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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm fixture shopping for my new high tech 18"x30" bottomed breeder tank, and thought this might be a good idea. Their 6x24w fixture is around the same wattage and cost as a Current USA Orbit, but without all the Orbit's height and fans. It's the same cost as a Current Nova T5HO but with 50% more light wattage and more spacious reflectors. If you buy directly from HTGSupply (instead of through ebaY) the shipping is less than half price. The downside is a lack of splash guard, and potential for side light leaking glare, so I'll have to use it on a glass canopy. So what do you guys think? This comes out cheaper than a T5-HO kit, and here you get a finished low profile fixture. Seems like a great way to go! :proud:
see bottom fixture for possibly better deal.

144-watt 19 3/4" Wide x 24 3/8" Long x 2 1/4" Deep for $156

96-watt 12 3/4" Wide x 24 3/8" Long x 2 1/4" Deep for $121


here is a 5-year warranted 4x24 6500k fixture from another sight.
Sunleaves Pioneer Jr. IV Bulb System

96-watt 15" Wide 23 3/16 Long 2 1/4" Deep for $120

Warning: insidesun.com has been out of contact by email and phone since March'07 on ebaY and at the photo linked web sight. do NOT buy from them until some explanation is offered.
 

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I'm going to guess its a horticulture light with only one power cord. No splash guard. Too much power and not enough variability if only one power cord. A 156 watt over a 65 gallon with two banks/two power cords is more than enough power for me, so I think its a bit over kill on the 6 tube version. I would stick with one designed for aquaria. If it has two power cords, the 4x24 watt would be OK for a 40 gallon breeder. That said, HTG is a good company. I bought a replacement electrode for a Hanna pH meter from them once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Betowess, I'm grateful someone finally commented on this unique thread.

I'm leaning toward the 4x24w made by Sunleaves because;
-5 year manufacturers warranty instead of 2 year
-wide vented housing for improved fan-less heat dissipation
-wider design may mean more efficient light reflection
-is a more widely horticulture distributed hanging brand
-forum complaints that HTG run their OEM fixtures too hot,
and may use underrated ballasts that may need replacement.
-a major horticulture store nearby loves Sunleaves, but
he can never get enough stock on their popular fixtures.

I'm not worried about multiple cords or a splash guard because
I will run all 4 bulbs for 8 hours while resting on a glass canopy.
 

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Spypet, I only run all four 39 watt on my 24 inch tall 65 gallon for about 4 hours and it sits a good 4 inches above that tall of tank. The other 6 hours have just 2x39 watts. So, again, I think you will be better of with a fixture with more control. Because a breeder is a short tank, and too much light is algae invite. Unless you could raise it up a bunch, which makes for an retina ache. I think in the long run, you'll be better off spending a little more on a unit which can turn on/off each bank of two T5s. Just my two cents.

Remeber, these HO T5s with individual parabolic reflectors are really bright/efficient!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
your first hand experience is much appreciated.
I will carefully consider all you have written, but
accept for GSA, I've gotten good at keeping algae
away, even with a 2x65 on 8 hours over my 29gal.

my breeder is 18x30 and only 12 high,
but I'm using less than 2 inches of
sand, and only low carpet plants.

do you think I could get away with
their 2x24 fixture running 8-10 hours?
just seems silly to buy half as much
light for only 20% less money when
I can always unscrew a bulb or two.

BTW do you think these HO's get too
hot to keep right on my glass canopy?
I had no problems doing that with normal T5s
I'm not worried about my water temperature,
just the fixture ventilation and glass integrity.
 

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I suppose 2x24 would be fine, probably more than enough on a twelve inch deep tank. Just depends how fast you want to grow/trim the plants. You could always experiment with disconnecting bulbs (as you mentioned) and/or raising the light and keep the higher light model. But I'm still betting its too much light for that short of tank. If you go with the 4 bulb, will it run with two screwed off? Good to check that out. It probably will.

Just remember 2x65 with a flat reflector isn't near as bright as 2x 54 watt with parabolic reflectors.The Nova extreme has a one piece parabolic. The Tek has individual around each tube. It sounds like the unit you are looking at also have individual parabolics, so its going to BRIGHT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
again, all very interesting and useful feedback.
I think I'll get the 4x24, unscrew 2 bulbs so there
is an off bulb between the remaining on ones.
that should increase reflection while decreasing
the concentration of heat. then I'll see how my
plants are doing, then maybe add a bulb or more
hours depending on my results. Thanks again :proud:
 

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BTW do you think these HO's get too
hot to keep right on my glass canopy?
I had no problems doing that with normal T5s
I'm not worried about my water temperature,
just the fixture ventilation and glass integrity.
Missed this. Maybe you can get them (jury rig) up a few inches off the glass top or build something to hold them up and go open top (my preference if you can add a splash shield).
Good luck with the new lights. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Missed this. Maybe you can get them (jury rig) up a few inches off the glass top or build something to hold them up and go open top (my preference if you can add a splash shield).
Good luck with the new lights. :smile:
you see this is why I like those expensive Orbit fixtures so much.
the bulbs are so recessed up in the fixture housing that you do
not get any light leaking glare from the sides when the fixture
is mounted above your eye level. unfortunately if I mount the
4x24 any higher than the tank glass I'll get glare all over the room
unless I house them in a separate tall wooden enclosed canopy,
which by then would almost pay for me to simply buy a lighting kit.
 

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Those AgroMax 6400K tubes look interesting, especially the 6400K part.

Interesting, as in not 6700K, not 10000k, not a split 6700/10000K (PC), not 9325K or whatever other K everyone's been using for years to grow aquarium plants.

Hmmm, maybe Grolux tubes really are 6500K after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
6700K, not 10000k, not a split 6700/10000K (PC), not 9325K or whatever other K
as been discussed in countless forum threads, the Kelvin rating (above 5000k) hardly matters in terms of plant growth, it's simply a matter of personal preference on whether you prefer a yellower or bluer bulb illuminating your tank contents. personally, over a freshwater planted aquarium I prefer a yellow/white lower kelvin bulb, as apposed to a white/blue higher kelvin bulb.
 

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Why not get something like this? Little lower light, but so the plants grow a little slower. Less algae and if its only 12 deep I would go this way or maybe AH Supply with a 55 watt bright kit and make your own box for cheap...
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsU...wattpowercompactfixturesinglestripwlunarlight

With the Current, you could mount it on the stand, looks nice and pretty and no glass top to screw with. Just a thought here... You might need a different bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know AHSupply has wooden tops, but only for 12" wide tanks, so I probably won't go with a light kit as nobody I know can build me an enclosure for it. As for Current, I would just get an open box Orbit 2x65 from tricitytropicals.com and keep a bulb offline half the day. I just thought I'd give an T5HO a try, since I already have PCF fixtures.
 

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as been discussed in countless forum threads, the Kelvin rating (above 5000k) hardly matters in terms of plant growth
If so, why does AgroMax find it important enough to include the K rating in their advertising for 'Grow Spectrum' bulbs? They are in the business of plant growing lights, and so I assume they must believe their customers also would find the K rating of importance.

These bulbs are for agricultural purposes, not aesthetics. Eg, when growing a shed full of 'tomato plants', I would assume the visual appearance of the light given off would be the least important factor in purchasing these bulbs. Growth rate is by far the most important issue, and so I believe the 6400K is also important because it must relate to the growth rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
in horticulture, ~6500k bulbs are considered grow bulbs, while 3000k bulbs are for budding and blooming. I don't pretend to know the subtleties of immersed plant growing. I only know what I like and that seems to work well with submerged freshwater plants. Kelvin ratings can often be marketing gimmicks or even customer demanded fads. just ask anyone who tried to buy an 8800k bulb last year when some magazine article's plant growth results equated them with the second coming of Christ.

please start a new thread about Kelvin ratings if you want to debate this.
I'd really like to keep this thread about Horticulture T5HO fixtures for use
in planted aquariums.
 

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dont go with the ah supply, I think they are over rated and PC lights run hotter and less efficient. Im probably gonna go with the same 2x24w t5 ho fixture found on ebay for my ADA 60p. 24x12x14 18gal but will swap one bulb for Heliolight 11k.
 

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dont go with the ah supply, I think they are over rated and PC lights run hotter and less efficient. Im probably gonna go with the same 2x24w t5 ho fixture found on ebay for my ADA 60p. 24x12x14 18gal but will swap one bulb for Heliolight 11k.
IME AH Supply lights are almost the brightest light out there. The only thing brighter is a Tek with individual parabolic reflector. They do run a little warmer than HO T5s, but not much at all. They have the best parabolic reflector in the market and thus are very efficient.

I do agree however that high output T5s with a programmed start electronic ballast is the future. High quality units such as the Tek light slowly start up the tubes and thus the flourescent lights last much longer. These programmed ballast are made by Universal lighting and are named Triad ballast.
 

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Why do the sites all mention not to use the mounting legs over glass tops? My fish would jump out of the tank without a top?
 
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