My inexpensive CFL light solution - Page 14 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #196 of 287 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 03:25 AM
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I just set some for my 29g 120watts for only $25 I might downgrade to about 80watts. But anyways heres a couple pictures, ignore my scape havent done much but throw some moss in it.
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post #197 of 287 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 02:04 PM
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CFLs do the job but lately I began using led bulbs instead, their prices are becoming more affordable.

I have one 9W - 6500K led bulb over my rotalas right now (and a led fixture too for all the tank).

Michel.

Plants and algae grower.
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post #198 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 04:53 AM
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I picked up a 20L at petco's dollar a gallon sale and am planning to use 8.5 inch reptile lights that are essentially the same as the clamp-on work lights that many are using in this thread. I ordered 3 of the fixtures and due to having a shelf over the tank, I have to put the light right on top of the cover(no way to raise the light further). I was planning on getting 23 watt bulbs for each of the 3 fixtures to try and get to the medium high/high light range but reading this thread has me doubting my bulb choice. Due to the height restriction, the light fixture will have to be resting on top of the cover and since a 20L is only 12 inches tall, 23watts is most probably going to be too much light? I just checked on Lowe's website and they have a 18 watt 5000K bulb or should I just start with the 13watt bulb and go to the 18watt if I find that I don't get enough light? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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post #199 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
What is your goal? Do you want an aquarium, or do you want to sell plants? A LOT of the confusion over this issue stems from the more is better idea. More light is good right? Yea, well, not always. Let me give you my real life experience with planted tanks in 4 or 5 sentences.

I used to have a little tank with fish and plants in it when I was a young kid. My dad did all of "the stuff" to make it work and I just enjoyed the swordtails and the snails and the platy. Then I grew up and wanted my own tank again. I got a marine tank though. Well, after many years and 10s of 1000's of dollars later I had to take all of it down and take a long hiatus. My memory of reef tanks included huge light requirements for acropora corals and minutia that boggles the mind when it comes to hobbyist level aquarium keeping. Heck I had $1500 just in books on the topic! Of COURSE I wanted to have a successful tank! I was bound and determined that it would be a showpiece.

How little I understood about fresh water planted tanks at that point in time.

So off I went to the store (e-bay, amazon, local, and specialty online) and got a nice setup that didn't cost more than my car and I set about putting it together. Time goes on and now I have 3 tanks. The main "high tech" tank with the grass and the crypts and the stems that I have to trim every week, a desktop 15 gallon kit tank that has nothing special at all on it. And a fry tank that holds my excess plants temporarily until I get to the ridiculously out of the way fish store that buys them from me. The big tank has pressurized CO2, a reactor for it, dosed EI, huge canister, spray bars...it's got all the toys. That one you might have seen in early posts in this thread - it's got the Zoo Med Deep Domes on it....great tank, lots of maintenance, and a joy when I have time....

The desktop 15 gallon is low light, no ferts, no CO2, and no headaches. Ever. Not. One. I have a school of CPDs in there that produce like rabbits, and plants that although they grow, don't drive me nuts needing trimming every water change. Oh, and ZERO BBA....

So think about yourself in 6 months. Where do you want to be? Do you want to set up a FrankenTank and have to piddle with it an hour every 2 days or do you want to just sit and enjoy it, even if that means those bacopa take a month to hit the waterline instead of 5 days?

Just something to think about...

Good luck (get the 13w Sylvanias)

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post #200 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 06:33 AM
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CFL? The cheap bulbs they sell at Home Depot? You can't possibly grow plants with that, let alone any carpet plants. You need super expensive lights!

Naw, I'm kidding, here my CFL tank.


=======



Bob Ross approves CFL.
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|ADA 60F|ADA 30C|Fluval Edge[6g] |DIY Diffuser YT
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post #201 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 06:42 AM
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I love those swing arm lamps. Great idea. I *just* went through a little piece of hell trying to find a good lamp with a magnifier that didn't cost $150. I finally settled on one from Officemax but it took me a good week of researching and calling and being disappointed with the selection. Funny that. I love those lamps. I might have even chosen them for the 15g if I had thought of it early on....

$16.29 for the ones it looks like you have there at Officemax...
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post #202 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 06:43 AM
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Oh and Bob's lookin pretty good!
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post #203 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 06:54 AM
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^ Thank you. I got them from Ikea for 10 ea. Pretty good bang for the buck.



ADA 60P
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post #204 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 07:00 AM
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My inexpensive CFL light solution

hi m00se. thanks for sharing your experience. The 20L is going to replace a 10 gallon that I started around end of October. In the 10 gallon, most of the plants are growing well except the lilaeopsis and cryptocoryne parva seems to keep getting a layer of brown algae. I also have some Downoi which seems to also be getting brown algae too. The 10 gallon is using the stock 2 bulb hood with 1 20 watt u shaped cfl and 1 10 watt cfl and pressurized co2. Initially I was thinking I'm getting the brown algae because I don't have enough light but now that I'm reading through the forums I'm thinking maybe I have too much light?
Anyway, think I'll start with the 13watt bulbs to start and go from there since I cannot raise the light. Thanks again for your help
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post #205 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 07:05 AM
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Oh here is a pic of my current setup
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post #206 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 07:07 AM
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That brown almost looks like bacteria to me. Are you sure it's algae? What happens when you wipe it off? Does it slough off like a sheet or is it more dust-like? What filter are you using? Is it adequate? Ever have a bacteria bloom in your tank?
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post #207 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 07:28 AM
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That brown almost looks like bacteria to me. Are you sure it's algae? What happens when you wipe it off? Does it slough off like a sheet or is it more dust-like? What filter are you using? Is it adequate? Ever have a bacteria bloom in your tank?
its like a dust when i wipe it. Its on the rocks too. I did have some green slime algae that would come off as a sheet(that's actually a bacteria from what I read) about a month ago that I treated with Maracyn. Also, one of my neon tetra had fin rot so I treated it with Maracyn Two last week. So if it is bacteria, I don't think it would have survived both Maracyn and Maracyn Two treatment right? I was thinking maybe it is brown diatoms and that's why I'm thinking I need more light.
For filtration I'm using a modified aquaclear 70 that has a aquaclear 30 impeller and a media tray with filter floss in it. I've been doing a 40% water change every Friday and my water stays crystal clear in between water changes. I've been checking my parameters and seems like my nitrates are always kind of high so I only dose once a week right after water change to get 10-20ppm nitrates and 1-2ppm phosphate and I take a guess with potassium since I haven't found a way to test that. Oh and photoperiod is 8 hours a day
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post #208 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 06:38 PM
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I started with this setup on my 75 gallon tank. I found that the light wasn't even enough or strong enough so I upgraded to t5HO. I could see them working fine on smaller tanks, but on bigger ones you need so many of them to get it even that it's not all that cost effective.

I used BlueMax full spectrum bulbs, I liked them visually a lot.
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post #209 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 03:30 AM
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I'm considering this for my 75g. I just read above that this may not work so well? What do you guys think? I would be using either this bulb
Amazon.com: Feit Electric ESL40TN/D 40-Watt Compact Fluorescent High-Wattage Bulb, Daylight: Home Improvement Amazon.com: Feit Electric ESL40TN/D 40-Watt Compact Fluorescent High-Wattage Bulb, Daylight: Home Improvement

or these
Amazon.com: GE Lighting 89095 Energy Smart Spiral CFL 26-Watt (100-watt replacement) 1600-Lumen T3 Spiral Light Bulb with Medium Base, 1-Pack: Home Improvement Amazon.com: GE Lighting 89095 Energy Smart Spiral CFL 26-Watt (100-watt replacement) 1600-Lumen T3 Spiral Light Bulb with Medium Base, 1-Pack: Home Improvement

Also I saw these bulbs
GE Lighting Energy Smart CFL 97629 32-Watt, 2400-Lumen Triple Biax Light Bulb with Gx24Q-3 Base, 1-Pack - Amazon.com GE Lighting Energy Smart CFL 97629 32-Watt, 2400-Lumen Triple Biax Light Bulb with Gx24Q-3 Base, 1-Pack - Amazon.com
And some floodlight style cfl's. Could those be used?

I was going to get two fixtures because I already have two led floodlights (but I don't know the par or output).

I have co2 and I'd like to use it lol. I would be looking for medium light or high light. I didn't want too much maintenance but I guess that's not an option anymore.
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post #210 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrnbo View Post
I'm considering this for my 75g. I just read above that this may not work so well? What do you guys think? I would be using either this bulb Amazon.com: Feit Electric ESL40TN/D 40-Watt Compact Fluorescent High-Wattage Bulb, Daylight: Home Improvement

or these Amazon.com: GE Lighting 89095 Energy Smart Spiral CFL 26-Watt (100-watt replacement) 1600-Lumen T3 Spiral Light Bulb with Medium Base, 1-Pack: Home Improvement

Also I saw these bulbs GE Lighting Energy Smart CFL 97629 32-Watt, 2400-Lumen Triple Biax Light Bulb with Gx24Q-3 Base, 1-Pack - Amazon.com
And some floodlight style cfl's. Could those be used?

I was going to get two fixtures because I already have two led floodlights (but I don't know the par or output).

I have co2 and I'd like to use it lol. I would be looking for medium light or high light. I didn't want too much maintenance but I guess that's not an option anymore.
I have used this diy setup on my 20 gallon and had algae problems but that's only because I didn't keep up with my diy co2. I used spiral cfl from home depot and Lowes. 23watts 6500k. 3 pack is about $12. And for the dome reflectors make sure to spray paint the inside a flat white. I noticed that it offers a more uniform light spread compared to the metal.

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