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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i let some natural sunlight hit my 55 gal. this morning and i cant believe how amazing the fish look. they're kind of afraid of it actually, they're hiding in the caves and dont really wanna venture out much. my question is- what light will best mimic these conditions i.e., brand, K, type, wattage.
 

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most folks would say 6500K, but you should think about your windows as well since they can filter out certain wavelengths... your windows might be warmer or cooler by the time the light actually hits the tank.
 

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6500 K Daylight tubes are bluer than natural sunlight which is around 5500K. The number that is important for good colour rendition is not the K rating but the CRI (Colour Rendition Index), Sunlight is 100 and the closer to that number the tube is, the better it renders colour. So, look for a light with as high as number as possible. In the case of Philips T8, that would be the Ultra Daylight (6500K), while in T12 it would be the Philips Natural sunshine (5000K). Other brands might have slightly different numbers but the info is available on the tube or on the sleeve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
also, the bulbs i have now are aqueon t8 8000k, and there's no CRI number on them. how do i know the CRI if its not on the bulb?
 

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I think this is what you're looking for but I could be wrong.I plucked it from Aqueon's product listing on Full Sectrum bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanx ZeNozzle, according to aqueon, the bulbs i have now are full spectrum @8000k which is contradicting to what BillD was saying i think. however, i dont know what the CRI is of my bulbs.
 

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The spectrum as shown above can be helpful if you are looking for specific wavelengths of light for special purposes, such as highlighting a specific colour. However, the CRI is an easy way to tell if the light will render the colours accurately. As far as the Aqueon tube goes, they can label it any way they like. One would expect that an 8000K tube would appear more blue/white than a 6500K or 5000K tube. Again, a CRI number would help in determining whether the tube is doing what you want. Personally, I buy inexpensive tubes from the major manufacturers such as Philips or GE, since they make a wide variety of tubes that fill the needs of the aquarist. $4 is about all I want to spend on a 48" tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for the info BillD. now let me throw something else out there--is a T5 at 8000k brighter than a T8 at 8000k?
 
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