Metal Halide, PC, T5, or VHO? What are you running?
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:08 PM   #1
Resplendens
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I'm currently using a Nova II 150w HQI fixture on the 58gal Plant tank 36"x18.5"x18.5". The lighting is OK but seems a little dim. I was curious what everyone is using for lighting and how it's working out for you.
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:40 PM   #2
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I don't have experience with metal halides, but I am running regular and compact fluorescent bulbs.

I like T5's above all for their efficiency (high lumens per watt) and their small diameter which with a suitable reflector lets you direct more light to where you want it, compared to a T12 for example.

I like T8's because they run very cool and are very efficient, although rather dim unless you OD them.

I like T12's because there is a lot of "good" colors available, and they are extremely cheap. For example you can get a "shoplight" with two 40W bulbs for around $10...

Here in the States the best option to light up a planted tank seem to be compact fluorescents, with high light output (and watts) and better availability than T5's which compare in light output.
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:43 PM   #3
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On my various tanks I'm running power compact fluorescents, screw in compact fluorescents, regular fluorescents and overdriven fluorescents.

Currently I'm mostly leaning towards overdriven fluorescents because they are so cheap and the screw-in compact fluorescents are start to fall out of favour since they are not bright enough for my liking.
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:06 PM   #4
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My two favorites are Power Compacts and Overdriven Fluorescents.

You can overdrive a $10 GE AquaRay 9325K F40T12 tube to 55 watts with the same ballast that drives a $20-$35 55w Power Compact GE AquaRay 9325K 55w Power Compact bulb and still get plenty of life out of it without producing any more heat than the PC setup.
They just take a bit more room.
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:26 PM   #5
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For Nano tanks with limited space and people with limited budgets I prefer screw in Power compacts due to their small size and inexpesive price. Line the inside of the hood with some aluminum tape and pick up a replacement lamp socket from home depot for 5 dollars and you are set.
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:33 PM   #6
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I'm just setting up a 58 with 3 75W 24" VHO bulbs. I'm used to halide lighting in my reef and vivaria, so this looks very dull to me. I guess I'll see how it goes.

For a single halide for a tank that size, I would use a mogul lamp with a spiderlight type reflector for wide dispersal. Pendents are very focused.
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:59 PM   #7
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I'm thinking about switching to 4 - 96watt PC's.
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:58 PM   #8
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I have tanks running with PC's, ODNO (Overdriven) T-8's, NO T-8's, NO T-12's, and Screw-in Compact Fluorescents. My preference right now is the overdriven setup for 4 foot tanks. For 3 foot tanks PC's seem to be a better choice due to the limited options for 3 foot T-8 bulbs. I only have screw-in CF's on one 10G tank and I'll be changing that to NO T-8's over the Holidays.

I also have a 20G tank that has a cheap Fluorex worklight...mine is probably the only one made that has lasted two years and counting. I'd never buy another one due to all the bad experiences posted by others.
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:08 PM   #9
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Sorry to do a little hijacking on this topic. Steve, I am thinking of converting my screw-in fluorescents over my 10 gallon to 15'' T8 NO fluorescents. I think it should be easy to put 4 tubes in a hood and so get 60 watts evenly distributed over the 10 gallon.

I would like to use parts that I already have lieing around. I'm mainly interested how you would wire these tubes with a regular 4x T8F32 electronic ballast. Can you wire one output into two 15'' T8 tubes in sequence? I guess one output delivers roughly between 30-40 watts, so it should drive 2x15 watts well enought, right?

Any input is as always very much appreciated... mario
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:45 PM   #10
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I run Screw in Compact Flourescents, Compact Flourescents, VHO, NO (T12, T10, T8)
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:47 PM   #11
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Gareth,

Are you able to find 6500K screw in CFs in Van? If so, could you please let me know where, I can't find them for the life of me.
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:50 PM   #12
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I'm not in Van.. but I use the Panasonic 5000k bulbs... Try Albrite Lighting
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:53 PM   #13
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Thanks. I will.
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:05 PM   #14
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Hi Resplendens,
I'm running HQI too. I like the light coming from one point so you get some nice "oceanic" reflections of the ripples (if you have some surface movement). I think the plants look nice and more natural with this lamp. What i don't like is the color of my hqi's. They look too greeny. OSRAM has developed a new type of metal halides, HCI...This type has a better CRI and is keeping it's color during it's lifetime.
Algea are difficult to control with HQI's, i have some bad experiences with them. T-8's or PC are easier on the algea-contol problem, my experience with them are quite good.
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Old 12-09-2003, 02:22 PM   #15
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I like the OD approach, but I have yet to try a PC.
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