View Full Version : What spectrum am I looking for?

06-02-2010, 10:45 PM
I'm looking at bulbs online and I have nooo idea what I'm searching for. I'm hoping to grow low light plants like anubias, java fern, moss ball, etc., but dunno what to get. I'm seeing spectrums anywhere from 6700k to 12000k, and wattage from 17-40ish.

How many watts should I look for, and what spectrum? Is it okay to get a higher spectrum/wattage even if I'm not getting more picky plants, or should I stick to low spectrum/wattage? ]

Thanks guys.. I'm completely new to this!

06-02-2010, 10:46 PM
The wattage depends on the fixture. 6400-6700k will work well for plant growth.

06-03-2010, 03:19 PM
Okay, thanks!

Wild Turkey
06-03-2010, 03:28 PM
If you shoot for around 1wpg you shouldnt have a problem growing the plants you named. If you want to try higher light plants later on, you will probably want a little more.

I agree with rich on the color.

06-03-2010, 08:23 PM
Yeah, the spectrum will never change if you're growing plants. Get the 6700K whenever possible. If this is for the 29 gal. in your signature, then a 40 watt bulb could you give you a good few options. Make sure your light fixture can hold whatever wattage you're putting in there, though, since most standard fixtures only hold low wattage fluorescent tubes. If you want to take the next step up, look into some compact fluorescent lighting fixtures or high output t5s on some of the big retailers online. You can normally find them pretty cheap. I just got a brand new fixture with a compact fluorescent bulb included for something like $65 and the shipping was only $7 from thatpetplace.com since they seemingly always run that special.

06-07-2010, 04:16 AM
I'm upgrading to this (http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/Product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=13612) double strip light and probably going with 1 Power-Glo and 1 Life-Glo bulb. 20 watts each, one is 6700k and the other 6400k so I think I'll be good. Thanks for the help everyone!

Edit: Looking at the compact fluorescents at thatpetplace.com now that you mentioned it SunSchein.. I may have to consider upgrading to that instead, since I'll be paying roughly the same price for less wattage than that. Thanks for the heads up!

06-07-2010, 11:52 AM
Just keep in mind t5s will normally have a higher intensity light than compact fluorescents, so if it's a matter of a couple watts, the t5s will probably be getting you more lumens. Too much light can be a bad thing too, though, depending on what you're trying to accomplish, so I think the compact was the best choice for me. Make sure you look at the whole picture when deciding :22: . Best of luck to ya.