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Thread: My inexpensive CFL light solution Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-22-2014 02:51 AM
burr740 Here's my 20H grow out tank with DIY Co2. I use it to propagate cuttings and experiment with different things. CFLs have worked great. Had 23 watt bulbs for a while but they were a little too bright. Now using 18 watt 5000K Ulitech bulbs from Lowes.

Some pics from various stages -


Recent (18watt bulbs)





Initial set-up (23watt 5000K Ulitech bulbs)




1 week later

07-10-2014 08:23 PM
cornbread_5 Are the spiral cfls ok to use or nah?
06-19-2014 08:43 AM
umarnasir335 Just wanted to pipe in with my own setup using 5 CFL fixtures on all 3 of my planted tanks.

The lamps used are the typical walmart ones that come in black. I was kind of apprehensive since the fixture is supposed to handle 13w max, but I went ahead and put in a higher wattage bulb anyway







I think I can grow anything with this setup on my 20 Long (also running 2x2 liter DIY co2 - soon to be replaced with paintball setup).
The lamps on the left and right run 26w GE 6500K bulbs @ 1600 lumen.
The middle lamp is a Great Value 19w @ 5000k and 1300 lumen.

The 20 High has a Jebo power compact fixture running 48w and I include the lamp with the same 19w bulb for an extra boost for about 2-3 hours per day once I get home from work.

3 gallon on top is running a 14w Great Value bulb, 5000k @ 800 lumen. The pearlweed has already started to carpet after a week
06-19-2014 03:24 AM
AGUILAR3 As long as you're able to place the lamp directly over the tank and its able to handle the watts your cfl is rated for, anything will do.
06-19-2014 02:27 AM
cornbread_5 i got two of the chicken brooders on my 40 will upgrade to a third one was just wondering since i see people using clip on lamps how good what the ones that stand on the ground be
06-19-2014 01:02 AM
burr740
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornbread_5 View Post
can you use the standing flexible lamps?
You can use any appropriately rated fixture these bulbs will screw into. How efficient depends on the quality of reflector, mounting position, distance from object, etc
06-19-2014 12:57 AM
cornbread_5 can you use the standing flexible lamps?
05-15-2014 04:09 AM
lauraleellbp
Quote:
Originally Posted by phxkrausehouse View Post
Great topic. I just upgraded my lighting setup on my 90 gallon this weekend. I wanted a cheap alternative. So I went to home depot. Bought two of the white hanging light fixtures for 50 bucks each. Cut some pvc to make it look like a solid setup, painted it black and plugged in 2 100w 6500k 1450 lumen cfl bulbs. I hope I have enough light now.
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/a...511_214444.jpg
This is going to be an extremely low light setup. I doubt that you will be able to grow much beyond directly below your fixtures. A 90gal tank is a DEEP tank, and the amount of light that reaches the bottom is very little. Especially when using spiral CFL bulbs; the shape of the bulbs themselves mean that much of the light output is lost in "restrike" rather than being directed down into the tank.

I hate to tell you this after the work you put into this really nice-looking setup, but you would have much more usable light with dual rows of T8 bulbs than with this design.

IMO, trying to light LARGE tanks with spiral flourescents is usually a waste of energy. Strips of flourescent bulbs provide much more usable light per watt and overall better light coverage throughout the tank.
05-15-2014 01:34 AM
phxkrausehouse Great topic. I just upgraded my lighting setup on my 90 gallon this weekend. I wanted a cheap alternative. So I went to home depot. Bought two of the white hanging light fixtures for 50 bucks each. Cut some pvc to make it look like a solid setup, painted it black and plugged in 2 100w 6500k 1450 lumen cfl bulbs. I hope I have enough light now.
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/a...511_214444.jpg
05-11-2014 04:37 PM
Ricardohc
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistuhmarc View Post
You should do fine. The old rule was "3 watts per gallon" for high light. HC Cuba also loves lots of co2 too.
Thank you mitsuhmarc!
05-06-2014 04:19 AM
lauraleellbp
Quote:
Originally Posted by NQuaday View Post
Sorry if I missed a similar post somewhere earlier in the post but I am setting up a 90 gallon with CO2 and would be interested in a similar setup. How many fixtures do you think I would need and what wattage for the bulbs to achieve med/high light? Thanks!
If you're wanting moderate to high light, I don't think this is the method that will get you there with this size tank.
05-06-2014 04:03 AM
AGUILAR3
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
That is by far, the best looking CFL diy stand I seen. It's barely noticeable, very nice.
Thanks. Once I get some free time, I'm going to take it down and give it a nice coat of semi gloss black paint.
05-06-2014 03:31 AM
NQuaday Sorry if I missed a similar post somewhere earlier in the post but I am setting up a 90 gallon with CO2 and would be interested in a similar setup. How many fixtures do you think I would need and what wattage for the bulbs to achieve med/high light? Thanks!
05-05-2014 05:37 AM
FlyingHellFish
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGUILAR3 View Post
another option is to use Walmart's clamp on lights. I bought 2, broke off the clamps, and used some old flat stock steel that I cut, bent to shape, drilled and installed on my sons 20h. I could have gone an inch lower to hide the "T" bracket but I wanted the tank and night stand flush with the wall.
That is by far, the best looking CFL diy stand I seen. It's barely noticeable, very nice.
05-05-2014 05:11 AM
mistuhmarc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardohc View Post
Should i use two 26w cfl for a 20" long 5" deep tank with hc cuba or it is too much light?
You should do fine. The old rule was "3 watts per gallon" for high light. HC Cuba also loves lots of co2 too.
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