life of a t-5 bulb

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Aquarium Advice Freak
Apr 10, 2006
Vienna, West Virginia
To be honest, I just replaced mine after about 1 year and I didn't notice a difference. Of course that was with the naked eye.
They will last that long but color shift after around 8-12 months which can induce algae if not switched out. I swap out every 8 months myself.
That is my suggestion as well as like Micah said the lights will last that long but the spectrum change will cause problems. I change my VHO bulbs every 6 months. Another factor that plays in here is how often they are used. I run mine 12 hrs a day while someone that runs theirs 8 hrs a day will get a few more months out of them than me.
Thanks for the responses. I wish I could justify spending $90 and get this light meter-
But I can get a couple corals and make myself believe I saved some $ by not buying the meter.
Anyway thanks again for the answers. My blue bulbs are on for a 12hr duration and are 10 months old. I believe I will be barganing with the lfs guy or ordering bulbs very soon.
I may get that on my next purchase from the drs website! I really want to see how much and how long it takes.
I think you might have answered a problem I'm having with hair algae. I'm also using a HO T-5 for about a year now not having changed the bulbs. I'm going to check the phosphate level before I replace the bulbs. Someone else told me I should try feeding Omega 1 all vegetable diet if it is a phosphate problem.
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