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Re: Rebuilding my Canopy - T8 or T12? and other queries...


I also have a tank that is 36" long, and I have a fixture that uses T8s or 
T10s.  The only real problem I've had is finding the appropriate lightbulbs for 
the setup.  The 48" and 24" are far more common.

As far as T8 v. T12:  There's not much question about whether T8s are more 
energy-efficient, and some of the Octron bulbs from Sylvania last eons.  That 
is, if you're using Cool/Warm white at all.  They're just starting to make the 
aquarium-oriented T8s...the guy who runs one of the LFSs by my house got some 
from the manufacturer to test...apparently the packaging hasn't even been 
designed yet, etc.  I feel that soon T8s will be a much more feasible option in the 
weird sizes (like 36", 18", etc.).

Over my 46 gallon tank I have 2 light fixtures:
A 90 watt 3x36" T8/T10 strip with reflector
A 15 watt standard strip light

The bulbs are as follows:
2x Phillips Cool White 30W T8 (easily gotten)
1x Sylvania Gro-Lux 30W T8 (was somewhat hard to come by)
1x 15W Sylvania 5000K (sort of expensive for a small bulb)

I guess the answer is this:  So far, not many T8 bulbs are READILY available 
for aquarium use (unless you go with the "Glo" line, which in my opinion are 
not worth the money).  But they will be soon.  Keep in mind that in most 
ballasts you can run any bulb with medium bipin pins with limited drawbacks.  So 
even if you go with the T12s, you can probably use the T8 bulbs later on with no 
problem.  This I heard from an electrician, but he also says that it is 
"safer" to use fixtures designed specifically for T8s.

Hope this helps you out a bit,
Brian Rippon