  • jeremy
    I have a 20 gallon high tank that is my first attempt at this great hobby. The problem I am facing is that I don t like the light that came with my lid. My
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 29, 2007
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      I have a 20 gallon high tank that is my first attempt at this great
      hobby. The problem I am facing is that I don't like the light that came
      with my lid. My friend that I use to know used lights that put off a
      blue light and it made his aquarium look much better, with brighter
      colors of the fish and decor. I was wondering if anyone knows what kind
      of bulb that would be?
    • Patrick Timlin
      ... came ... OK is this a 15W fluorescent light in there (18-inch long light)? Tank is about 24-inches long and the next size up in fluorescent lighting is
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 30, 2007
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        --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "jeremy" wrote:
        > I have a 20 gallon high tank that is my first attempt at this great
        > hobby. The problem I am facing is that I don't like the light that
        came
        > with my lid.

        OK is this a 15W fluorescent light in there (18-inch long light)?
        Tank is about 24-inches long and the next size up in fluorescent
        lighting is usually a 24" 20W lamp, but that probably wouldn't fit
        due to no room to spare, so I assume a 15W/18" lamp.


        > My friend that I use to know used lights that put off a
        > blue light and it made his aquarium look much better,
        > with brighter colors of the fish and decor.

        You setup probably came with a standard "aquarium" lamp which are
        usually related to "grolux" (aka Plant and Aquarium) lamps. These
        tend to be heavy in the blue and red so you often get a pinkish or
        purplish look. Looks great on fish like neons and cardinal tetras for
        example, but to our eyes they also tend to look a little dim (we see
        best in the middle of the visible spectrum so green/yellow area).


        > I was wondering if anyone knows what kind
        > of bulb that would be?

        If you can find lamps that actually have the Kelvin temperature
        marked on the packaging, you want to go with something in the 5000K-
        6700K range which is considered a "daylight" range. If you don't want
        to buy aquarium specialty lamps, those that are marked for the
        aquarium industry, there are many choices in normal lamps you can
        investigate at places like Home Depot, Lowes, your local hardware
        store, etc. For example the GE Chroma50 is a 5000K lamp often marked
        as a "Sunshine" lamp at Home Depot. I think it comes in a bright
        orange cardboard wrapper. This one is pretty good. There is a Philips
        one, called Ultra daylight or something like that which tend to be a
        bit less yellow and more bluish that is also very good, although I
        seem to recall it usually is never available in the 18" length but
        always lots of them in the 4-foot (40W) length, so you might have
        trouble with that one. Basically look for the lamps that are marked
        as Daylight, Ultra, and sunshine type lamps which tend to try and
        give a more natural light output.

        If that doesn't work, there are a huge number of aquarium lamps you
        can try. Many of them tend to have spectrum graphs printed on the
        wrapper to help just how the light will look. Triton lamps, for
        example, look very nice, but expect to pay about 3x (~$15+) for these
        type of lamps compared to about $5 for something like a GE "Sunshine"
        lamp at Home Depot.

        Patrick
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