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Old 08-17-2012, 05:08 AM   #1 
TheCheese909's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Bernardino, California
What is the best light bulb for this tank for live plants?

I've recently moved all my fish into their permanent tanks, atleast that's what i'm telling myself right now lol. I've got three 5 gallons, three 3 gallons and a 2.5 gallon.
I no longer need my two 2.5 Betta Bow tanks. These are the 2.5 gallon Aqueon tanks that come with the divider. Lots of people have these, they seem to be rather popular, I loved them but now I no longer need them for my Bettas.. (till i get another one lol).

I've heard the light bulb that comes in the tank isn't really good for fish or that it shouldn't be used for them. I don't plan on putting a Betta in this tank that i'm thinking of making up but I would like to add some plants to it and try having a little planted tank.

My question is this:
Would the typical light bulb that comes with the tank be okay to use for live plants or should I buy something else to use for it instead?

The bulb that comes with it is a 15w/120v incandescent bulb (atleast that's what the replacement ones are). Would a fluorescent light work better, i've heard people swear by those fluorescent lights and they typically hate incandescent.. I don't know the difference other then one is spiraly and gives off a more white light then yellow.

Be gentle, I don't know much about light fixtures. lol

And again, i DO NOT plan on putting any fish in this tank at all, it's simply for some live plants.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:51 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: England
Incandescent lighting does not cater to the needs of plants, it also gives off more heat than energy saving bulbs.

The bulb you may want to look for is known as a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL), they're sold as energy saving bulbs and are spirally (for the most part, some are candle shaped). When shopping for a CFL you want to look at the kelvin rating, the kelvin rating tells you the brightness of the light. 6500k(k = kelvin) is the brightness you want, this is sometimes advertised as daylight white or bright white.

When buying a bulb I wouldn't get it if it doesn't display the kelvin rating as you can't guarantee it will be what you need.

As for wattage for a 2.5gal I'd suggest a 10watt bulb (you may have to get an 11watt) if you're going for low light plants, if you want higher light plants (please be aware that some higher light plants prefer fertilizers and/or Co2 injection though it depends on individual species) you'll need a higher wattage.

It might be worth PMing Oldfishlady and asking her, she's great with plants and lights and may be able to offer some better advice than I can. Otherwise I'm sure another plant-savvy member will come along and help out.

Good luck

Please make sure you don't get a bulb that exceeds the wattage capacity for your lighting hood or it could start a fire.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Bernardino, California
Thank you, that helps alot!

I've kept a few live plants before but haven't really made a tank just for them. I've got an anubias that's been with me for about 5 months now and is doing great, along with several Marimo. I'm not sure what other plants I'm planning on getting as of yet, that can all come in time. It's not a tank I want to just throw together, I'm patient enough to look for exactly what I want to get.

Thank you again! :)
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