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Old 02-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
Phantomlink
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CFL Lighting questions


I plan to start up a 20 gallon long low tech tank, I saw this chart last night and had a question, if they're sensitive to humidity, should I not clip them over the tank or hang them over? I dont mind using a glass lid but I would like to hang it over the tank. I'll be getting two of them to get equal lighting

http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html

Also, the tank is 12 inches tall, I read the lighting sticky but I cant understand how much PAR I get from certain bulbs. I'm looking for low to medium light, what kind of wattage do I need for 12 inches from sand to the top? If I clip it then it might be around 15 inches or so
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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If you use 13 watt bulbs you should get plenty of light. Later, you might want to try 19-20 watt bulbs, but I suspect that would be too much light. I have used them over a couple of tanks without glass tops, and with the reflectors pretty close to the top of the tanks, with no problems from humidity or splashing.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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I have an 11" high tank and honestly go with the 13W hoppy is right. I have 26W and they are strong (GSA keeps growing) so i have to angle them quite a bit.

I am fearful of clipping onto the tank so I use a handy 'light holder' i found and velcro them TIGHTLY to the light holder.


Untitled by laq997, on Flickr


i did fill the 'light holder' with gravel for weight and found different brands work differently - and enjoyed the 'discovery' process as to which light holder worked best.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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Just as long as the "light holder" doesnt make it hard to stay stable right?

My problem with that idea is this 20 long is ontop of a dresser... which is only 30 inches in length so its either place ontop of a glass top or hang it over the tank somehow
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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hang it!

add a high shelf and chains to raise and lower it.

or on glass if you have it ... i'm having problems getting glass

i have finnex fugeray 2 and i use the CFL instead, just more light and as plants grow more dense it's needed. as you can see tank is a bit 'squished' with plants. the shrimp don't mind but my mini-catfish was caught in the hornswort and needed rescuing yesterday.

and glass = good .... as i have now had 2 fish jump
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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Glass is easy to get, we have a glass service center in town I got a 48x15 sheet cut for my 75 gallon and it was like $40 because of the thickness because the old tank had no center support so it had to be thick enough to not bow. A 30x8 sheet of thin glass will cost next to nothing and still give me room for filters and easy feeding.

Only problem I have with hanging the lights are my apartment is mostly cement walls, the last shelf I had to install needed a cement drill I had to borrow and a pain to drill and install.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #7
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Be careful laying one of those dome reflectors on top of the glass. They rely on air circulation up through the reflector and out the holes in the top to cool the bulbs. Blocking that cooling will probably be ok for a 13 watt bulb, but for 26 watt bulbs it might greatly reduce the life of the bulb, and/or crack the glass.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:50 PM   #8
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I could always place something heat resistant ontop the glass just big enough to sit between the glass and the light socket, 1-2 inches should be enough and even give me more distance between the light and the substrate which would theoretically lower my PAR letting me use 23watt bulbs without worrying about hitting high light without co2
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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I bought the lamps today and the bulbs, I'm not using the 12" high tank idea anymore so I got fixtures that can support 23w bulbs. None of the CFL lights at Home Depot say what their K rating is, but I did see Soft Light, White Light, Daylight etc and I know Daylight should be 6000-7000k range for a lowtech tank. Will these bulbs work?


The high lumen count is making me question it though. The largest I can do when I pickup the new tank is a 30g breeder ( 36x18x12 ) but that isnt very tall I need to use 13w bubls.

Would these lights be fine for a 29g? Dimensions are 30x12x18
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laqu View Post
I have an 11" high tank and honestly go with the 13W hoppy is right.
I just recently switched to a 13W CFL (6500K) bulb and it is amazingly strong. At the beginning I had thought about upgrading to 26W but even at just 13W my tank already has signs of algae in some places.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomlink View Post
I bought the lamps today and the bulbs, I'm not using the 12" high tank idea anymore so I got fixtures that can support 23w bulbs. None of the CFL lights at Home Depot say what their K rating is, but I did see Soft Light, White Light, Daylight etc and I know Daylight should be 6000-7000k range for a lowtech tank. Will these bulbs work?


The high lumen count is making me question it though. The largest I can do when I pickup the new tank is a 30g breeder ( 36x18x12 ) but that isnt very tall I need to use 13w bubls.

Would these lights be fine for a 29g? Dimensions are 30x12x18
As long as it says 'daylight' it should burn at a temp of 5000-6500K. And this is perfect for plants.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Option View Post
I just recently switched to a 13W CFL (6500K) bulb and it is amazingly strong. At the beginning I had thought about upgrading to 26W but even at just 13W my tank already has signs of algae in some places.
how tall is your tank? The tank I go with will either be 12" high or 18" and I feed 2 of these lights will be too strong I might swap them out for 13w so it'll be a 30g tank with 23 watts of CFL
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #13
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My tank is just a little less than 18" in height. I would suggest (since I'm very anti-algae) starting off with two 13W CFLs and see how that does....like how much the plants grow with it vs how much algae blooms, before trying the 23W. Besides, the 13W would be plenty since you're looking for a med-to-low light setup anyways.
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