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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
I'm wondering what standard 48" T8 bulbs all the plant pro's are having the most success with in terms of plant growth. I run a pair of 48" T8s over each grow out tank and am trying to optimize growth. Most T8s seem to be ok, but alot of people say that they prefer one brand over others, or that some are far superior. Thoughts? Whats the best bang per buck?

So far, all my bulbs are HD or Lowes bought Phillips or GE brand, 5000-6500K. It seems the whiter the bulb, the better in terms of lumens and growth. The redder or pinkish ones around the 5000 or less range seem to be a bit weaker and plant growth is a little slower.

So....
brand:
kelvin rating:
average cost:

Also, any of you use organic ferts in your growout tanks or greenhouses?
 

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I am actually in the process of switching over to HO T5. A local hydroponics place has them for $32 which includes a 6500K bulb and reflector, and ballast comes with a 2yr warranty and the bulb 1yr. For that price, you cant beat it, not to mention that the plants seem to just love it compared to the T8s that I was using which sound similar to yours.

As far as fertilizer, I use compost tea that a local hydroponics store gives away for free which seems to work, and when I am rooting out cuttings I will use some Clonex fertilizers.
 

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Josh,

Check eBay, I just got a 48" X 4 T5 HO fixture for about 90 bucks shipped, 6500 K bulbs included. Great output and very economical. They have many available.

Otherwise, back when I used T8's, I used between 2 and 3 dual bulb fixtures on a 48" rack with the Phillips 40 watt 6500 K bulbs.

I would really recomend spending the few extra dollars on a T5 HO fixture if you can get a good value like I did.

Cheers,

Dave

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It seems most are switching over to T5s. I use them on all my more tolerant plants, but find that they seem to be too bright for many, especially Begonias and gesneriads. I do feel that they are perfect for terrariums though since the plants are shielded a bit from the bulbs, esp from the higher heat that is associated with them.

I'm in the process of switching from my dual T5 set up on my 48x13x13 grow tank (basically a 55 gallon low) back to a dual T8 fixture to see if that helps. All the plants are yellowish in color and grow very slowly in there, except for high light species like Heliamphora and Marcgravia which turn deep pink. So I'm thinking that it's too bright for most understory plants.....unless those symptoms are related to another problem.
 
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