The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have anyone tried it? Assuming you have your typical T5HO light fixture resting on the top of the tank. And you add some reflector material inside the fixture enclosure to prevent any light spilling. Right now, I added 2 reflector material (alu foil) by the front and the back of the fixture. My purpose is to try to get more light to the lower leaves of my Temple plants. My light to substrate distance is about 17". I always feel that I am not getting enough even light to the whole tank. The top tends to get the most. I don't get much angle light from the front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
Lots of us have enclosed our light fixtures. But, not for the reasons you mention. Adding sheets of aluminum foil as "skirts" on the reflector isn't likely to increase the light intensity. What are the dimensions of the tank you have, and is it a one bulb or two bulb T5HO light? What brand?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lots of us have enclosed our light fixtures. But, not for the reasons you mention. Adding sheets of aluminum foil as "skirts" on the reflector isn't likely to increase the light intensity. What are the dimensions of the tank you have, and is it a one bulb or two bulb T5HO light? What brand?

The brand is Current Nova or Current USA. 2 bulbs T5HO with its own reflector and is somewhat curved. The tank is 36 x 16H x 15w. The width of the light fixture is about 5.5". I am not trying to increase the light intensity but the size of the light source. Bigger light source will light up the tank evenly. The light fixture is about 7" off the top of the tank. I can lower it to 4" and that would increase my light intensity. However, that would not increase the size of my light. Another way is to get a 4 bulbs fixture but limited to 80w total. Of course, I don't want to spend the extra money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
You probably have 20-40 micromols of PAR with the light 7 inches above the top of the tank, and you would probably increase that to about 30-60 micromols if you lower it to 4 inches above the top of the tank. The latter is plenty of light, if you use CO2. If you don't use CO2, it is possibly a bit too much to avoid algae problems. A 4 bulb fixture would be way too much light. A 3 bulb T8 light should give you around 40 micromols of PAR if it is 4 inches above the top of the tank. That would also be plenty of light, and would spread out the light more, especially if you DIY the light using 3 individual one bulb strip lights. If you go that way, you could also make simple thin aluminum sheet reflectors shaped like \_/ with the flat part attached to the strip light housing. That could double the amount of light you get, so you would use only 2 bulbs, not 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You probably have 20-40 micromols of PAR with the light 7 inches above the top of the tank, and you would probably increase that to about 30-60 micromols if you lower it to 4 inches above the top of the tank. The latter is plenty of light, if you use CO2. If you don't use CO2, it is possibly a bit too much to avoid algae problems. A 4 bulb fixture would be way too much light. A 3 bulb T8 light should give you around 40 micromols of PAR if it is 4 inches above the top of the tank. That would also be plenty of light, and would spread out the light more, especially if you DIY the light using 3 individual one bulb strip lights. If you go that way, you could also make simple thin aluminum sheet reflectors shaped like \_/ with the flat part attached to the strip light housing. That could double the amount of light you get, so you would use only 2 bulbs, not 3.

Thanks. Well, I finally decided to scrap the alu foil covers. Instead, I added a clip on utility light which can purchased from Lowes. Put a 10w compact florescence 6500k bulb from Zoo Med. Clip it onto the fixture. Now, the light is pointing at a top left angle. I would probably limit this light to turn on maybe for 4 to 5 hours a day.

I don't want to lower the light fixture since I have plants which are very close to the water surface. That would just be a recipe for BBA or green thread algae.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top