Using alternative lights to the pet store brands

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Jul 1, 2013
I posted a question in a thread already about what kind of light I should use in my tanks and it's kind of tall and the light that's in it right now is a T8 18 inch fluorescent tube light but the light doesn't reach down to the bottom very well and I want something that's really bright and really white in color similar to what the LED lights doing the fluval edge 6 gallon tank.

However the reason I posted a new thread is because in order for me to get what I want I think I might have to buy a new fixture and light which will be really expensive and I can't afford and I read a lot about people using lights that are not from the pet store and I was wondering if anyone's ever used anything from the hardware store or any type of shop light or alternative light that would be really bright and really white in color and reach down to the bottom of the tank and light everything up properly?

I put a pic here of my fluval edge that's the look I want for my big tank.
Yeah I use a light from Home Depot that is supposed to be used for kitchen or bath. No problems from it.
Yes it's t8 and it's directly in my hood. No problems
Check to see what the color temperature the light is. For example, your light should read, fo32-830-t8 ( or a variation of that). In this case it might be Fo18-830-t8. 830 indicates the color of the lamp, the higher the color the whiter the light will be. 830, 835, 841... Etc. 18 represents the watts. I'm on the run sorry for the quick info. Hope it helps
thanks conman!

I am not sure what the colour temp is i will see if it says on it. I dont think it is an aquarium specific light my bf just found it laying around and it looked whiter then the aquarium one that came with the tank when i got it. so we swapped them out.
I had a realization as well, the light isnt really bright enough BUT the reason my water looks so yellowish isnt because the bulb is too yellowish its because of the driftwood in it !!

i had no idea that it would turn the water so yellowish, i googled alot to see why water would apear yellow and thats the number one reason.

I am going to let it soak in the tank for awhile and see if it will become less yellow looking after a few water changes (theres no fish in it yet just the wood and rocks)
Carbon and water changes will help de-yellow the water. It's actually the tannins in the dirftwood leaching out. It doesn't generally harm the fish at all.
Shot in the dark but i'm pretty confident from your description that it is a warm white lamp. There is coding on the lamp itself. It will read similar to what you find on a aquarium light and a home depot light. Look for 830, 835, 841 etc... The higher that number the cooler the lamp will be. True... The lights we buy at home depot are not made for fish so it will lack the necessary lumens. However, the T8 tube should read almost the same. I work with lights, led's etc... Good luck
thanks! i will do water changes and let it soak for a couple weeks or so and see if the water clears up.

I will look for a bulb with those specs on it today when i go to the store.

thanks everyone !

i have to let the driftwood soak anyway because right now it floats so its unusable until it will actually stay down !
I added a pic of my small tank, but i dont see it showing up (new to this forum) where is the picture ?
The light says:
15 WATT daylight

The hood is:
24" florescent aquarium reflector
120volt 19watt 60hz
I added a pic of my small tank, but i dont see it showing up (new to this forum) where is the picture ?

The easiest way I have found to add pics to a forum is to first add them to an album. (Click "User CP" at the upper left corner of the page, then "Pictures & Albums" on the left side of the screen. It's pretty easy to figure out from there.)

When you want to add a pic to a post, cut and paste the BB Code under the picture when you are viewing it.
The light says:
15 WATT daylight

The hood is:
24" florescent aquarium reflector
120volt 19watt 60hz

Is this the light you bought at home depot? Or the one that came with your fixture? Here are some helpful definitions for the lighting codes on your toshiba light. Sylvania, GE etc... Have different codes.

Toshiba model (code) Description:
FL: straight tube-shaped; FCL: ring; GL: germicidal lamp
SS: pipe diameter is 28mm; S: The diameter is 32mm
Light color, color rendering, three-wavelength
EX-N: Three-wavelength daylight white EX-D: Three-wavelength daylight color EX-WW: warm white three-wavelength
EX-L: Three-wavelength power ball color
FLR: straight tubular; FCR: ring.
The D-EDL: CRI AAA daylight color the N-EDL: CRI AAA daylight white
W-EDLs: AAA white L-EDLs for CRI: Color Rendering AAA power ball color
B: cyan the WB: green white G: Green the PK: peach Y: yellow
BL, of BLB: UV lamp
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