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most hardware store/drugstores light bulbs are 6500. If you were super into plants you would want 10000k with mybe actinic supplementation and if you were realy into it you would probably have metal halide but thtas not your question.

If i was you i would go to the hardware store and ask an assistant what would have the most natraul spectrum or just look around.

As for the tank sizes it depends what kind of plants you want and how light demanding they are.

I would try and fit in as much light as i could
 

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booboo said:
most hardware store/drugstores light bulbs are 6500. If you were super into plants you would want 10000k with mybe actinic supplementation and if you were realy into it you would probably have metal halide but thtas not your question.
This isn't true unless you are growing aquatic plants. First, most hardware store bulbs are probably going to be more down in the 4000K range - the yellowish "soft white" bulb color. Second, chlorophyll responds to light throughout the visible spectrum except green. The color temp you choose for plants is purely an aesthetic choice. Full tropical sunlight at noon is about 5000K and bright sunlight filtered through a forest canopy is about 6500K (a little more blue than full sun). So something in the 5000K - 6700K range looks good in a viv and is fine for the plants.

The reason aquarists use higher color temps is because water filters out the relatively low energy light spectrum of red orange and yellow. Most of what penetrates to the plants is higher energy blue, indigo, and violet. Not only are the plants adapted to this blue light, but by weighting the relatively weak (compared to the sun) bulbs to the higher energy blue end of the spectrum, you are able to push more photons underwater where they reach the plants with enough energy to react with chlorophyl for photosynthesis.
 

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Most bulbs are very good about hiding thier info, so why do not soemthign crazy for a change and visit your LFS where you will be guranteed a light in the 6500K spectrum.
 

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Walmart has been caring 10 watt screw in compact flourescents in the fish section that are 6500k. They are really good lights, and do not have much of a heat problem. They have also had bulbs in their light bulb section that are 20 watt compact flourescent screw ins, I think they are called Bright sun, and they are 6500K as well. I have been using one of these on a 10 vert and it looks great, except for the intensity killed a fern in the very bottom and fried some creeping ficus. The fireball neo and tropiflora neo love it though. The bright sun bulb does say 6500k on the ballast part of the bulb.

Ed
 

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