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Old 10-07-2010, 11:39 PM   #1
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Fluorescent or Incandescent?

Right now, an Aqueon fluorescent light strip is illuminating my 60-gallon goldfish tank beneath its wooden canopy, but for some reason, I just don't like the way it makes the tank look...it's like not soft or relaxing enough to look at -- like the tank is under those bright lights of a department store.

Would I be better off switching to an incandescent hood and bulb? I do not have any live plants in my tank, so would heat buildup matter? The light wouldn't be on much during a given day, anyway. Would incandescent give a more natural, real-habitat look to the aquarium and its inhabitants?
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:44 PM   #2
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i would just buy a soft white temperature bulb if you feel it's too bright.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:16 AM   #3
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Different color bulbs would probably do the trick.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jeremyblevins View Post
i would just buy a soft white temperature bulb if you feel it's too bright.
You mean, like an ordinary light bulb intensity bulb? Where can I find one of these for the hood?
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:46 AM   #5
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No it just puts off I softer color light not really less light. But if you have a 4 ft t8 fixture a lot of places sale them home depot/ lowes are the two I know. Walmart may have a couple.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:13 AM   #6
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Different color bulbs would probably do the trick.
What do you mean...what do you suggest? I want a kind of soft, natural light scheme to make it look more like a real habitat...
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:14 AM   #7
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No it just puts off I softer color light not really less light. But if you have a 4 ft t8 fixture a lot of places sale them home depot/ lowes are the two I know. Walmart may have a couple.
What would be the best approach for a real natural-looking light scheme...not an incandescent?
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:32 AM   #8
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well i'm not really sure what you mean by more natural-looking. i've never been underwater looking at the fish in their natural habitat so i don't know what's more natural.. but 6500k lighting is closer to sunlight than the soft whites. which light do you have now?
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:37 AM   #9
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What would be the best approach for a real natural-looking light scheme...
"Natural-looking" is totally subjective. What might be natural to me might not be natural to you. Best bet is to change the color temperature of the tube you're currently using. The higher the number, the bluer the light. As Jeremy mentioned, a 6500K bulb will have a more yellow look versus a 10000k bulb... which I'm guessing you have now.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:00 AM   #10
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well i'm not really sure what you mean by more natural-looking. i've never been underwater looking at the fish in their natural habitat so i don't know what's more natural.. but 6500k lighting is closer to sunlight than the soft whites. which light do you have now?
I suppose what I am trying to describe is the look from a standard incandescent bulb -- something that just gives a less "cold, bluish" hue to the light and subsequently tank, if that makes any sense.

What I'm using now is an Aqueon fluorescent light strip which spits out a ridiculously bluish/whitish hue. It just makes the tank less relaxing to watch, if you can understand that; it's too sterile and cold looking.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:05 AM   #11
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"Natural-looking" is totally subjective. What might be natural to me might not be natural to you. Best bet is to change the color temperature of the tube you're currently using. The higher the number, the bluer the light. As Jeremy mentioned, a 6500K bulb will have a more yellow look versus a 10000k bulb... which I'm guessing you have now.
I realize natural looking is subjective; but for the most part, I believe I was describing the characteristics of an incandescent bulb, as I don't really see how anyone couldn't agree on the fact that fluorescent isn't really "natural looking."

That said, I believe you and Jeremy are getting closer to what I'm looking for -- that is, a more "yellowish" look to the light rather than the steely cold bluish tinge my Aqueon light strip gives now. I just want the tank to be a bit more relaxing to look at visually -- the fluorescent bulb just makes this tank so hospital-like in its cold expression...if that makes sense.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:09 AM   #12
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personally i very much like the look of fluorescents i think they look much more natural than incandescents.
okay so which temperature bulb do you have right now? and is it a t8, and what length/wattage?
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:51 AM   #13
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It's simple. The KELVIN rating is the measure of red to blue light. Flourescent bulbs come in ALL differnet "K" ratings. The lower the K rating, like 6500k, the more yellow the light. The Higher the rating the bluer the light. Check the k rating on your current bulb. It's probably 10k or higher. Go to home depot and get a 6500k bulb. Problem solved.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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Lets keep this civil folks.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:18 PM   #15
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Try a 5000k tube, which is close to natural sunshine, more so than the 6500K tubes. Incandescents give a very yellow light of around 3000K which I can't imagine anyone liking, as it is not at all natural. There are tubes in the 3000k range, and all are available at Home Depot and similar stores. The closest to incandescent is probably Warm White. Also there is nothing yellow about a 6500K tube, nor is 6500K a low K value.The most commonly used lights in commercial and residential lighting are all under 5000K. Sunlight at noon at the equator measures about 5500K, not the 6500K of the so called Daylight tubes. They are closer to early morning or late afternoon sun.
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jeremyblevins View Post
personally i very much like the look of fluorescents i think they look much more natural than incandescents.
To my eye and in our tank, this lighting gives a cold, bluish sterile look to the aquarium bioscape that's simply not relaxing to view.

Quote:
okay so which temperature bulb do you have right now? and is it a t8, and what length/wattage?
I have one of these, not sure of the model:

Aqueon Products Single Tube Fluorescent Strip-Lights
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:12 AM   #17
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Try a 5000k tube, which is close to natural sunshine, more so than the 6500K tubes. Incandescents give a very yellow light of around 3000K which I can't imagine anyone liking, as it is not at all natural. There are tubes in the 3000k range, and all are available at Home Depot and similar stores. The closest to incandescent is probably Warm White. Also there is nothing yellow about a 6500K tube, nor is 6500K a low K value.The most commonly used lights in commercial and residential lighting are all under 5000K. Sunlight at noon at the equator measures about 5500K, not the 6500K of the so called Daylight tubes. They are closer to early morning or late afternoon sun.
Thanks Bill.

Do you have a link to any specific manufacturer that I could try -- in terms of aquarium lighting? Do you have any images -- or can you lead me to any members' pictures in this forum -- that depict these kinds of lights you describe above in action over an actual tank?
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:18 AM   #18
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Well here is my tank lit by two 32 watt 4 foot 6500k
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:33 AM   #19
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Well here is my tank lit by two 32 watt 4 foot 6500k
Thanks J.

This comes across a bit yellow to me on my side; is that how it looks in your room?
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:46 AM   #20
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Towards the top it looks bluish but mostly just brings out the colors. Here's a different pic
Dint be fooled by the glare off everything it's not quite that bright my camera just does handle it well I guess cause it's my phone. Haha but you can see the blue when it's just water and black background. But now that my plants are filling in you can't really tell.
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