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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-07-2014 10:05 PM
burr740
Quote:
Originally Posted by hplowe View Post
This looks JUST like the tank I own, I have a Marineland 60g, it is 48" long x 12" wide by 24" tall, I currently have 4 23w 6500k CFL's in my stock hoods. If I go to 4 of these reflectors like you have pictured, How can I determine what kind of lighting I am getting?
There's some charts on page 2 that might help - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...t=85667&page=2
11-07-2014 09:59 PM
hplowe
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregor View Post
Got the 8.5" lights, and found Philips 13w 6500k bulbs. Four pack only $8.97 at HD.

It's bright lol. I'm glad I went with the 13w for now, without water or anything in the tank there is a lot of light spillage on the sides of the tank. The whole wall is lit up.

I'm going to black out the back of the tank somehow then probably spray paint the outside of the reflectors black.
This looks JUST like the tank I own, I have a Marineland 60g, it is 48" long x 12" wide by 24" tall, I currently have 4 23w 6500k CFL's in my stock hoods. If I go to 4 of these reflectors like you have pictured, How can I determine what kind of lighting I am getting?
11-02-2014 05:21 AM
Hoppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochepaille View Post
Reviving an old thread because I still can't tell whether my intended setup will be overkill and I'm hoping someone here can give some advice. I'm about to finish building the hood for my 110g tank w/ a custom light setup, and I intend to use CFL's with 8.5" aluminum reflectors. Here's my concept:



My tank is 22" tall (floor to water line), I plan on having 3" of substrate and hanging the lights about 5" from the water line. The bulbs I picked up are the daylight 23w CFL bulbs.

My question is this: based on that setup, am I going to achieve enough lighting for low light plants? I feel like 8x 23w CFLs is going to be overkill, but everything I've read on this thread suggests otherwise. Just as an FYI, it's not too late for me to adjust the distance from the bottom of the reflectors to the water line, nor is it too late to return the bulbs and get dimmer ones. My preference would be the latter as I'd like to avoid toying with the lights/wiring once it's installed.

Thanks in advance for any help
One bulb at about 24 inches should give you about 20 PAR. Most of the tank areas will get light from 4 bulbs, so the maximum PAR should be 80. But, the bulbs are separated enough that you won't get anywhere near full overlap of the circles of light, so my guess is you will get an average of about 40-50 PAR. That is more than enough for low light plants. But, it is also possible that you will get even less PAR, perhaps as low as 30 PAR. And, that would be a good level for low light, non-CO2 plant growing.
11-01-2014 03:50 AM
Cochepaille Reviving an old thread because I still can't tell whether my intended setup will be overkill and I'm hoping someone here can give some advice. I'm about to finish building the hood for my 110g tank w/ a custom light setup, and I intend to use CFL's with 8.5" aluminum reflectors. Here's my concept:



My tank is 22" tall (floor to water line), I plan on having 3" of substrate and hanging the lights about 5" from the water line. The bulbs I picked up are the daylight 23w CFL bulbs.

My question is this: based on that setup, am I going to achieve enough lighting for low light plants? I feel like 8x 23w CFLs is going to be overkill, but everything I've read on this thread suggests otherwise. Just as an FYI, it's not too late for me to adjust the distance from the bottom of the reflectors to the water line, nor is it too late to return the bulbs and get dimmer ones. My preference would be the latter as I'd like to avoid toying with the lights/wiring once it's installed.

Thanks in advance for any help
07-20-2014 04:36 PM
rabidrider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The ideal angle for the sides is like \_/, perhaps with the angles a bit farther from 90 degrees. You can always determine the best angle by looking up at the bulb to see if you see an image of the bulb on each side of it. Each image is like another bulb lighting the tank. This is more effective if the bulbs run the length of the housing and not at right angles to the length.

It also isn't very hard to use thin aluminum, like sold for flashing, to make individual bulb reflectors shaped like that. I know those double the light output of each bulb.
Another thing I have used in the past for reflectors on standard florescent tubes was those disposable turkey pans at walmart. There thin and east to from and cheap. Got pretty decent reflective qualities. Just a thought
07-19-2014 09:33 PM
rabidrider I do have a question I currently have a double bright led system on my 75 gallon (spanning the tank) and a 30 watt CFL (not sure what spectrum of light it is as its a uv light for my turtles). I added some pickerel weeds under where the uv light goes for my turtles. I am unsure about the led system for a planted tank and was thinking of leaving it in (mainly for the nightlights) to hang 4 8.5" reflectors off of and running 23 watt 6700K CFL. Depth is about 16" to the substrate but I was planning on adding another inch to inch and a half of sand in there. You think that is enough or to much. I am not looking to run CO2 (at least not at this time). I can always change bulbs later if I change my mind.

I also do have a 4 bulb T5ho fixture I used to run on my reef tank I could use but its getting old and bulbs are not cheap. I have a canopy over the tank so I could go this route. I figure I would have the bulb about 2" above the surface.

Excellent thread by the way.
05-08-2014 06:37 PM
B16CRXT I see. My 10G is VERY old and they probably made things better then. The reflector isn't very mirror-like, but it's at least something.
05-08-2014 06:21 PM
rininger85 I don't even own a regular pH test kit, I have a high pH test kit, but it only goes down to 7.4, seems how I'm using RO water I doubt it would even register...

My stock hood had very little reflective surface so I lined mine with aluminum foil because otherwise it was just black and would absorb most of the light... so I figure even if the aluminum foil is 50% effective its a huge difference between that and nothing...
05-07-2014 03:20 PM
B16CRXT I was concerned mostly about your Ph level mostly. It can have an effect on plant growth like anything else. I have a 10g low-tech tank with plants and its ph was around 5.5 until I added crushed coral to help buffer. Plants don't grow well and when I dosed excel in that tank I would get lots of GDA. I wonder if lining the light housing with aluminum foil would be better than the reflector already in the hood?

I'm with you in that I don't check parameters unless something goes wrong (cloudiness, dead fish, etc) also. my 39g has been setup for a couple years with no problems. why bother checking parameters if everything is going well?...
04-29-2014 04:27 PM
rininger85
Quote:
Originally Posted by B16CRXT View Post
Have you had any problems with nitrogen bubbles or other toxins in the tank using miracle grow? I've read that soil-based substrate can build up toxic pockets of nitrogen or something and will kill fish. That's the only reason I haven't tried it out yet. Btw your tank looks great for just dosing a little excel! What are your water parameters?
I haven't noticed anything, I do get some bubbles but from what I've read its likely just oxygen bubbles, not anything dangerous - there is no smell to the tank to alarm me to anything dangerous coming out of it, and I have not had any fish showing signs of stress or dying (not since I first set it up, then I had a couple die but they died immediately after adding them, I lost a betta within the first week of adding it and a neon tetra within the first few days of adding 6 of them, but I take the betta loss as the quality of the store I bought it from - the grocery store down the road, I added my gold algae eater at the same time as the betta and the algae eater is still alive and growing and I added 6 neons all at once the other 5 are still going strong)

I honestly can't tell you what my water parameters are... what parameters are you looking for? Ammonia and nitrites are always zero on any of my tanks that I've tested before (after initial cycle), nitrates and phosphates I could test, but plants eat nitrates and phosphates so it will probably give a false reading, and I just have an API phosphate test which is known for being inaccurate anyways. water temp is about 76-77F... I do run a small filter on the tank but mostly for water movement - I rarely clean/change the filters in it (only when it starts to bypass the filters or I hear snails getting chopped up in the filter... then I take them out and rinse them several times before I pitch them and put a new one in). I have never tested the pH in this tank, but I assume it is probably pretty close to 7.0 because I cycled the tank with RO/DI water then drained it and moved it to work and refilled it with RO water and I just dump my water bottle of whatever is left that I haven't drank in to the tank to top it off every day (from bottled RO water).

I'm not a particular fan of testing water parameters except for the initial set up or if something goes wrong / something dies / doesn't look good etc. then I might test to try and figure out what is wrong (but I don't honestly remember the last time I tested my water... probably November when I was trying to decide if it was safe to add fish yet...)
04-29-2014 01:56 PM
B16CRXT Have you had any problems with nitrogen bubbles or other toxins in the tank using miracle grow? I've read that soil-based substrate can build up toxic pockets of nitrogen or something and will kill fish. That's the only reason I haven't tried it out yet. Btw your tank looks great for just dosing a little excel! What are your water parameters?
04-29-2014 01:37 PM
rininger85
Quote:
Originally Posted by rininger85 View Post
just a little feedback... I used the basic information presented in this thread to decide on my lighting for my 10 gallon work tank...

I'm running (1) 13W spiral CFL bulb and (1) 18W spiral CFL bulb in my stock hood (horizontally mounted, with aluminum foil glued on the inside of the hood to make it reflective). Running no CO2 (although I have been dosing a cap full of flourish excel once a week), currently lightly stocked and running for about 6 weeks or so since I planted it. Lights are on a timer to come on from 7am - 12pm then off for an hour (lunch time) then back on from 1pm - 4pm. Substrate is miracle grow capped with gravel capped with Tahitian moon sand (didn't like the brown gravel look after I made a mess planting)

I have DHG, HC, dwarf onion, vals, and a couple others that I can't remember the name of... the vals just melted (original leaves), but has new healthy growth and good roots growing on a couple plants that I can see the root growth from the side of the tank under the substrate.

Here are a couple pictures to show the growth...

first pic 10/22 just a day or so after planting, second pic was 12/3... the DHG is spreading nicely and starting to fill in. The HC I accidently siphoned some up which has been floating (trying to grow roots that I can replant it), but from what is still planted I don't think it has really spread, but it looks much healthier than it was in the first picture (it had been in my 55 for a couple months before transplanting in to this tank). I think it might be slowly spreading, it is on the side of the tank with the 18W bulb.

Nothing huge, but still pretty nice growth I think for a low tech tank (only my 2nd attempt at planting a tank, and its doing better than my 55 that I planted first).
just a follow up to my earlier post. I showed a picture of my tank in December (originally set up in October-November time frame), here it is in april. This thread is a great tool if you use the data provided and make some simple assumptions about how it is going to scale to your tank size.
03-19-2014 02:34 AM
m00se He does some nice stuff doesn't he...

I think the most important thing to keep in mind when designing a new light system is "how much time am I willing to dedicate to this aquarium and how much money will it cost me over time". I think the time thing is overlooked if you go with the biggest baddest setup you can afford. If every time I look at my high light CO2 driven IE'd tank and see another 2-3 hours of trimming in my future, FOR ME it takes away from the enjoyment and the zen of having the thing in the first place. For me an aquarium is all about the relaxation it provides me, and the interaction of the critters in it with me and each other. So after 2 years of high tech and low tech tanks, one on my left and one on my right, I can say that the low tech tank does what I hoped a tank would do and I tend to pay more attention to it, while the high tech tank, although beautiful, and it scratches my intellectual itch, is more the one that I'm scrutinizing rather than just kicking back and enjoying. More More More is not necessarily Better - gnomesane?

I hope that makes an iota of sense
03-19-2014 02:17 AM
FriskyBetta You have saved me soo much trouble with setting up my new tank! Bravo i4x4nMore! I've also learned that I was about to drop a lot more money for lighting that wasn't necessary. I need to look into getting a quantum meter as well if I plan on getting more serious about this hobby.
02-24-2014 08:37 PM
KenP The reason i questioned this is the note on the graph indicates "desk" reflector. My desk reflector is white painted metal while the reflector for the cfl is mirrored trapezoid shape. The w or m shaped you mentioned i have seen for hps reflectors. My PL Systems hps lights have a m/w reflector.
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