advice on poor 10g lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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advice on poor 10g lighting

Everyone at my office is into local CT fish, not too suprisingly since its the state inland fisheries office. But Im trying to get them all interested in aquatic plants as well. So Im setting up a 10g that I had laying around with spare pieces a few of us had...
For lighting, I started with a desk lamp with a bright CFL, but as we all know it wasent the best coverage and the arm that held the bulb kept creeping down twords the water... So we had a 30" single bulb flourecent fixture, the standard black plastic one. Its the same that I have on my 20l and my 20l grows low-med plants perfectly with low maintenance and looks bright. But this fixture seems really dim over the 10g.. It has a 24" bulb in it and it hangs over each end of the aquarium slightly but there is almost no light spill. It had some pink bulb in it and I replaced it with a new zoo-med 6500k. great color but it still seems noticably dimmer than my 20l at home. do the ballasts or starters or whatever is in there get old and not light up as well? and can I replace it?
If not I will have to get a new fixture which I want to avoid. so far the whole thing is set up and ready to be planted and it cost $18. and all $18 was for the bulb. When I have that CFL on its blinding and lights up the tank nice, but the flourecent light which is a few watts brighter is less than half as bright.
Need cheap ideas! lol this post turned out longer than I thought it was going to be....
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 04:25 PM
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For lighting a 10g you can get a used/new hood and screw some CFLs in it (I'd go with 10-13W CFLs for a low tech and 23W if you want to dose excel or use some DIY CO2) and that shouldn't cost very much. I've done this plenty of times and it works even better than some of the expensive T5 20" fixtures in my experiences. As for the tube lighting - you can replace just about any ballast you want but you have to ask whether or not it's worth it. Dimming light is indicative of either a dying bulb or a bad ballast. If it's just a cheapo black tube fixture then you might be better off getting a Ray II or an Aquaticlife T5 instead of going through the hassle of tracking down a new ballast and fitting it.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Good point, Im thinking Ill return the bulb and put that $18 twords a new cheapo black plastic single tube..
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 04:37 AM
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I hae two 13watt cfl's on my ten gallon and it has worked pretty well for about a year now.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
Good point, Im thinking Ill return the bulb and put that $18 twords a new cheapo black plastic single tube..
Awesome! I've found that a hood, though, helps if you have fish that are notorious for jumping.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 03:52 PM
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Check out Walmart for an incandescent hood, they might still have one. I have one on my 15 tall with two 13W 6500k spiral cfl's and the plants are doing great. Another good place to find one is at a fish club auction. There are several coming up, check out the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies website. Look up the local clubs and check out the dates of their auctions.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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sweet thanks for the ideas guys!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Traded the T8 bulb I just bought back in for an aqueon incandecent 2 bulb hood as per this threads original advice... The single tube was just so dim even with the new bulb and I dident think the ballest would be cost effective. I think the plants are suffering, especially the R. Vietnam and the fissidens. Id hate to go too far the other direction though. You guys that said your using two 13w cfls, you calling that low-med light? not using co2/excell and still not getting algae?
And do you guys have to take off the plastic splash gaurd/shield on each side or does a CFL fit under it? It says only use incandecent bulbs, but this is the hood were all talking about right? lol
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 02:56 AM
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I changed out my incandescent bulbs to these from walmart.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/10448675?w...l5=pla&veh=sem

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 03:50 AM
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advice on poor 10g lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
Traded the T8 bulb I just bought back in for an aqueon incandecent 2 bulb hood as per this threads original advice... The single tube was just so dim even with the new bulb and I dident think the ballest would be cost effective. I think the plants are suffering, especially the R. Vietnam and the fissidens. Id hate to go too far the other direction though. You guys that said your using two 13w cfls, you calling that low-med light? not using co2/excell and still not getting algae?
And do you guys have to take off the plastic splash gaurd/shield on each side or does a CFL fit under it? It says only use incandecent bulbs, but this is the hood were all talking about right? lol
That's the hood I have on my 10g with 2 13w CFL and everything I put in the tank thrives. Fissidins, any moss, java fern, Anubias, Bacopa, and any crypts grow amazingly. In fact I take plants out of my other tanks and place them in the 10 if they are struggling. I don't use C02 or excel in my 10g although I do use DIY C02 and excel in most of my others

That tank really tied the room together
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks dude, Thats what I was looking for. Basically the most light I could get without being on the verge of algae all the time.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 12:31 AM
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I'm basically doing the same thing,would these bulbs be good?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up with 14w 5000k bulbs from HD. would have prefered slightly higher K rating, but I dont hink the plants will notice. with 2 of them in that hood its soooo much brighter visually than the 20w t8 I had on it. I bought some 18w 5000k at HD too and they dident fit, even with the plastic bulb gaurd taken off... but I think the 14s look just right. and for $3.98 for a 4 pack, you cant go wrong lol!
Hitman, those look almost identical to what I just put in but with a higher K rating. that should work perfectly for you!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 12:56 PM
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Where did you get the fixture at?
I was thinking about doing the same thing!
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