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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So guys i have upgraded my tank from a normal household cfl to a parallel light (pl) which is 36 watts (the earlier cfl was 14 watts) and has 6500k and 2750 lumens .. my tank is a 35 us gallon ..is this light good for my planted tank? is my tank still a low light tank?? i am new at planted tanks so please give me as much information as possible .. thanks in advance aquarium fish forum smiley
 

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So guys i have upgraded my tank from a normal household cfl to a parallel light (pl) which is 36 watts (the earlier cfl was 14 watts) and has 6500k and 2750 lumens .. my tank is a 35 us gallon ..is this light good for my planted tank? is my tank still a low light tank?? i am new at planted tanks so please give me as much information as possible .. thanks in advance aquarium fish forum smiley
Using the "guidline" of watts per gallon.. you are still low light.. but much better than what you had,,
 

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How much light you have depends very heavily on how good the reflectors are. If they are like the AH Supply reflectors:


you should get low-medium light, around 40 PAR. But, if they are like the "common" reflectors in that illustration, you may have as little as 20 PAR, very low light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
How much light you have depends very heavily on how good the reflectors are. If they are like the AH Supply reflectors:


you should get low-medium light, around 40 PAR. But, if they are like the "common" reflectors in that illustration, you may have as little as 20 PAR, very low light.
its funny i dont have any reflectors ..ahahaha .. i dint know reflectors matter so much .. thats so dumb of me :/ ... the lfs guy always keeps it without any reflectors .. more over i dont know where i would get the reflectors for this one ..is there any other alternative?
 

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its funny i dont have any reflectors ..ahahaha .. i dint know reflectors matter so much .. thats so dumb of me :/ ... the lfs guy always keeps it without any reflectors .. more over i dont know where i would get the reflectors for this one ..is there any other alternative?
The most common lights people are using nowadays are T5HO (and sometimes T5NO) or LED lighting. T5 is probably still is a better bang for the buck and easier to get but LED fixtures are quite nice too. I'm not sure how the pricing comparison goes in your part of the world though.

Hoppy made some really useful charts along with good info and some pictures that I would recommend having a look at: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The most common lights people are using nowadays are T5HO (and sometimes T5NO) or LED lighting. T5 is probably still is a better bang for the buck and easier to get but LED fixtures are quite nice too. I'm not sure how the pricing comparison goes in your part of the world though.

Hoppy made some really useful charts along with good info and some pictures that I would recommend having a look at: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368
so is my light a t5? got it its a power compact :)
 

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its funny i dont have any reflectors ..ahahaha .. i dint know reflectors matter so much .. thats so dumb of me :/ ... the lfs guy always keeps it without any reflectors .. more over i dont know where i would get the reflectors for this one ..is there any other alternative?
The purpose of a reflector is to use the light from the sides and back of the light bulb that otherwise would not go towards the tank. There is no alternative. But, if you can get thin sheet aluminum, around .010 inch, or .25 mm thick, you can make a good reflector. The easiest way is to bend it to a \_/ shape, with the sides at an angle that lets you see a full reflection of the light bulb on each side of the real light bulb. That approximately doubles the amount of light you get from the bulb. It doesn't have to be perfectly polished to do that. Or, you can make a wood or plastic reflector shaped like that, and cover it with glued on aluminum foil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The purpose of a reflector is to use the light from the sides and back of the light bulb that otherwise would not go towards the tank. There is no alternative. But, if you can get thin sheet aluminum, around .010 inch, or .25 mm thick, you can make a good reflector. The easiest way is to bend it to a \_/ shape, with the sides at an angle that lets you see a full reflection of the light bulb on each side of the real light bulb. That approximately doubles the amount of light you get from the bulb. It doesn't have to be perfectly polished to do that. Or, you can make a wood or plastic reflector shaped like that, and cover it with glued on aluminum foil.
i guess ill try to make a good reflector soon .. thank you so much for the information :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The purpose of a reflector is to use the light from the sides and back of the light bulb that otherwise would not go towards the tank. There is no alternative. But, if you can get thin sheet aluminum, around .010 inch, or .25 mm thick, you can make a good reflector. The easiest way is to bend it to a \_/ shape, with the sides at an angle that lets you see a full reflection of the light bulb on each side of the real light bulb. That approximately doubles the amount of light you get from the bulb. It doesn't have to be perfectly polished to do that. Or, you can make a wood or plastic reflector shaped like that, and cover it with glued on aluminum foil.
i am making the reflector but i need some help in setting up the angle of the reflector .. can u help me out plz?
 

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i am making the reflector but i need some help in setting up the angle of the reflector .. can u help me out plz?
Designing reflectors is not exactly easy...
Common practice is to match a paraboloid shape using flat surfaces..
http://www.omslighting.com/ledacademy/435/2-leds-optics/22-reflector
You need the tube at the focal point.
Since you have 3 tubes spatially separated it is even more complicated..




my only advice is to imitate a paraboloid shape w/ flat panels.. make the mounting above the light adjustable so you can raise or lower the reflector.. finding a useable focal point..
sounds more complicated than it is..
This explains the math..
http://www.creative-science.org.uk/parabola.html

Of course there goal here is to focus parallel sun rays to a point.. but it works in the opposite direction as well... making a point source of light into a parallel beam.. ;)
 

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Thinking a bit about this I've come up w/ an "easy " solution though certainly not precise..

Make a reflector in the shape of a half round w/ a diameter of say 1/2 the width of your tank. Use a log , ball, ect for a template.

Then take the ends and pull them out till it is close to the width of your tank. This will at least generally pull the reflector into a parabaloid-ish shape.. Then raise/lower it over your light till it is in the focal point.
A sheet of paper on the ground and the light at the height you plan on hanging it over your tank should be enough to visualize the spread.. (technically w/ proper design the height is not really necessary since a "proper" reflector will put most light in parallel.. bit hey why not.. ;))
 
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