Design pictures for new catalina custom t5 light - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Design pictures for new catalina custom t5 light

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I am pretty sure either design would be sufficeint for a 65 gallon 36L x 24T x 18D; but with every bulb on its own cord I like the versatility I'll get with the three bulb. single 24" led strips would be cheaper than two 12" strips but I do not want to waste light over the centerbrace. how much more the 12" cost and whether they can be linked to share a power chord will decide which direction I ultimately go.

156w without moonlights, and using 24" strips was quoted at $375, the moonlights and 12" inch strips probably adds another $100..

Havent gotten quote on two bulb design yet.

Light is getting ordered tomorrow. Ill be sure to post pics when i get it.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 05:15 AM
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Might as well go all led. There's no point having that amount of wattage these days (modern age). Think about some high output LEDs.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Might as well go all led. There's no point having that amount of wattage these days (modern age). Think about some high output LEDs.

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At 100$ more i like the maxspect razor 160W (what i have and love it)
Its slim and looks beautiful
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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I would be all about the maxspect razor 8,000k 160w if the center light bank didnt sit right on top of the tank's centerbrace. The goal of this light was to have good coverage over the entire tank and have good control of the light cycle. There are alot of full led options that will do the same thing, but none that offer the light spread and versatility at the price point I am getting the catalina fixture for.

They also seem stoked to build this light which means alot to me too. We discussed the design of this fixture for a while and came up with what I think is a geat design that makes sense for what Im looking to get out of the light. the only thing that might not make the cut are the moonlights due to the extra chord. These can always be easily added on later if I change my mind.

The different color bulbs are going to make for a really nice viewing experience while putting out tons of usable light.

I'm planning on running a single blue t5 (like an ati blue plus) for the morning to extend viewing by replicating the blue light visible during twilight, two aquafloras on the outer t5's that will kick on to simulate sunrise and then run through sunset with the midday light being supplied by 39 1w leds in 6,700k . The overall effect should replicate the natural light output of the sun on a clear day near the equator. The blue t5 aside from looking really cool, has great par and should be utilized by the plants along witht the aquafloras that peak in the red spectrum.

One of the main reasons Im sticking with some t5's are the tons of different color bulbs available. I know people are jumping ship left and right for leds, but I think by mixing them in a single fixture you can get the best of both worlds. LEDs are great, but its still hard to beat a t5 ho with a high quality german made individual reflector, and its still way easier to get a part for a t5 quickly if somethng needs to be replaced on short notice.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 01:57 PM
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Interesting. When you mention PAR, is that data that you obtained from Catalina, or is it from the sticky thread here? Do you have any PAR data for the LEDs?

I think that 2 T5HOs should be enough light for a 24 inch high tank... perhaps even suspended a few inches over the tank. So I never even considered adding LEDs to the mix. The potential effects that you have discussed here have got me thinking though... thanks for the interesting thread.

Though if i do go down this road I figure I'll just go ahead and add the moonlights. I'll be interested to see your pics.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I ordered the light today and Jim tells me it should be shipped by like next Wednesday. The final price was $425 which seems fair considering a 36w aquaticlife led with 1w emmitters is almost $300 and a 36" 3x 39w t5 with quality reflectors and moonlights would cost atleast $250. The final design has 4 cords.
I would have gladly paid more to include a digital timer and run a single cord, but it doesnt look like catalina does that.

Ill post pics when it gets here!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 02:21 AM
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nice setup! I have the same size tank and opted for the catalina three T5 light. Doing what you plan with the grow bulbs on all day, with a 12K to simulate midday. I like your blue t5 idea for sunrise/set, but I'm using moonlight LED's for that.

If you ever decide to sell that light, I call dibs!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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I was at a LFS today and saw a planted tank under a 4 bulb reef bulb set up (2x 10000k and 2 x 460nm) and the plants looked awesome. The neons in the tank did not show a red stripe at all lol I asked them if they were some kind of new tetra and the guy looked at me like I was a moron. This was a display tank and the plants had been grown out in the tank. They all looked extremely green and suprisingly the red ludwidgia looked amazing.

This got me thinking about another group of people who grow plants as a hobby, and they all use blue light for vegetative growth and red for flowering. Why would aquarium plants be any different? They might not be subjected to loads of blue light in the wild but so what? Unless aquatic plants function in a fundamentally different way than emersed plants they should respond to blue light with strong compact vegetative growth right?

Im not saying I'm going to start running all ati blue + bulbs over the planted tank, but am going to add atleast one blue bulb in the new fixture, maybe two. With the 36 1w 6,700k leds I have plenty of room to experiment with the t5's. The three t5's will be some combination of blue and red bulbs. Maybe two aquafloras and a single lagoon blue (17,000k) or 15,000k aquablue. With the 8 dimmable royal blue leds running over the tank I think I can use the 17,000k t5 to good effect. The bulb was designed for reefers who want a super high flourescent blue look to their tank and is meant to be used as a substitute for traditional daylight bulbs like 10,000k and 12,000k. Since it still has peaks across the spectrum it will still produce alot of output in the traditional planted tank wavelengths, but the overall color of the bulb is turquoise. My hope is that this bulb will make greens, blues, and reds pop in combination with the other bulbs.

Ill take some pics of the different bulb combinations... it should be an interesting study since all the different t5 combos will be against the backdrop of good amount of traditional 6,700k.
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