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Old 01-26-2013, 02:40 PM   #151
gregor
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Hey all, first post.

What do you guys/gals think of (4) 26w 6500k spiral CFLs in brooder lamps above a 60 gallon tank? Will be sitting directly on a glass top. Looking for low-ish light. Will be using Excel.

The tank is ~24" tall, 48" wide.

I know it won't be exact, just looking for anecdotal information here from someone with a similar setup.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by gregor View Post
Hey all, first post.

What do you guys/gals think of (4) 26w 6500k spiral CFLs in brooder lamps above a 60 gallon tank? Will be sitting directly on a glass top. Looking for low-ish light. Will be using Excel.

The tank is ~24" tall, 48" wide.

I know it won't be exact, just looking for anecdotal information here from someone with a similar setup.

Thanks!
Check this thread for more ideas too:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...-solution.html
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #153
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Check this thread for more ideas too:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...-solution.html
That's exactly where I got the idea actually. It's low rent, but I don't mind. My concern is penetrating the 22" (after substrate).

I see you recommend here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
Clamp lamps will work just fine on a 55. I think 4 would be ideal, since a 55 is 48" long and you can get 10" clamp lamps. I would *strongly* suggest you start with 13w CFLs rather than 23w because your aquarium will be new and you will struggle with the various algaes that pop up. 13w will be more than ample for your needs. I can't emphasize this enough. The #1 mistake people make is over-driving with light.

...that the guy with the 55g should start with the 13w bulbs instead of the 23w, which seems like sound advice. But I wonder, would you recommend that for me given I need to penetrate roughly 3 more inches of water than he does?

thanks!
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #154
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Yea that thread has some interesting ideas doesn't it? Well, here is my thinking on the topic of wattage vs. penetration to the substrate etc.... If you have a new tank and you are still setting up your fertilization and CO2 methods and you don't currently have any high light plants, then starting at the low end and going up is better than starting bright and then dealing with the headache that will inevitably create, IMO. The price of CFL bulbs is so reasonable that swapping them out for higher or lower wattages is trivial really.

Look, the bottom line is that we want beautiful tanks, with healthy inhabitants, right? We all know that light drives the need for all other requirements. Ferts, CO2, animals, algae (and it's control) are all determined first by the amount of light energy available. I personally have a high light, CO2 driven, EI dosed, hugely productive (like major trim every week) 36" long tank with (3) 23w CFLs on it. Right next to it, I have a 15 gallon Aqueon kit tank with the 18" fluorescent bulb it came with, no CO2, no ferts, and 5 fish in it. I cull my trimmings from the bigger tank and plant that tank with them. I get as many compliments on that tank as I do the larger one. No, I can't grow HG or other high light plants in it (I think - I haven't tried but someday I might!) but the stems and moss and ferns are healthy and growing. I'm just not in there weekly with scissors. So, I guess it comes down to what you really want to do. Sometimes I wonder whether I would be happier with a super low tech tank with darned near no maintenance other than water changes...

Just keep in mind that if you're not OCD with your tanks, that the higher amount of light you put over it the more time and energy it will REQUIRE daily and/or weekly.

(big breath) So, to answer your question! I would start with 13 watt 6500k, and go from there.

HTH - Cheers
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:48 PM   #155
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Almost forgot - I like to repeat this URL as much as I can because I personally think these dome lamps are A+++ WILL BUY AGAIN!!! for CFLs. They're more money than brooder lamps but they also keep light spill way down, which is my main b!tch with them. If you can hang them and not lay them down on your glass you could also put higher wattage bulbs in them to compensate the distance. I think they're a good product, and that price is half what the big box pet stores want for them.

Also, if you do want to go higher wattage than 23w, check e-bay for bulbs that photographers use. They have plenty of wattages you won't find at Lowes, etc..

http://goo.gl/Rh0BJ

Last edited by m00se; 01-26-2013 at 04:50 PM.. Reason: Derping before noon!
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #156
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That's very helpful, thanks! I'm going to take your advice and grab 4 10" domes (if I can find them, 8.5 seems readily available) and put 4 13w 6500k bulbs in them right atop the glass.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:15 PM   #157
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Got the 8.5" lights, and found Philips 13w 6500k bulbs. Four pack only $8.97 at HD.

It's bright lol. I'm glad I went with the 13w for now, without water or anything in the tank there is a lot of light spillage on the sides of the tank. The whole wall is lit up.

I'm going to black out the back of the tank somehow then probably spray paint the outside of the reflectors black.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:41 PM   #158
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Aight! Lookin good! When you fill it with water the spillover won't be as bad. Black background A+

Cheers
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:52 PM   #159
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Are those reflectors sitting on a glass or acrylic cover over the top of the tank? If so, they may overheat badly. If not, they may fall into the tank. I would hang them so there is room for air to circulate into the open end of the reflectors, and so they can't fall into the tank.

There will be less light going out through the sides and ends of the tank, once you put water in the tank. Much of the light will reflect off the glass back into the tank.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:59 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Are those reflectors sitting on a glass or acrylic cover over the top of the tank? If so, they may overheat badly. If not, they may fall into the tank. I would hang them so there is room for air to circulate into the open end of the reflectors, and so they can't fall into the tank.

There will be less light going out through the sides and ends of the tank, once you put water in the tank. Much of the light will reflect off the glass back into the tank.
They are sitting directly on top of a glass top. There is a little rubberish bar that serves as a hinge, and they make contact with that.

With these 13w bulbs, everything seems reasonable as far as the heat goes. After leaving them on since I bought them, nothing they are in contact with is hot. Barely even warm to be honest. The reflectors themselves get warm, but I wouldn't call them hot either.

Also, there's no way to fall in the tank unless the glass top was shifted way off the tank, and they are quite difficult to move.

I had concerns over the heat also, and I'm going to keep an eye on it. So far, so good.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:07 PM   #161
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awesome thread, tagging along just for future reference, the diagrams over the different lighting over the 2.5gal is hopefully going to help me with setting up my new 10 gal, been trying to decide on bulbs to put in my stock hood, so I think based on looking at what you have with one 14w spiral CFL horizontally mounted 3" above the water line I should be able to use two 13-14w spiral CFL's horizontally mounted 2-3" above the water line on my 10 gal in the stock hood and stay in the low-med light range... I'm setting the tank up to take to work and want to plant it to keep it low maintenance, and haven't made the investment to go CO2 on my tank at home, so definitely can't do it on my work tank...
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:06 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rininger85;
...10 gal, been trying to decide on bulbs to put in my stock hood, so I think based on looking at what you have with one 14w spiral CFL horizontally mounted 3" above the water line I should be able to use two 13-14w spiral CFL's horizontally mounted 2-3" above the water line on my 10 gal in the stock hood and stay in the low-med light range...
Yes, you get it; It would scale that way for a 10gal. Just make sure that your stock hood has a reflector in it... Not just black plastic.

For a low maintenance office tank, I've found mosses, liverworts (fissidens, pellia), c. Parva, and Anubias to work well. They grow slow enough so you don't have to do so much trimming. I really like using c. Parva as a foreground carpeting plant. It fits the scale of a 10gal nicely.

Good luck,
Cheers.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #163
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I bought some CFl bulbs that are marketed for aquarium use. They are twin U shaped (straight) tubes instead of spiral shaped and fit inside of a standard incandescent hood fixture. The 20 watt bulb is 8 inches and the 10 watt bulb is 5.5 inches overall and 4.5 inches and 3.5 inches respectively for the lighted tube section.
Here is a link to one of the bulbs I'm talking about-->
Amazon.com: Coralife Energy Savers ACL54200 Colormax Mini Comp.Bulb, 20w: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: Coralife Energy Savers ACL54200 Colormax Mini Comp.Bulb, 20w: Pet Supplies

I'm guessing the PAR values of these mounted in the hood should be similar to the horizontal mounted Spiral bulbs but maybe with better light distribution/better coverage along the length of the aquarium?

I'm using 1 20 watt bulb on the left socket and 1 10 watt bulb on the right socket. Hoping this would push the left side of the aquarium to medium light so I can grow a micro sword(lilaeopsis brasiliensis) carpet and then have low light on the right side of the aquarium to grow anubia, c. wendtii and c. parva and some flame moss.
Would that work to essentially try and split the aquarium into 2 light zones to grow different plants or is that a bad idea?
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:12 PM   #164
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I think you're OK, the lighting will be slightly different with the U shape vs. the spiral shape I would guess, but should be fairly close I would think. This isn't an exact science, so the best we can do is get a good estimate unless you spend the money to get your own PAR data to run the tests on your specific set up.

I'm running a similar split, I have a 13W spiral CFL in my left and an 18W spiral CFL in my right (because I originally bought 2 of each and had the 18W's in but one of the 18W bulbs burned out within a day, must have been a bad light...) so I'm running 31W total vs. your 30W.

I am getting some pretty rapid algae growth though, so I might back down to two 13W bulbs because my tank is still cycling so can't add anything to help with the algae yet...
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:07 AM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i4x4nMore View Post
Follow-Up: Household CF Bulbs, Growing HC, and Non-CO2...

I wanted to follow up to this thread to share some more ideas on lighting with household CF bulbs. AirSong originally had posted asking how much light she should use to light her 2.5gal non-CO2 tank... She was interested in growing HC or other carpeting plants. To her, I answered that she would probably need more than 15 watts. I didn't want to leave it at that however. I set out to investigate and find the right answer. As such, I duplicated her setup: tank size, fixture type, water depth, distance of light from the water, etc... and then took some measurements.

The answer is that you can use anything from 14 watts to 27 watts, and beyond. It all depends on how you set it up...

I personally believe that many hobbyists underestimate the need to accurately quantify their light - especially when they are plagued by unexplained algae or dying plants. The growth in non-CO2 tanks is quite slow and getting feedback takes too long. It's good to know from the start that your lighting is in a good range, so you can eliminate it as a variable if your tank is "less than desirable".

As I discovered, these CF bulbs (14-23 watts) seem fairly tame, but how you use them can mean the difference of not having enough light, and having way too much. And believe it or not, that difference can manifest itself just by moving the light up or down a few inches.

I created a several slides to show what I'm talking about. I hope this will help illustrate how things like reflector type and distance make a big difference, and can't be overlooked - it is also the reason one person's success with a particular bulb may not be your success.

(Hopefully, you've turned off that pesky "image resize" in your user preferences - if not, make sure to unscale for readability. )


Diagram1 - Household CF Bulbs

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Diagram2 - Measuring Household CF Bulbs

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Diagram3 - 19W, 5500K Example

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Diagram4 - Does Color Temperature Matter?

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Diagram5 - 23 Watt Extremes

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Diagram6 - Reflector & Orientation

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Diagram7 - 14 Watt Example

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Cheers!
Is the scale ur using for what is low, medium, in high light different because from what i have seen:
Values between 10-30 are considered low light.
Values between 30-80 are considered medium light.
Values between 80-120 are considered high light.
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