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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-25-2013 03:18 AM
Warbler Alright. So after researching for several hours I seem to be coming to nothing. So now I have some more questions:
For the T5HO lights: I know PARs are difficult to estimate, but would just one of these provide enough light to grow low-medium (I'm specifically thinking of using one of the 6500K ones they sell at Home Depot)? Or on the other hand would it be too much light?
I also found some electronically inclined friends that I might be able to convince to mess around with my lights. Would I be able to get a strip light from a hydroponics store and get it to fit in my hood (appx. 2 feet)? If not, are there any good kits/guides on how to retrofit these lights?

T8 Lights: Would just one of these lights be enough to grow anything in my tank (again thinking of using a 6500K one from Home Depot)? Not too sure on this one, but it seems like the light strips for it are the easiest to find.
If you have any other suggestions please tell me, I'd be more than happy to listen. Might try and toss the LED idea to him, maybe he'll bite...stranger things have happened.
11-23-2013 11:04 PM
talontsiawd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
For less than the price of those retro kits you can get a new FugeRay that's much better looking.
I agree but I do think this has it's place. I really considered this for an existing PC fixture I already had. It's just an easy way to take advantage of something you have with minimal effort. The other aspect is these came about before the Fugeray's as well. I would likely only consider this if I had an ADA PC fixture at this point.
11-23-2013 10:53 PM
talontsiawd Short of giving away someone a light, it's always an uphill battle to convince someone they need to upgrade their lighting when they think what they have can work. The longer they have been in the hobby of fish keeping, the harder it is as T12's were impressive when they started to become widely used. I was not in this hobby but I do remember how excited my dad was to put florescent lighting in our home.

That said, just about the only think I can convince someone who really thinks their T12/T8 lighting will cut it is CLF bulbs. Even though sometimes you can find as good or better of a light fixture new, and often used, it's kind of the same mentality. Everyone always thinks "I know those are very efficient so that makes sense". Even my father, who is all about efficiency and built his house around that (I mean that quite literally, he designed and basically built his house himself with a few helpers with the main goal of being efficient) always thought my T5HO's were wasteful compared to my tanks with CFL's. Now that his ballasts are going out, he's redoing all the lighting in his house with T5HO's, and explaining to me how much more efficient they are.

Not to go on a personal rant here, I just find it to be hilarious how people can be so set in their ways about things they don't know about, my father (and myself included) but CLF's seem to be that place where the cheap skate, the know it all, in the person who is just scared to change can all seem to come together.

If it's not a super deep tank, you can get away with about 1 bulb for ever 1.5 feet or so. Just increase the wattage if you need more light. Plus it's DIY so people instantly assume it saves a lot of money. I mean it is cheap but fixtures can be had for incredibility cheap now a days.
11-23-2013 08:52 PM
Deano85


The light that guy built probably wont give you the par you need, but it might give you ideas.
11-23-2013 06:11 PM
Warbler No, there weren't any fish in that tank, and I was testing the item in a tiny tank to see if it even worked...needless to say it did not.
Alright, specifications are a 30 gallon rimmed breeder, size 36*18*12. I've got a hood on the tank with an approximately 30 inch slot for a light strip. I'm looking to grow low-medium light plants, nothing too demanding. I've got a teeny DIY CO2 set up, but it doesn't produce much CO2 even as far as diy tends to go.
11-23-2013 07:15 AM
samamorgan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
That looks really awesome, but my teacher was balking at just the price of dirt for the tank.
I think I'll just get a new light hood. Cheaper and easier, I suppose. Could I potentially make my own light hood even though I have zero electronics experience, or might it just be easier to find a used one?
If your teacher is balking at the price of dirt, then he probably shouldn't be trying to go planted. In my experience this is a very expensive hobby.

As far as lights go, you can go pretty much any direction you can think of, depending on how handy you are. Though since you did say you already electrically charged the water, i would really recommend getting something ready made. I assume electrifying the water killed all your fish, im not even sure how you would make the water part of the circuit without blowing a breaker.

Really though, the best place to start for advice here would be to give us the specifications of your tank such as length, width, height, rimless/rimmed and a more clear idea on what you would like to grow in the future. This would keep us from recommending something that doesn't fit and won't grow what you want to grow.
11-22-2013 03:32 PM
Sluggo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
AH Supply retrofit kits have 2X the PAR ratings of the Finnex FugeRay. The retrofit kits are equal to or higher (26 watt LED lamp) PAR than the Finnex RayII.
In that case, it's probably overkill for what the OP wants.
11-22-2013 02:28 PM
Seattle_Aquarist
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
For less than the price of those retro kits you can get a new FugeRay that's much better looking.
Hi Sluggo,

True, but the AH Supply retrofit kits have 2X the PAR ratings of the Finnex FugeRay. The retrofit kits are equal to or higher (26 watt LED lamp) PAR than the Finnex RayII.
11-22-2013 01:09 PM
Sluggo For less than the price of those retro kits you can get a new FugeRay that's much better looking.
11-22-2013 05:51 AM
Warbler Wouldn't I need a ton of CFLs and some basic DIY stuff to get a base for the CFLs? I might do that for one of my tinier tanks though, good idea.
11-22-2013 04:11 AM
devilduck Just go cfl and a hardware store clip light

Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 4
11-22-2013 03:48 AM
Warbler That looks really awesome, but my teacher was balking at just the price of dirt for the tank.
I think I'll just get a new light hood. Cheaper and easier, I suppose. Could I potentially make my own light hood even though I have zero electronics experience, or might it just be easier to find a used one?
11-22-2013 03:02 AM
Seattle_Aquarist
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
Hello!
I'm making a fish tank for my teacher, and we're hoping to go the planted route. He hasn't been into fish keeping for a while but had a lamp hood in storage with the bulb. Checked the manufacturing date, and it seems the hood was made in 1994. The light that was still in there was a T12, so I assume that's what the hood was made for.
I want to get a new, better light for it, and was wondering if I could put a T5HO fixture in there without it exploding or electrocuting the water (that's already happened so far with this tank-not quite looking forward to another experience).
Thank you!
Hi Warbler,

You didn't mention what length fixture but there is a simple, easy LED retrofit for old fluorescent or incandescent fixtures using LED lamps. The LED lamp retrofits offered by AH Supply operate on 120 VAC (wall outlet power), do not require a transformer, ballast, or power driver, and come in 15 watt, 20 watt, and 26 watt output and are 6400K ($72 - $99). They have good PAR readings as well.

PAR readings of 20 watt LED lamp


Aqueon\All Glass Fixture w/20 watt LED lamp; socket already installed


20 gallon with 20 watt LED; no CO2


11-22-2013 02:38 AM
awesometim1 T12's are very outdated... and not as efficient

T8's are a great low cost alternative... 30~40 dollars for a whole fixture+light bulb

Or you can go the CFL route...
11-22-2013 01:26 AM
Warbler I'd definitely go LED if I could, but I don't want to bankrupt my teacher, and nobody is selling on Craigslist.
Is there a place where I can find PAR values for T12s? All I can seem to find are ones for T5s, or do I have to look up the bulbs individually?
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