The Planted Tank Forum - Reply to Topic
Thread: Old T8 hood converted to 4xCFL Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-03-2013 02:06 PM
majorwoo For anyone who tries this, please note that some CFL's are larger then others. If you are retrofitting a T8 (or possibly other sized hoods) you need to make sure the bulb fits inside the hood. There were several different options of bulbs that fit, but some of them were much larger then others - especially if you were looking at the higher wattage bulbs.

I used the "micro mini Sylvania 6700k 13w = 60w bulbs" in the end. (Lowes had them, I'm just linking the amazon to show them)
01-03-2013 08:23 AM
Sethjohnson30 Wow I'm gonna give that a shot
01-03-2013 06:47 AM
majorwoo No, sorry I removed the 2x T5NO.

This is roughly based on hoppy's work here:
and some napkin math based comparisons of the chart below, I suspect I am over 100 PAR with my CFL setup

*edit to add*
When looking at this chart note that these bulbs were mounted vertically - not horizontally as I did. This has been shown to be more efficient (vertically)

Take a look here:

I need to hookup with a local aquatic club with a PAR meter and really get some numbers.
01-02-2013 10:02 PM
Sethjohnson30 So you have 4 cfl and 2 t5no?
12-31-2012 07:25 PM
majorwoo It seems one of the CFL's was defective, as the bulb was cracked this morning. I returned the pack of 4, and I'm now running 4x 13w 6700k (which they didn't have yesterday when I looked for ~6500k)

So I'm happy it broke I guess
12-31-2012 03:45 AM
GeToChKn I did the same with my fixture, I did 3x13w 6500K over a 20gal. Amazing plant growth after that.

For reference, under the T8, I had 1 val, about 3" long. It never died but never grew for over a year, just stayed at about 3". Switched my light and now about 8 months later.

12-31-2012 02:06 AM
Old T8 hood converted to 4xCFL

So I decided I wanted more light. I had a 2xT5NO and the original single T8. I was debating running both, when I decided that I might as well just make the leap.

I took my old T8 hood (it helps if you have a beautiful assistant)

I took everything apart (one of the fun parts)

I removed the existing reflector:

And hammed it out, then rebent it to fit the shape of the hood after the old ballast, starter, etc were removed (you can see the scraps of metal where I cut it as it was too long after reshaping):

I went to Lowes and bought 4 generic light fixtures (Servalite H#884413 $3 each), a bag of wire nuts ($2) and a pack of bolts($2)/nuts($1)/washers($2) that fit the mounting hole in the socket. I drilled 4 holes where I wanted the lights to be (spacing them out roughly even) and started wiring the socket in:

I kept all the wiring under the reflector, and after putting it back in the hood roughly to make sure it fit:

Then tightened everything down and installed my bulbs.

I ended up with 4x 14w @ 5000k, I may look around for some other bulb options but the research done seems to indicate the color rating on the CFL's isn't as important.

I took some before and after shots of the tank itself, but the lighting difference in the room and the dust leftover from the Flourite sand attributes to some of the color differences that you see in the picture.



Having caught the DIY bug, I believe I need a pressurized CO2 system next, and I might modify my light in the future to have a lunar light like I saw some people using.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome