cfl bulbs and a 10 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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cfl bulbs and a 10 gallon

Hi folks, one tank seems never enough and so my question. I was giving a ten gal tank with the standard little florescent in it. Pulled it out and put in a double screw fixture to hold two cfl's. Can i assume 13 watt cfl is equal to 60 watts and therefore i have 120 watts over 10 gallons. 12 watts per gallon. That would be great. I'm planning low light plants, few small fish and some ghost shrimps. No co2. Maybe root tabs and some liquid carbon. Substrate Floramax with black sand cover.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:20 PM
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There is a lot of good information in the lighting forum, here are some links that will answer your questions.

Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts

PAR Data-Spiral Power Saver Bulbs, lighting question

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:24 PM
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I used 2 27 watt CFLs over a 10g with diy co2 for a while with fantastic results.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:27 PM
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Wow that is a ton of light something like 200-250 maybe more par O.o Are they vertical or horizontal mount?

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:39 PM
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by no means am i an expert but will say that with ive got good growth (low light plants) in a ten gallon tank with one cfl spiral bulb in a reflector

its a 15 wt that is equivalent to 60 wts i believe...

not sure what par that will work out to but im pretty sure that it will be more on the high side of medium, i could be wrong though

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:05 PM
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Just ignore the incandescent wattage equivalent on the package of CFL's it doesn't mean anything as far as planted tanks are concerned. Nonetheless, you will get great growth with them provided they are of the correct spectrum. You should look over those links that Sake posted to learn more.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 03:24 PM
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I think I have the same or similar hood as you on my 10 gallon. It has 2 screw in sockets that are horizontal to the water. I use 18 watt spiral cfl bulbs and only use 1 of the bulbs. I had to remove the other as it was just too much light. Seems to do well in my tank. Just make sure your bulbs are in the 6500k range and you should be good to go. I would think two 13 watt bulbs would put you in the mid light range maybe even the high end.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 03:46 PM
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Horizontally-oriented CFLs produce less par than bulbs positions vertically, according to the links in the lighting sticky. So you can have a bright looking tank without an excessive amount of par by changing the orientation of the bulbs to horizontal.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 04:49 PM
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The second link Sake posted is what I came in to post.

PAR Data-Spiral Power Saver Bulbs, lighting question

A long read, but well worth it. I am about to test out a 10G cube with a single CFL in a brooder reflector using those principles.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 05:28 PM
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I Find that 2 of the 9W 6500K bulbs are just right on a low light tank, When I ran the 2X13 watt bulbs it was an algae farm without C02. The 13W also ran pretty hot and raised the tank temps. I run fans on temp controllers on both 10G's to keep temperatures in check during the hot summer months.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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I read the two articles concerning light but it leaves me to check with a scientist for the correct answer. I'm lost reading that. I'll just rely on you guys to give me advice, thanks.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 07:34 PM
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I have this exact set up and wondering if my horizontal mounted 13w CFL's were gonna cut it. My LFS had a moving sale so I bought a bunch of cheap unlabelled/mislabelled plants only to find out 3/4 require moderate to high light. I was happy to read the sticky and find that I can still get moderate light with vertically mounted 13w cfls close to the surface of the water by using clamp lights...great news cause I have several-but those will be for other tanks. For this particular tank I have to use the light hood. Therefore the light will be horizontal.

So....hopefully by watching this thread I can find out if horizontally mounted 20w micro-mini cfls 11" from the substrate will make my baby tears happy
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morelight View Post
I read the two articles concerning light but it leaves me to check with a scientist for the correct answer. I'm lost reading that. I'll just rely on you guys to give me advice, thanks.
At 10 inches off the substrate, one 14w mounted horizontal would be enough. Depending on your reflectors, you may have too much light. What type of reflectors are in your fixture?

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for making it simple. I got some cfl's today. They are Sylvania micro-mini 13watt. 6500k. Package of two, stated on the package, they give 800 lumens each. I'm gonna use the two because i have to mount them vertically. The package reads 5% light loss when mounted that way.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 11:51 PM
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In my experience no matter which way you mount them, 2-13w cfls will be too much light without co2 or something to block out some of the light. The other option is to raise them higher until you find the right height. I'm going to try the 9w bulbs as recommended by The Big Buddah.
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