My inexpensive CFL light solution - Page 6 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #76 of 269 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by allaboutfish View Post
i think ill be doing this on my 55 now. would 4 40 watt CFL's work?
Keep in mind for marketing reasons CFL lights often state an "Incandescent Equivalent" wattage, that is, how many watts a regular old light bulb with comparable brightness would consume.

The actual wattage of CFL lights is about 25% of that. Huge difference.

That said, when we talk about wattage, we always refer to the "actual" wattage that a fluorescent bulb draws. So check the package or bulb socket, it might say something like "11W".

In that case, they would be a bit too weak for a 55gal tank. Keep in mind that these CFL lights are not as efficient as a tube which can be very nicely reflected. There is quite a bit of loss due to restrike.

That said, you will easily find higher wattages (say 26W) which would be a better choice for a larger tank like yours.
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post #77 of 269 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Keep in mind for marketing reasons CFL lights often state an "Incandescent Equivalent" wattage, that is, how many watts a regular old light bulb with comparable brightness would consume.

The actual wattage of CFL lights is about 25% of that. Huge difference.

That said, when we talk about wattage, we always refer to the "actual" wattage that a fluorescent bulb draws. So check the package or bulb socket, it might say something like "11W".

In that case, they would be a bit too weak for a 55gal tank. Keep in mind that these CFL lights are not as efficient as a tube which can be very nicely reflected. There is quite a bit of loss due to restrike.

That said, you will easily find higher wattages (say 26W) which would be a better choice for a larger tank like yours.
i actually meant 4 20 watt bulbs haha
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post #78 of 269 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 08:30 PM
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Soo with the articles provided here and this thread:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...ver-bulbs.html

I have come to the conclusion that if i use two 14 watt CFL bulbs in the clamp on hardware light fixture on top of my ten gallon while also dosing exel three times a week i should be able to grow low-mediumish plants.
If anyone thinks otherwise please post =]
Thanks!
Jasmine
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post #79 of 269 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 03:26 AM
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Don't forget you have your lamps sitting right on the glass. The height of the light above the water will make a difference in the overlap. I don't see any areas in my "18 inches front-to-back" 40b that are lighter or darker. The length of my tank is the same as yours (36"). I bet if you lifted your lamps you'd see a big difference.

I just checked and the bottom of the CFL is 8.5" from the water surface. The bottom edge of the shade is 4" from the water surface. So although these shades are deeper than the shades you're using, the spread is much better at the height they're at.

Also be aware that Fluker make these same lamps, but the inside of the shade is white. I chose the Zoo Meds specifically because they were aluminum inside. Just as a FYI, I'm using 15w 6500K daylights in those. They're generic Lowes house brand. Months ago when I was running DIY CO2 I tried 23w "natural light" daylight bulbs and it was way too much light. I was combating every algae known to man. These bulbs seem to have all the PAR they need to get the job done.

So jart, the take-away of all this is that "it depends"
moose im asking cuz i envy your 40b and u close to me, i went to the lowes on erie couldnt find 6500k bulbs as the twisty cfl or w/e, the only 6500k bulb they had on the shelf was more of a tube shaped, is that the one u used? i have 14 wat 5000k ones at the moment, and im doing 3 10 1/2 inch domes found them for 10 a pop at tractor supply

Last edited by Azarakiah; 12-04-2011 at 03:26 AM. Reason: mispelled
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post #80 of 269 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 03:51 AM
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moose im asking cuz i envy your 40b and u close to me, i went to the lowes on erie couldnt find 6500k bulbs as the twisty cfl or w/e, the only 6500k bulb they had on the shelf was more of a tube shaped, is that the one u used? i have 14 wat 5000k ones at the moment, and im doing 3 10 1/2 inch domes found them for 10 a pop at tractor supply

Haha...I had to un-bury the extra bulb I had to look at the brand... It's a "Bright Effects" Item # BE15T3/D

http://energy-star-lighting.findtheb...Bright-Effects

That's the bulb ^

I know Lowes has their bulbs scattered all over their stores. It doesn't surprise me that you'd have trouble finding them. They're in a whitish generic looking package. They're cheap!! I paid $7 or $8 for 4 of them. I *think* they were on the floor along the CFL section, but that's a months-old memory and who knows where they might be now. Also, I bought them at the Camillus store on W. Genesee St. in Camillus Commons. I doubt that makes a difference, but who can know, right?

Don't look in the "premium" bulbs - they're in the cheap seats. If you want to save a trip, call them and shoot them that item # and the person who answers the phone can look up inventory on their computer and tell you whether they have them in stock or not. Good luck.
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post #81 of 269 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Update-
Looks like adding A fourth lamp at 15 inches off the sub was a bad move. Since then I've noticed some algae starting to form (staghorn, hair, and brush). Tried everything from h202, manual removal, upping co2, and double checking ferts, no luck stopping it. It still hasn't gotten out of control, thank god, so I shot a pm off to moose to see his thoughts. He said he thought my issue was too much light, so I double checked my charts and heights, and sure enough I had around 60 micromols of par (as far as I can tell). So today I built a temporary PVC bar to suspend the lamps about 20 inches off the substrate. This should give me around 30 micromols of par, and should lower my demands of nutrients. I hope this will help knock out the algae, and I'll post an update in a few weeks. Just wanted to say be careful, these lights are more than capable of pushing nutrients to the limit, leading to an imbalance.

Matt


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post #82 of 269 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 06:43 AM
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Paydirt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Here is an article by a guy I know extremely well: http://www.aquabotanic.com/?p=1497

THANK YOU for this link! It was simple enough for me to finally figure out PARs and Watts to decide what I need and how to get it in a low budget style.

Relief. I can finally start my 30 gal.....

sox

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post #83 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 01:03 AM
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Moose- every time I see that tank I drool... I really like the matching black domes and the trim...
Here's some recent shots of mine:


Looking back, I wish I had taken the clamp off the far left light before taking pictures! I screw it back on when I am doing work in the tank, that way I can hook it on to the end and see what I'm doing.

And a nice shot before the big trim, showing the domes:
do you just put them on the glass on top of the tank? if i get 2 of those and get a 23 watt bulb for each of them and use it in my 50 gallon, would it work fine for a low or medium light tank?
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post #84 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 01:15 AM
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Here are a few options.

This looks very interesting, but I'm not sure where to buy it:

http://www.global-b2b-network.com/b2...lamp_lamp.html

This is probably a bit overpriced, but might be good:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=6186

This looks great, but I don't think it will handle the heavier Home Depot PAR38 bulbs:

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/inde...owtopic=271939
i've seen that clamp lamp in your first link i'm just wondering if you've ever got to try it casue i'm planning to use 2 of those in my 50 gallon tank. i'll be putting 23watt bulbs in each.
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post #85 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 11:55 PM
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Great thread. I'll be doing a very similar set up....just ordered my glass hood and need to hit up Home Depot for the rest.
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post #86 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 12:20 AM
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I'll just throw this out here...it wasn't meant to be any kind of a journal in the spirit of the journals on here. It's just a repository for my aquarium pix online, and in no particular order. Don't be too harsh :-)

http://imgur.com/a/bXI54#0

Those are Zoo Med Deep Dome lamps 8.5" (NOT the narrow ones). These pix are also old now, as I have rescaped a couple of times since the newest pix were taken. The bulbs are 13w 6500K el-cheapo generic 4 packers from Lowes.
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post #87 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 01:20 AM
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i use 3 23watt sylvania bulbs 6500k from lowes. these are 10 inch domes. wish i went with 4 8s though
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post #88 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 03:54 AM
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I use the same 23W 6500k bulbs from Lowe's and 10" domes, looking pretty good so far. I just built that "stand" this past Monday. I'm trying to get my HC to carpet the bottom. I started from one little pot and it looks like its growing out, slowly but surely. My sword grows a new full leaf per week too. I dose Excel every night and Flourish and dry ferts only once a week. Might up it to twice a week depending on how the plants look.
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post #89 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 04:00 AM
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I use the same 23W 6500k bulbs from Lowe's and 10" domes, looking pretty good so far. I just built that "stand" this past Monday. I'm trying to get my HC to carpet the bottom. I started from one little pot and it looks like its growing out, slowly but surely. My sword grows a new full leaf per week too. I dose Excel every night and Flourish and dry ferts only once a week. Might up it to twice a week depending on how the plants look.
lol, 10 inch domes from tractor supply huh..
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post #90 of 269 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 04:03 AM
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I use the same 23W 6500k bulbs from Lowe's and 10" domes, looking pretty good so far. I just built that "stand" this past Monday. I'm trying to get my HC to carpet the bottom. I started from one little pot and it looks like its growing out, slowly but surely. My sword grows a new full leaf per week too. I dose Excel every night and Flourish and dry ferts only once a week. Might up it to twice a week depending on how the plants look.

Is that a 10 gallon? Are you running pressurized CO2? How long has your tank been set up? 46w of CFL is a LOT of light for that tank! I was running 23 watters on my 40b and I backed down to 13...everything is MUCH easier to handle and I have about 30 species in there, all growing well.
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