How many CFL Spiral Lights do I need?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Lighting


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #1
Captivate05
Wannabe Guru
 
Captivate05's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,447
Default

How many CFL Spiral Lights do I need?


As some of you know, I'm having a hard time with lighting my 10 gallon.

I think I'm going to go with a DIY Canopy with built-in lights. My dad, who knows how to do this (and everything, so he says ), agreed to help me out with wiring and what-not.

So question: I'm thinking about getting 6500k spiral CFL lights that are 26 watts. I want moderate to high lighting, so I don't think one's going to do the trick, but I think two is overkill. Could I just use one 6500k and one lower watt CFL? I'm aiming for around 3.5 to 4.0 wpg. I just don't want to kill the spectrum for the plants.
__________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

Captivate05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
Captivate05
Wannabe Guru
 
Captivate05's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,447
Default

Or because they are spiral, should I just get two 26 watt bulbs? I guess from further reading things, they wouldn't put out 52 watts, because the light would rebound into the spirals (or something along those lines, I'm trying to understand this).
So with two 26 watt bulbs, I wouldn't overkill the light? I'd rather be the idiot I am about this and ask redundant questions then buy $50 worth of plants and effectively kill them all...

TIA!
__________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

Captivate05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
OverStocked
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
Default

Just get the smaller bulbs, like 13 watts each. The WPG rule is useless, so quit using it. GE makes a great option for these bulbs. Are you adding co2? cause if not, "aiming for around 3.5 to 4.0 wpg" is nuts. You will need pressureized co2 for that for sure, and at 26w from two 13w bulbs you will be safer without.
OverStocked is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 03:41 PM   #4
Captivate05
Wannabe Guru
 
Captivate05's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,447
Default

I plan on using a DIY co2. I want some higher light plants, but I don't understand were the "balance" is.

Is there any reason a standard dual incandescent light strip won't work?

This is so frustrating. I'm considering just scrapping the stupid 10g and buying a new 20g + stand. I'd be a freaking crap-ton easier to find stuff for it!
__________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

Captivate05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #5
milesm
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
milesm's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: HI
Posts: 536
Default

read the sticky "par data-spiral..." in this section (start on the second page). it should give you enough information to determine the number of bulbs you should be running.
milesm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #6
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (75/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,855
Default

If you want low light, no CO2 required, mount two 23 watt bulbs horizontal, and a couple of inches up from the top of the tank. If you want high light, mount two 23 watt bulbs vertically, a couple of inches above the top of the tank. In both cases, use a good reflector. For the vertical ones you can use clip on work lights that have what look like flood light reflectors. For horizontal ones you can use aluminum foil glued to the fixture above the bulbs, curved around the bulb to help reflect light from the back of the bulb down to the tank.

I light a 10 gallon tank by just clipping a pair of those work lights, from Home Depot, with 26 watt bulbs in them, with the lights about a foot above the tank top. This gives me low light at the substrate level. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...xperiment.html
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
HenryBoogers
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NY
Posts: 18
Default

My first planted tank was a 10G and I ran both 2x15 watt and 2x26 watts and can speak to both.

First, I think a 10G can be a great option, and if you haven't purchased your tank yet I would recommend you strongly consider the hoods with the standard screw in bulb fixtures. The appeal for me, at the time, was that no modifaction to the hood was required at all. I simply removed the stock bulbs and put in the CFs.

On to wattage....I started with 2x15 and DIY CO2 and had good steady growth. I kicked it up to 2x26 and did great, but battled algae pretty consistently. I would recommend the 13 or 15 watts in the stock hood like mine, but if you don't mind taking on the algae than 26 watt was by no means a plant killer.
HenryBoogers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 03:06 AM   #8
Captivate05
Wannabe Guru
 
Captivate05's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,447
Default

Ok, I decided to go out and get an incandescent hood, put two 15w CFLs in it.

Question: It only has these flimsy plastic covers that cover only 2/3 of the bulbs. Will that be ok? Seems like the bulbs would get pretty wet, especially that close to the water (about two inches above).
__________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

Captivate05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 05:03 PM   #9
Captivate05
Wannabe Guru
 
Captivate05's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,447
Default

Woke up this morning to a WET light fixture. High evap rate in that tank right now, treating for Ich

I unplugged the fixture (it was off), and removed it. I went out and got two 5.5" reflectors and put my 15w bulbs in them after they dried out. It's about five inches off the water line right now, with the bulbs pretty vertical. Light seems to be spilling out the back of the tank (I have them leaned back a bit so they don't blind everyone ). Thinking about upgrading the lights to the 26 watts, try to get more light into the tank by power!

It's a bit of an eyesore, but it will work just fine. I may still end up making a canopy for it and just attach the lights inside that, but it's going to be a while before that can happen. I'm going broke pretty quickly from buying all these light stuffs... Fortunately I can use the CFLs in other household lamps, and I intend on putting little 9 watt lights in the incandescent hood for use in my QT. The reflectors will always have some use; I live on a farm and own reptiles.
__________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

Captivate05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 05:34 PM   #10
speedie408
ShrimpKeeprExtraordinaire
 
speedie408's Avatar
 
PTrader: (391/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Cali
Posts: 8,300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captivate05 View Post
I plan on using a DIY co2. I want some higher light plants, but I don't understand were the "balance" is.
With lights and DIY co2, you'll need some sort of fertilization for the plants. Are you using a nutrient enriched substrate such as ADA Aquasoil, or are you just using an inert gravel?

With inert gravel, you'll have to dose the water column to achieve the "balance". I'm assuming you're familiar with EI (estimative index)? ADA AS, not necessary except dosing micros.
speedie408 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 06:46 PM   #11
insta
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 234
Default

For the love of God don't use two 13W spiral CFLs on a 10G. My greenwater hasn't gone away. A standard 18" T8 is a perfect amount of light unless you're injecting CO2.
insta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 07:51 PM   #12
Captivate05
Wannabe Guru
 
Captivate05's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,447
Default

I'll be using Black Flourite when I set it up again. I'm researching fertilizers and EI now that I'm more comfortable with the lighting.
__________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

Captivate05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2010, 01:59 PM   #13
hybridtheoryd16
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 218
Default

I have been using 1 26watt and one 15 watt for 8-10 months now mounted in the regular hood and laying on the glass top in my 10g.

I use Diy co2 and 2ml excel daily and i haven't had any algae so far.

I have the 26wt on one side so that the hair grass gets more light. But the tank still looks even on lighting. I have asked several people if the light looks brighter on one side then the other and no one can tell.

I think the reason i have not had algae is because I dose ferts for a 2.5g tank. So they plants are semi-starving for nutrients and it leaves none for algae.
hybridtheoryd16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2010, 02:26 PM   #14
narhay
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 308
Default

I was using 2x28W CFLs and a 15W strip on a 14 gallon, just a bit taller than the 10g. After a few months of going back and forth, it finally stabilized. I did add DIY CO2 (for the 5 minutes it takes every month and for such a small aquarium), I think it was worth it. I didn't fertilize but just keep an eye on things and let it do its own thing for awhile to come to a balance. I changed 50-60% of the water every week.
narhay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012