Mentioned I was replacing some T5 bulbs. I let the new ones burn in for a week, then took some readings this morning. I knew what I was expecting, but went in with an open mind………and turns out things are not what I expected.
First up the Giesemann Super Flora. Last time I measured it, I literally just put in that day. That was about 16 months ago, and it was 108 PAR/68 PUR. The reading was taken about 2” below the water line, about 10” from the bulb.
Well, these Giesemann’s truly are PAR beasts. Today the reading was PAR 133/64 PUR. It had actually gone up after burning in. So then I tested a brand new Super Flora that has been burned in for a week. Reading was PAR 134/64 PUR. Yep, the same reading as the 16 month old bulb. Needless to say, the old bulb is staying in until it burns out.
Next came the Giesemann Tropic. Same deal. Last time when literally just put into the fixture, PAR 95/PUR 58. Same bulb today PAR 123/58 PUR. Brand new bulb that was burned in, PAR 123/58 PUR. Here we go again, old bulb is staying.
Next was a 2 year old ATI Purple Plus. Last reading was PAR 80/74 PUR. Today’s reading PAR 80/74 PUR. No difference in two years. But here’s a twist. I also let a Giesemann Super Purple burn in last week. Reading was PAR 107, PUR 76. Once again, Giesemann are PAR beasts.
So next the Powerveg 660. Last time was PAR 55/80 PUR. This time PAR 45/79 PUR. So this one did lose a little PAR. Then tested another colored bulb, the Plantmax 3000K……PAR 89/61 PUR, same as last time it was tested. So a little less color, but quite a bit more PAR.
Also tested the Truelumen Flora. Tested this one the day it went in 9 months ago….PAR 76/67 PUR. Today, PAR 85/PUR 72. Once again, PAR actually higher once it burned in.
So what do it mean? T5 bulbs keep their PAR a lot longer than most imagine. I thought they would all probably need to be replaced, but they are all staying in. And there is no question you can really vary your PAR with your bulb selection.
For instance, I tested my substrate PAR with both 4 bulbs and 6 bulbs running, and two configurations.
Giesemann Super Flora
ATI Purple Plus
This morning the reading with 4 bulbs (Giesemann’s & Truelumen’s) was PAR 93/62 PUR.
All six bulbs running was PAR 110/64 PUR.
Next I just swapped out the center two bulbs. Replaced the Powerveg with the Plantmax 3000, and the ATI Purple Plus with the Giesemann Super Purple.
Well here’s what we get. PAR goes from 110 to 144. Going to put my seat belt on and let it ride like this for a few weeks and see what happens. If I need to, I can swap one or two bulbs out and lower it a bit. And if I really wanted to go nuts, I could replace the Truelumen Flora's in the front with Giesemann Super Flora's. Guessing that would be another significant increase.
In other news, I posted to a thread recently about Rainbows jumping. Made the statement that Rainbows are known jumpers, but with a full canopy it’s of little concern. Well was out of town all week, and was checking the tank out yesterday and couldn’t find one Rainbow. Looked and looked, and it just wasn’t in the tank.
So starting searching behind the tank (which is tricky!) and there he was, my beautiful M. Picta laying there all dried up. First one I have had jump in quite some time, and like usual something always seems to happen when I am away. Very upsetting, so now looking at options to close off where the canopy is open to the rear.
And I hope that all the dads out there enjoy a wonderful Father's Day!