can I (safely) use a lower watt bulb in a power compact fixture? advice please
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:26 AM   #1
notropis
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can I (safely) use a lower watt bulb in a power compact fixture? advice please


So......

My dilemna is that I have 65 watt Coralife power compact fixture on a 20g high tank.

I'm a low tech - I don't run Co2.

How I've been getting away with this and not have a total crap tank? Not sure. But I recognize that this is way too much lighting for low tech. I do have a glass cover that the fixture sits on.

I'm wondering if I can put a lower watt bulb in this fixtue as I really don't want to buy a new fixture.

Thoughts? Advice? Please tell me everything that comes to mind!
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:24 AM   #2
Vincent Tran
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Yes, that is safe! Something I wouldn't do is using a lamp rated more than what the fixture is rated for though.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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With most "65 watt" fixtures you can safely go down to 22 watt lamps.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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I have a Catalina Compacts 6500K bulb at 36 watts that I will try then!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:38 PM   #5
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The 36w/40w CF's are shorter than the 55w/65w CF's. You will have one side a little dimmer with the 36w CF. The lighted side will be just as bright as with the 65w CF.

A better solution would be to raise your fixture up some.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:44 AM   #6
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my fixture is already on legs, which allows me to scoot the fixture over so there is mostly equal light on all sides (fixture is longer than tank).

I'm not certain why the one side would be just as bright as with the 65w CF as it was with the 36 w CF?
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:44 PM   #7
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All Coralife fixtures that I have (and I have too many of them) use junk reflectors. And that makes a big difference in the amount of light (PAR) that you actually get. I've used 2x65w and 1x96w over a 19" tall 20G, 2x65w over 36g corner and I'm still using 4x65w over a 24" tall 75g tall. Until recently, all those tanks were non-co2, LeafZone only.

If it works for you why fix it?
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:32 AM   #8
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It was only working for me when I was pretty much neglecting the tank. But when I decided I wanted to add shrimp & some new varieties of plants I got concerned that I was hovering on the precipice of a major algae disaster - those are not fun and not something I wanted to deal with once I put shrimp in.

The bulb in the above pic is the 36 watt. I've been running it for about 2 months now. Added red cherries, frogbit, melon sword, Hygro corymbosa compact, green gecko crypts, bacopa lanigera, and one other I can't remember right now. It looks like I also got a random piece of riccia. The moss, rotala,and anubias were from the neglected time period. And I increased the dwarf pygmy pop.

I haven't had huge growth (yay for that) but things look healthy and just enough algae/biofilm on the glass for the baby shrimps.

I do recognize that coralife aren't the best fixtures. sometimes just getting by isn't really the same thing as working. Overall, I consider this a minor tweak, not a major fix.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:35 AM   #9
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The plant I could not remember is Limnophila sp Vietnam
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