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Old 02-07-2003, 11:56 PM   #1
Here4TheBeer
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This topic moved from Lumens and PAR thread

a few questions..

for the first time i finally got the materials i needed to suspend my 4ft. odno lighting system. I had been using two 48" PC's. I am using the GE P&A bulbs. From the switch the tank now looks so dim, almost dreary . Also i dont see any pearling what so ever.

The GE P&A bulbs should be better then the 9365k bulbs that came with the PC's but aesthetically they arent in my opinion.

I wonder if I didnt hook up the wiring correctly. It just seems too dim to be correct. I understand that pc's will always look brighter but the difference is so drastic. As far as the wiring goes, heres my question. I used two elcetronic ballasts that are meant to run 4 bulbs each and spliced all the red and blue wires from one ballast together and ran them to one of the end caps and then the same for the second ballast. There are two little pins where the wires can be hooked into the end caps, as it was wired to only one of them originally I left it the same way, is that ok?

I almost want to go buy another shoplight and just plug it in with same two more ge bulbs to compare the two.

The fixture is suspended about 6 inches above the water should I lower it? I left it that high so i could have space to work in the tank. I dont want to have to mess with the lights too much because they are suspended from the ceiling of my apartment and im not confident that too much pulling wont rip through the ceiling and fall in the tank ZAP!

What do I do?

Should I just stick with the pc's?
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:48 AM   #2
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The "dreary" look you are experiencing is a result of the Plant and Aquarium bulbs. I am very skeptical that adding 4 of these bulbs would make the plants start pearling. IMO 2 PA bulbs and 2 daylight types bulb is a better combo that is good for the plants and good for the look of the tank. Sure its great to see all the reds in the tank, but once you add the other bulbs you see the blue as well.
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:52 AM   #3
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I also know from experience that suspending your lights is a waste of time and light. Not only that most of the light is dumped outside and on the sides of the tank. Also, for every inch you move the lights from the water, the more light you lose. Then if you tip the light or have it lower in the front then back, you lose light to reflection on the glass top and the water. Sure it sounds great, but building a canopy out of wood or rain gutter is a better option. IMO your wasting light and if you have the hanging canopy in a bedroom, you will have to shut the lights off to sleep.
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Old 02-09-2003, 08:43 PM   #4
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ok so now i just have the fixture resting on the tank itself so thats as close as i can get it. also i dont use glass tops.

still not sure if its wired correctly but my cabomba carolinia has grown about 4 inches in 2 days... yikes.

now, to go with discus or angelfish that is the question....
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:20 PM   #5
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Did I mention I hate Discus. Can you say water changes every 3 days to a week. No thank you.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:53 PM   #6
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Angelfish are much more rewarding for the amount of work you do. Once a week water changes suit them quite well, while Discus require water changes after every feeding almost....ugh! Go with the angelfish.

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Old 02-10-2003, 01:30 AM   #7
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In the 120g tank at work we have two discus and i do a 1/3 water change once a week. I do however feed them live foods only which would be a major pain in the ass!
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Old 02-10-2003, 01:34 AM   #8
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If you go with the discus you will be in for trouble, discus are made out to be far better than they really in my opinion.

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Old 02-10-2003, 02:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
I also know from experience that suspending your lights is a waste of time and light.
I beg to differ..I suspend my lights and the results are awesome...
You will lose a little light but I hardly call that a waste...
It is all dependant on the size of your tank and how close you are cutting the budget... if you think its a waste then you aint got the right setup with enough watts to suspend them.
I can almost hear my plants growing....:hehe:

And as far as the Discus go... I really dont see all the hullabaloo... they dont impress me much.
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Old 02-10-2003, 03:04 AM   #10
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I just have the lights sitting on the tank which is cool by me for now.

Im in the process of stocking the tank and I want a few "trophy" fish. Im pretty sure it will be angels but still undecided.

Other then that i'm going with a large school of Rasbora het's a small school of rummy nose tetras and maybe some dwarf cichlids. Rams or Blue Acara's.

Did anyone read my wiring questions earlier in this thread.. Is it possible I hooked up the wiring incorrectly despite the light still working?
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Old 02-10-2003, 03:58 AM   #11
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I cant help with the wire issue but i have been using two 2 ft 2 light fixtures with 4 20w Gro Lux P&A bulbs for 3 days and my plants are going nuts. Mine isnt very bright but it isnt real dim either. I have no problem with the look. I like how they bring out the colors in the plants and fish. I saw you are going to get some Angels. If you do i wouldnt put any Blue Acaras in there. The rams should be cool but the acaras will probably beat the crap out of the angels. They are not that aggressive but they have there moments. I have 2 now in a non planted tank with a 5 inch firemouth and a rainbow cichlid and 1 is on the bottom of the pecking order and the other is 2nd and he is half the size of the firemouth. But the little SOB can hold his owne. They are very pretty fish. But who knows you may get some that are mellow. Also if you do get some be careful alot of times LFS get them confused with green terrors and will sell you a green terror instead of a acara. That would not be a pretty sight with angels.

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Old 02-10-2003, 05:13 AM   #12
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I work for my LFS so hopefully I won't sale myself the wrong thing .

Thanks for the advice on the angels/acara mix... maybe i'll just stick with rams.
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Old 02-10-2003, 06:13 AM   #13
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[/quote]

And as far as the Discus go... I really dont see all the hullabaloo... they dont impress me much.

I agree with on on this point, because I find that discus are too much work and all they do is look stupid all day. With their big eyes looking at you saying, "Please flush me". I would rather have a tank full of white clouds or angels in IMO.

If suspending right, lights would be great--also not having it in my bedroom would be great too.
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Old 02-10-2003, 02:39 PM   #14
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What exactly was your Power Compact configuration before you switched to the ODNO-only setup? You said "two 48" PC's". Does that mean two strips, each housing two 24" 55w PC's for a total of four? Or only one 48" strip housing two 55w PC's?

Either way, your actual lumens output is definitely going to be lower with the two ODNO P&A bulbs. Like everyone has already stated - these bulbs appear less bright to the human eye, but your Cabomba seems to be liking it! As a compromise, I would try fitting both strips over your tank (one 48" strip with two PC's and one 48" strip with two ODNO P&A bulbs). That's the configuration I am running and I love the combination of blues and reds.

As for fish - I do see the hullabaloo with Discus. They are positively breathtaking, I will give them that. But I certainly am not prepared to keep up with the husbandry they require. I do one water change a month, at best, and my Angels are robust and healthy. I am going to give Discus a try, though. Their care is said to be somewhat easier in a low-light, low nutrient planted tank since water conditions are far more stable.
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:30 PM   #15
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Two 48" PC's with two 24 inch bulbs 55W I think.

I can't fit one of each, the shoplight has a reflector on it.

Wish I had gotten a 65g tank!

Gulf... did you ever read the wiring questions above? I think your the only one who would know the answer.
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