Aquariums are similar to gardens and need special lighting for the plants to be able to grow. Helping the plants grow will also keep the fish happy. Plants are able to filter water to keep it clean, reduce algae growth and aerate the water. Fish love them because they provide a more natural habitat and create places for the fish to hide. So, here is everything you need to know about T5 lighting for your aquarium, courtesy of Ben Thorton from T5Fixtures.
What are T5 lights?
T5 lights are a narrow-diameter fluorescent light bulb. The term Standard fluorescent bulbs are usually referred to T8s. And T5 bulbs are similar to T8s, only smaller in diameter and they cannot use the same ballasts as T8s.
Although T5 bulbs are only a 5/8″ in diameter, the thin T5 high-output (HO) bulbs can produce nearly twice the brightness that standard fluorescent bulbs do and are best used in live planted aquariums. And in addition to their intensity, you can also fit more of these slim bulbs into the same amount of space.
T5 bulbs are smaller than T8 bulbs, allowing you to use more of them if they are needed. This will allow you to adjust the lights in your aquarium to your specific needs.
Why are they better?
T5 bulbs are up to 5 times more efficient than regular T8 fluorescent bulbs. So by using T5 lights you will be able to use fewer tubes but have more light emitted from them. These bulbs also have a higher life expectancy and only need to be replaced approximately every 18 months.
Is the light different?
The light that is produced by T5 bulbs is very strong, but the amount of heat radiated from them is lower. Therefore using these lights will supply the aquatic animals and plants with the proper amount of light without overheating the water. And since the T5 lights produce white-toned light that has a more uniform look than T8 bulbs, for example, it allows the aquarium to have a more natural, mid-day sun look.
T5 HO bulbs are best used in small and medium-sized, live planted or reef aquariums that are up to 24” deep. They can, however, be used in larger aquariums, but only if the plants that need more light are kept closer to the top and the correct number of lights are used.
Can they grow aquatic plants?
T5 HO bulbs work well in live planted aquariums. They also do extremely well in reef tanks. But make sure that if you do decide to use T5 lights for your reef aquarium, the tank isn’t too deep. In deep tanks, you will need to place the corals near the upper layers of the tank ensuring that they receive enough light.
Aquarium lighting is important to the overall look of an aquarium. Although, the main purpose is to provide energy to photosynthetic plants and animals. Setting up proper lighting for your aquarium is crucial to the overall health of the entire ecosystem. Luckily, there is a large assortment of lighting options to choose from. And many people believe that the T5 lights are the best aquarium lights on the market. So why not try these lights in your aquarium?
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