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Old 03-02-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
ThatGuyWithTheFish
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Time to change the bulb?


It's been 8 months now that I've had my Catalina 30" T5HO, and I've found difficulty getting color out of many plants. I was wondering if this could be related to an aging, sub par bulb. Otherwise, I think I might get a new fixture if it's not strong enough.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:26 AM   #2
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Anybody?
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:35 AM   #3
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i've heard of old bulbs doing that. But i think ive read most t5ho bulbs should be good for 1 year plus?

I also thought this with my catalina fixture... but i have yet to change bulbs either.

Its hards to say w/o knowing the par from the start to now.

A way to check and get a plants that is red under high light and float it at the surface. If it stays red at the surface and not down at the susbtrate then its not enough light.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h4n View Post
i've heard of old bulbs doing that. But i think ive read most t5ho bulbs should be good for 1 year plus?

I also thought this with my catalina fixture... but i have yet to change bulbs either.

Its hards to say w/o knowing the par from the start to now.

A way to check and get a plants that is red under high light and float it at the surface. If it stays red at the surface and not down at the susbtrate then its not enough light.
Do you have one on a 20 Long? Then maybe we can compare. Yes, I have noticed that some of the plants you sent me first grew bright green, then grew more colorful as it reached the surface. And I've asked to borrow a meter here but no one will lend me one.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Time to change the bulb?

I got a 36" 4x t5ho on my 30L

Is your a 4 bulb also?

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Old 03-03-2013, 01:38 AM   #6
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I got a 36" 4x t5ho on my 30L

Is your a 4 bulb also?

-Sent from my Samsung Note, a "Phablet"
Nope, one bulb. I was told it would be enough... and it's sitting right on top of the tank.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:15 AM   #7
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Nope, one bulb. I was told it would be enough... and it's sitting right on top of the tank.
Hrmmm I'm not a light expert but sound like you need more light.


No algae either right?

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Old 03-03-2013, 03:42 AM   #8
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Hrmmm I'm not a light expert but sound like you need more light.


No algae either right?

-Sent from my Samsung Note, a "Phablet"
Nope, tons of BBA.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #9
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Anybody else?
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:03 AM   #10
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...Or put it this way: what other fixture could I use that is slight higher light, grows colorful plants well, and preferably one that I don't have to hang high?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:58 PM   #11
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a 20l is 30 inches long. your bulb is probably 24 watts and 22" long. you are not getting enough par in the far corners of the tank, especially since the fixture is resting on the top of the tank. you could get a 2 bulb fixture and raise it about 4 to 6" (catalina sells the legs, right?) and that should give you better spread and par. ideally, you'd like to stagger the bulbs like this:

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20l's are shallow, like 9-10" after adding substrate, so you really don't need too much light. your bba is likely due to inconsistent co2.

as to your OP, i've been using my t5ho bulbs for at least 2 years on my 20h. blyxa japonica, limnophila aromatica, and green rotala still grow like weeds.

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:27 PM   #12
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I am not having any trouble growing plants though. And the color of the blyxa did not change when I lowered it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:58 PM   #13
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Speaking strictly from my neophyte experience...

Green algae seems to favor high light, low/off balanced nutrients. BBA lights sub par lighting, with high nutrients (nitrate, specifically). Higher lighting = less nitrate, but also less CO2. Low CO2 + high light = green algae. It's a balancing act (difficult to maintain with DIY CO2 and a small tank).

From a lighting perspective, bulbs change output with age. General rule of thumb is ~1 year for a plant bulb, but there are factors that would shorten that life. Higher than normal voltage at the wall, voltage surges/sags, room temperature, extended photo period. If in doubt, pick up a new bulb and try it. If that doesn't correct things in a few weeks, then you can put the old bulb back in and you'll have a spare.
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