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Bulb and Lighting recommendation for viv

Well I think it has come time to replace my fluorescent lighting. I have a 12" ESU SuperUV daylight reptile/amphibian bulb for my tank however I think this isnt enough light. My plant growth is slow, if any. Even the small ground cover/ moss seems to die after a while. What bulb(s) should I get ? It is for a viv housing a RETF and an Azureus. Here are the specs for the light I currently have..

The Reptile Super UV Daylight Fluorescent Lamp is a full-spectrum daylight lamp that produces beneficial ultraviolet rays, 3%+ UVB and 7%+ UVA, which help process calcium for bone growth. Its color-enhancing, natural daylight simulation is also excellent for plant growth in natural vivariums. Available in T8 (1 Dia.) and T12 (11 Dia.) Lamps.

Can anyone recommend a bulb or combo of blubs that will better serve my tank?? The width of the tank if about 15 inches or so.


how deep is the tank?

18 inches empty, about 15 or 14 inches from light to top level of substrate.

i think you would be fine with a double flourescent of about 18''. you can get good double fixtures at amazonia on burnet rd. you can mix 'warm' and 'cool' bulbs from anywhere, or mix a 'daylight' with a 'plant'bulb. i wouldn't bust out for aquarium bulbs, the home depot cheapies will work just as well. watch your heat as you add light.

I just bought the reptiglow 8.0, so if I used both the dayight and the 8.0 you think that could work ?

the reptiglow 8 is a UV bulb, right? if so you need op4 acrylic or mesh 'cuz glass and normal acrylic cut out all of the UV. mesh is tricky for humidity. but yeah, i think you should be fine. it sorta depends on light requirements of the plants, but for most viv plants any two bulbs should do fine at 14 inches from the substrate.....oh yeah, are they 18'' bulbs? shorter=less wattage, usually.

p.s. remember to change flourescent bulbs at least once per year, they degrade in a way that you don't see but the plants know!

Yes they are 18 inches and they way i have my tank set up is with a mesh top but covered on all the areas around the light fixtures so that the uv penetrates and the humidity stays. sp lets hope this works now

sounds like you've got it sussed! please give us an update on plant growth as you see how it goes...

Just to add a few things.
Most plants that are kept in Dart tanks only need about 1 watt per gal., or less. Darts need no UV , neither do the plants. If you are keeping plants that require more light than 1 watt per gal, you probably have plants that are not growing side-by-side with Darts in the wild.
Power compacts, fluorescents, the "spiral" bulbs at home depot, anything that has a natural daylight spectrum in the high 6k range will work. The floor of a tropical rain forest, or cloud forrest, does not see tons of light. Where it does you will not find Darts basking ala "easy bake oven".
Only bringing it up because I had not read anything pertaining to wattage and I have known people to go a bit nuts with illumination.


Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.

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