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    Fluorescent lighting: Which bulb is best?

    I have a 55gal with 2 40watt 4foot bulbs. Both have Coralife’s 10,000K. I know that I will probably need more bulbs to achieve maximum plant growth, but for the time being, curious to know which bulb has the best results for both fish appearance and plant growth. It’s just to confusing reading all of the manufactures claims “Ideal for freshwater plants, maximum plant growth and so on”. I’m looking for PERSONAL experiences. Thanks.

  • Whew boy Chris,,this a a can o worms topic..lotsa opinions...just remember this is a very personal topic..a what looks good to you kinda and red will get the photo thing going and green can get algae going on the higher plants and red the other way...You do need to get at least some sort of full spectrum light in there...I like a combo of coralife trichromatic and GE chroma 50...or Phen Plax-tri lux...again personal choice..but as you said earlier a bit more light might be in are barely running 2 watts a gal. now.

  • I personally LOOOOVE the sylvannia luxline 6k day bulb. It's inexpensive and I successfully grow many, many plants under this light bulb. I order it at Petwherehouse but it doesn't seem to be present on their online catalog. It's listed in their magazine catolog though. Personally, I prefer color temperatures within 6000-8000K because they're closest to natural daylight (I think its 5500 or 6000) because I think that they make the fish/plants look more natural. Fish/plant colors look decent if not fantastic under those temperatures too.

  • When Jeff said can o worms, that's exactly what I was thinking:) Anyway, it really does depend on what you are growing and using it for, and what you want it to look like. Some people like to light reefs etc with the higher K bulbs like 10,000, with additional actinic etc to get that "bluish" appearance that you see when you are snorkeling or something...i currently run a compact fluorescent system with 50/50 10K and actinic and my plants are growing quite well...i would say the limiting factor is co2, but does have somewhat of a bluish tinge, and I am planning on replacing with a 5500K bulb or as close to that as I can get. As lboy said, it is closest to natural spectrum, and looks by far the most natural.


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