I like the florescent lights in my 10 gal tanks because they don't add heat, but they make the tank & the fish look washed out. Has anyone ever heard of florescent bulbs that mimic natural daylight? I've been searching online but haven't found any info. Thanks!
a bulb with a temp rating of 6500k is the best synthetic "daylight" we have as of now. Thats why 6500k bulbs are recommended for planted tanks. So just look for one of those. It usually tells you the k temp somewhere. If all else fails you can get a 'plant bulb'. They are the same thing but usually more expensive because of the mere fact its called 'plant bulb'.
Are the florescent bulbs in your tank the long skinny tubes or the short CFL (usually swirly) ones?
She ;) has the long skinny bulbs. They are 18 inches & 15 watts. I'll have to check the bulb when I get home to see what the temp rating is. You can see the coloring of the light in my avatar. It's kind of blue-ish. It came in an Aqueon 10 gallon deluxe kit. I don't have any live plants, so my only concern is making sure I don't get one that gets too hot (both for the tank temp and as a fire hazard).
So what you want is a bulb with a low wattage. They produce the least amount of heat. But yeah your best bet is to get something in the 5000k-6500k range. Just go to the light bulb section in your hardware store. If you dont know what kind of bulb you have just take it to the store with you. They should be able to help you out :) Check the link in my sig to see what my tank looks like under a 13 watt 6500k CFL bulb. I know what you mean about those bluish bulbs. I have one of those in my goldfish tank and it looks very synthetic.