The importance of a good reflector: A photographic Study - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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First:
Yes, the tank is a bit cloudy.
Yes, this tank is new and has plenty of growing to do


Many people do not fully understand how important a relfector is with a planted tank. To

drive this point deep, I decided to take a photographic approach to it. Below are pictures taken of various "reflector" setups with static camera conditions (Aperature=3.0, Shutter=1/13thsecond, no flash...obviously) The DIY reflector was a geometric solution to eliminate restrike with my screw in compact bulbs.

To Learn more about my DIY reflector, Go HERE

1) My DIY reflector with some some scraps used as side reflectors (look at the right corner to easily see the difference between #1 and #2)
2) Just the main DIY reflectors
3) 90 Brightness inkjet paper lined inside an incadecent hood
4) Plain incadecent hood no reflector in the incandecent hood
5) Bulbs sitting on the hood

The pictures should speak for themselves
(Note: I kick my self for not remembering Aluminum foil before moving the camera. I don't

want to reshoot, but I can tell you that aluminum foil was not much of an improvement over a plain hood)


The top pictures are #1 to #5 going left to right.
The top row is the left corner of the tank.
The bottom row is the center of the tank.


The LINKS below are the complete pictures.
1
http://www.dslextreme.com/users/loui...eflector/1.jpg

2
http://www.dslextreme.com/users/loui...eflector/2.jpg
3
http://www.dslextreme.com/users/loui...eflector/3.jpg

4
http://www.dslextreme.com/users/loui...eflector/4.jpg

5
http://www.dslextreme.com/users/loui...eflector/5.jpg
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 02:34 AM
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At first glance the pictures look identicle. But looking to the left at the sprig of rotala and the small plant in the bottom left corner, I can see the brightness shining off the leaves. It's like free light. Thats only with a 19 watt bulb! Have you experimented with moving the bulb in and out within the reflector to find the zero point?

Neat little project. Nice job. 8)

Marcel

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75 gal heavily planted,50/50 Black beauty,Eco-complete substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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thanks. I edited the post with a better way to compare the pictures. Hopefully the point is better made.

it is actually with 2x 19watt bulbs. 3.8wpg is very misleading though. Geometries take away a large chunk of efficiency (some say as much as 50%). lack of reflectors for spirals make it even worse. I was just trying to make the best of the situation
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 12:48 PM
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Now, you can really see the difference.

Marcel

FILSTAR Pimp #2

75 gal heavily planted,50/50 Black beauty,Eco-complete substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 01:34 PM
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Hmm ... the pictures are gronked for me. I can't see them

--- Dave ---
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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on the links, change "members" to "www"

All the links were typed with www. somehow they change to members when the server is used a lot. A very strange trafficing trick that I don't understand.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 07:51 PM
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Much better as the example! I can see the difference now...was very hard before...GREAT JOB!

Mike
100 Gal Planted, two Filstar XP3, Milwaukee SMS 122 pH controller, Milwaukee reg/bubble, compressed CO2, reactor 1000, 7 WCMM, 12 Ottos, 14 neons, 1 SAE, 3 German blue rams, 2 Florida Flag Fish

10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 10:35 PM
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Gomer fancy seeing you here..LOL!! You should also post this at MyFishTank..its a nice little experiment!!

40 gal Planted:
3 Zebra Danios, 3 Long-Finned Blue Danios, 2 Long-Finned Leopard Danios, 2 Horse-Faced Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 2 Fancy Guppies(male/female), 1 "Teenage" Guppy Fry, 5-6 sm. Guppy Fry, 2 Baloon Mollies, 2 Red Velvet Swordtails, 2 Ottos, 2 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Dwarf Puffer
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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hello

It is posted at MFt
this post is in the planted tank section and the contruction details are in the DIY section.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 01:50 PM
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Great job on the compare/contrast photos. The point of reference I use to see the brightness differential is the small anubias in the top pictures on the bottom.
Might be even more interesting to see one more comparison with specular aluminum.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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For point of reference in the top row, I look at the end of the rotala and the light saturation in the leaves in the bottom leftmost plant (that is a lobelia cutting).
For the bottom row, I look at the driftwood "spike" and the light saturation in the pearlweed.

Is specular aluminum right below satin in terms of reflectivity? Is this the same as aluminum foil?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 09:33 PM
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Specular aluminum is far, far better than polished aluminum and eons better than satin/brushed aluminum or foil. Polishing can improve reflectivity by so much until the crystaline structure of the aluminum comes into play. Specular aluminum is cast and machined with reflectivity specifically in mind.
Anyway, it is about 4-5x more reflective than polished aluminum and even several times more efficient than a mirror (since the light has to pass through glass twice to reflect off of a mirror).
It's wicked expensive, though. That's why reflectors such as AHSupply's are so expensive. It's all in the material, not bending.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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well...I'm pricing out some specular aluminum. who knows. if I can get good pricing, I'll let you know.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 11:04 PM
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How good of a reflector can be done with mirrors, compared to white paint? They are selling mirror tiles in HD, which could be cut fit an existing shape. Would that increase the efficiency of a reflector a lot?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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no idea. I don't want to buy the paint and mirrors to find out
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