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Fluorescent Bulb Selection Guide


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Lighting Guide 
Fluorescent Bulb Selection Guide 
Aquarium Lighting Selection Guide 
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Compare Fluorescent Bulbs
Compare Fluorescent Bulbs
High K-Rating Bulbs
Natural Daylight/Plant Bulbs     50/50 Bulbs
White Bulbs     Actinic (Blue) Bulbs

20W-24"-T12
40W-48"-T12

Aquarium lamp for
freshwater applications.
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Natural Daylight Bulb
Natural Daylight Bulb
Plant Bulb
Plant Bulb
Natural Daylight/Plant Bulbs - 5,000K - 7,500K

These fluorescent bulbs are designed to mimic natural sunlight, and considered "full spectrum," which means they contain all the different colors of light in the light spectrum. Plants need the red, orange and yellow colors found in the lower end of the light spectrum in order for photosynthesis to occur. Although these bulbs are well suited for many different aquarium applications, they are especially recommended for planted freshwater aquariums. They are also good lamps to be used in conjunction with actinic bulbs in the reef aquarium.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Zoo Med
Flora Sun
5,000°K 15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
Peak emissions in the blue
and red regions. Emission
spectrum closely matches
absorption curve of
chlorophyll-A, promoting
maximum
photosynthesis.
Zoo Med
Tropic Sun
5,500°K 15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
Balanced full spectrum
daylight lamp, which
simulates natural sunlight.
Brings out the natural
beauty of aquarium fish
and plants while
enhancing clarity.
Zoo Med
Ultra Sun
Trichromatic
6,500°K 15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
High intensity trichromatic
full spectrum daylight lamp
CRI rating of 98 provides
excellent color rendition
and contrast perception.
Balanced coverage of
the full spectrum of
visible light as well as UVA.
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White Bulb
White Bulb
White Bulbs - 8,000°K - 14,000°K

These bulbs have a higher temperature rating, which means they produce light waves in the higher end of the spectrum, towards the blue end. While these bulbs can be used in a variety of applications, they are most often used in marine reef aquariums. Depending on the type of coral contained in your aquarium, these bulbs may not contain enough of the blue light waves to maintain proper health of your marine invertebrates. Therefore, supplementing these bulbs with an actinic bulb is recommended.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Coralife
10,000°K
Lamp
10,000°K 15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T12
30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
High-intensity, purified
super daylight with rare
earth color-enhancing
phosphors lamp simulates
the midday tropical sun.
Sparkling, blue-white daylight
rays and bright,
high-intensity output.
High K-Rating Bulb
High K-Rating Bulb
High K-Rating Bulbs - 15,000°K - 20,000°K

These bulbs have a higher temperature rating than "white light," which means they produce even more of the blue light waves. They are best suited for marine reef aquariums. Depending on the type of corals in your aquarium, these bulbs rarely need to be supplemented with Actinic bulbs.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Hagen Power-
Glo Bulbs
18,000°K 15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T8
30W-36"-T10
40W-48"-T10
Promotes coral, invertebrate
and plant growth. High
intensity photosynthetic
deep marine spectrum. Total
illumination for living
corals, marine algae and
freshwater plants.
Coralife
High Intensity
20,000°K Lamps
20,000°K 15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T12
30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
High-intensity, purified
super daylight lamp that
simulates the deeper ocean
environment. Casts
sparkling blue daylight rays.
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50/50 Bulb
50/50 Bulb
50/50 Bulbs (Half Actinic, Half Daylight or White Light)

These fluorescent tubes produce 50% actinic blue light, and 50% white light or natural sunlight. They are designed to provide your corals with the extra blue light they need, while providing white light to maximize the appearance of your aquarium inhabitants.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Coralife
50/50 bulbs
50% - 6,000°K
50% - Actinic
15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T12
30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
50/50 lamps are a mixture
of 50% 6000°Kelvin natural
daylight and 50% Actinic
03 blue. These full-spectrum
lamps enhance color and
clarity while providing
the tank's inhabitants
with the proper light
required for essential
biochemical reactions.
Zoo Med
Reef Sun
50% - 6,500°K
50% - Actinic
15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
50/50 combination of
trichromatic daylight
phosphor and actinic 420
phosphor in the same lamp.
Provides high intensity full
spectrum illumination,
strong in the short wavelength
blue region, balanced
with 6500°K daylight for
natural color enhancement
and viewing pleasure.
URI
Actinic White
50% - Actinic
50% - 12,000°K
30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
Includes internal reflector.
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Actinic Bulb
Actinic Bulb
Actinic Bulbs - Blue Light Waves Only

In nature, blue light travels deeper into the water than does the other colors in the light spectrum, such as reds, yellows, and greens. Actinic bulbs produce only the blue end of the light spectrum. Actinic bulbs are recommended for deep water invertebrates, and fish that don't like bright light, such as African Cichlids. Actinic blue bulbs are normally used in combination with other broader spectrum (5,000°K-10,000°K) bulbs. They can also be used to simulate dusk and dawn in your aquarium, providing your aquarium inhabitants with more realistic sunrise and sunset conditions.
  Color Rating Watts/
Bulb Size
Manufacturer's Comments
Zoo Med
Coral Sun
Actinic 420
Actinic 15W-18"-T8
17W-24"-T8
25W-36"-T8
32W-48"-T8
High intensity actinic
lamp with strong emissions
in the short wavelength
region of the spectrum,
peaking at 420 nm. Simulates
the short wavelength blue
light which penetrates to
reef depths in nature.
Coralife
Actinic Blue
Lamps
Actinic 15W-18"-T8
20W-24"-T12
30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
Designed to condition the
tank before and after the
daylight cycle and enhance
the vibrant colors of the
fish and invertebrates.
Best when used in
conjunction with daylight
(trichromatic) or 50/50 lamps.
URI
Actinic "03"
Actinic 30W-36"-T12
40W-48"-T12
Includes internal reflector.
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