Background: About 10 years ago I used to be really into planted freshwater aquariums. I've grown all different kinds of aquarium plants and I have a lot of experience with planted tanks. Mostly Val's, Nana, Anubias etc, nothing too difficult and mostly low to medium requirement for lighting.
Problem: My Ballast has gone out and I need a new lighting system. I used to use compact fluorescent fixtures and the one that quit was a SunPac 65w Dual Daylight Twin Tube lamp (compact f.) it's rated in a 6700k and 10000k in one. I don't have money for metal halide and other super expensive systems.
Now: I only have one 30 gallon planted tank left and it's chock FULL of plants. You can't even see through it. I use a c02 injector, and have about 30 guppies.
Issue: So I guess I am a little outdated for knowledge of lighting systems. After a little bit of research I've found that LED's are probably the best to go with (and cheapest)... but the problems that I am finding are that 1. they aren't "rated" there is no 6700k or 10k on the bulbs, no wattage or anything else. I did find some "nm" measurements and found an article that says plants grow best between 300 and 700nm, but the other problem is that the LED fixtures RARELY give the nm ratings. All I see is "white" or "blue", obviously blue is for nighttime.
Soooo, are all LED bulbs the same? Will it work to just get a bunch of cheap white ones (that don't have any rating on them) or should I spend the money for a nicer one?
I really want to do this as cheap as possible, but still get the most light for my money to help my plants grow.
Here are two examples I found on ebay:
Example "cheap ones":
The nicer one:
Or am I completely off base and these won't grow plants?
Please and thank you!!!
Edited by WhiteMountainsRanch - 2/14/12 at 2:13pm