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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after having the components sitting around for months for a canopy retrofit (been really hectic months) and having a small PC light over my tank, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever have time to complete the retrofit and just bite the bullet and buy a pre-made fixture to go under the canopy. (the tank is "bullet" shaped, and the canopy has a door on the top middle of it, making the retro a PITA, was thinking last night would have to take off the canopy to change bulbs even on the retro.) Having the opening right in the center of the tank, I need a slimmer fixture to be able to have access to the water. (already made the mistake with a larger PC fixture, fit, but would never be able to get to the water :icon_redf )

Catalina is local and they have a 6x54 watt HO/t5 and a 8x54 watt HO/t5 unit. Being local, the shipping will be minimal though I will pay local tax. They said that because I have fish, to even the light color of 6500K bulbs, I may need blue bulbs, which don't do much for the plants. My tank is a low tech discus tank, 130 gallon room divider (view from 3 sides, so light looks very bright on it). So far it has anubias, crypts, swords in it. Trying downoi, and some ground covers, but of course they're not doing that hot with the 1 wpg I have over it now. I like the idea that Catalina will customize my light for me :).

Which unit should I get, and what configuration of bulbs? They have 10,000K, 6500 K and acetenic (sp?, blue bulbs). Anybody have Catalina lights and give some feedback?

Thanks
Tina
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You say "low tech". What does that mean? No CO2? If not, even the 6x54 sounds like a lot of light: the 54w T5s are very bright.
That's what I was thinking. Yes, no CO2. I have 1 wpg over the tank now and it lights the room though I could use more light. It's funny how this same light on a 60 gallon against the wall looked dim, but on the room divider aquarium it looks so much brighter. I think that 2 wpg or a little more would be good. So would that mean I should get 4-6500 and 2-blue bulbs to take out the yellow cast?

I've had up to 3.5 wpg on a low tech/no CO2 without any problems though :).

Tina
 

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I believe catalina = catfish lighting which i have for my 10 gallon in the t5 flavor. They're ok, not teks by any means. Build quality is fairly low. But for a low tech tank with no CO2, you're asking for a disaster with that much lighting. I would say 4x54 would be more than sufficient. At least with the tek's. And if you're going to spend that money, bite the bullet and get CO2, it makes the biggest difference. You can keep low tech plants in a high tech setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I believe catalina = catfish lighting which i have for my 10 gallon in the t5 flavor. They're ok, not teks by any means. Build quality is fairly low. But for a low tech tank with no CO2, you're asking for a disaster with that much lighting. I would say 4x54 would be more than sufficient. At least with the tek's. And if you're going to spend that money, bite the bullet and get CO2, it makes the biggest difference. You can keep low tech plants in a high tech setup.
Nope, done perfectly fine in the past and now without CO2, had up to 3.5 wpg on a 46 gallon before, no problems (secret is to balance everything, # and type of plants, # of fish, time of lights :)). Seen too many horror stories about killing off fish to go that route! With a discus tank, fish come first!

The 4x54 would have to be no actinic then to get up to 1.66 wpg, which may be too little. Saw a fixture at Bigals that was the Current Nova Extreme High output fixture 4x54.

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsU...currentnovaextremehighoutputfixture4x54watt48

Tina
 

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I agree with you that it's possible with the right balance. I tried it in my 125 and failed miserably. I now have pressurized in that tank. Did you 46 gallon have Discus? Cichlids are messy eaters and produce a lot of waste. Cleaning up a bout of BBA and BGA in a 46 gallon is not like doing it in a 130. I'm still cleaning up BBA in my 125, after getting everything sorted out. Unless you want to make it your full time job if you run into problem. On the larger tanks, erring on the conservative side is smarter. Not saying you're not capable of doing it, but just giving you my "Been there, done that".

I'll be updating my low tech thread on the tank so you can see the difference. But I guess it's no longer low tech since I am doing pressurized CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with you that it's possible with the right balance. I tried it in my 125 and failed miserably. I now have pressurized in that tank. Did you 46 gallon have Discus? Cichlids are messy eaters and produce a lot of waste. Cleaning up a bout of BBA and BGA in a 46 gallon is not like doing it in a 130. I'm still cleaning up BBA in my 125, after getting everything sorted out. Unless you want to make it your full time job if you run into problem. On the larger tanks, erring on the conservative side is smarter. Not saying you're not capable of doing it, but just giving you my "Been there, done that".

I'll be updating my low tech thread on the tank so you can see the difference. But I guess it's no longer low tech since I am not doing pressurized CO2.
Yep, it had discus in it too, daily water changes since they were growing out, 3-5x a day feeding, only problems with algae was above the water line and until I found the right balance of plants (needed more).

I hear everybody touting Tek light fixtures? What type of bulb configuration will I need?

Tina
 

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I have and like a 10k / 6.5k mix of 2 each. The whole wpg thing should be taken with a grain of salt. In my experience, 210 watts of T5 beats is significantly brighter than equivalent wattages of regular or compact florescent. Granted, my eyes are hardly scientifically quantifiable devices. Still, i think you're playing with fire here 6 or 8 x 54 could give you a tan.I had my Co2 go down for a bit, the whole oil incident, and had an algae explosion. Every time i have a problem, its CO2 efficiency related.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have and like a 10k / 6.5k mix of 2 each. The whole wpg thing should be taken with a grain of salt. In my experience, 210 watts of T5 beats is significantly brighter than equivalent wattages of regular or compact florescent. Granted, my eyes are hardly scientifically quantifiable devices. Still, i think you're playing with fire here 6 or 8 x 54 could give you a tan.I had my Co2 go down for a bit, the whole oil incident, and had an algae explosion. Every time i have a problem, its CO2 efficiency related.
LOL, get out the Raybans :icon_cool

Yes, my Coralife Aqualight 2x65 watt looks bright on that tank, lights up the whole room pretty much. The sales person wanted me to even go up to the 8 light one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, went with the Current USA Nova Extreme High output fixture 4x54. Was looking at the Tek too, but it would be about 4" wider than the Current USA model and that would be 4" less access to the water :icon_roll . Final price I got this one about $100+ cheaper too.

Not as good of ratings as the Tek, but I needed that extra space.


Tina
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LOL, even the Current USA is a little wider than the aqualight I have on there now, and access is pretty good now (of course I haven't put on the canopy yet because I was eventually going to retrofit it).

Otherwise, I'd probably be in the Tek club too. (or I'd have set up all the Icecap retrofit stuff I have)

Tina
 

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LOL, even the Current USA is a little wider than the aqualight I have on there now, and access is pretty good now (of course I haven't put on the canopy yet because I was eventually going to retrofit it).

Otherwise, I'd probably be in the Tek club too. (or I'd have set up all the Icecap retrofit stuff I have)

Tina
Tina, I own both fixtures and both are great. The Tek is brighter, but I really like my lighter weight Nova just fine. But, I don't think you're suppose to enclose it in a canopy?? Maybe with some vents you'll be OK, but I don't think it would be safe. I second the 10000k/6700K split. Y
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tina, I own both fixtures and both are great. The Tek is brighter, but I really like my lighter weight Nova just fine. But, I don't think you're suppose to enclose it in a canopy?? Maybe with some vents you'll be OK, but I don't think it would be safe. I second the 10000k/6700K split. Y
Yes, the canopy has plenty of vents - 6 big ones on the door, which made it such a PITA to try and retrofit (a door on top in the middle of the canopy that's shorter than the canopy, then big holes on the door ;)). The canopy is extra tall too. I even have a fan I can install just in case.

I definitely made the person from Bigal's earn their pay for the day. Drsfosterandsmith had it for cheaper so I had a price match, and a gift certificate too ;).

Tina
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I believe catalina = catfish lighting which i have for my 10 gallon in the t5 flavor. They're ok, not teks by any means. Build quality is fairly low. But for a low tech tank with no CO2, you're asking for a disaster with that much lighting. I would say 4x54 would be more than sufficient. At least with the tek's. And if you're going to spend that money, bite the bullet and get CO2, it makes the biggest difference. You can keep low tech plants in a high tech setup.
OK, finally got the Nova Extreme 4x54 over the tank and it is so BRIGHT! :icon_idea :cool: Only .66 watts more than the Coralife fixture I had temporarily over it, but it looks at least 2x brighter! Definitely a 6 bulb fixture would have been overkill! Noticed my Downoi was growing with the Coralife, It should be REALLY happy now! :). Still have room to reach the water too. :).

Pet peeves with the new fixture though, the fans are on their own power and when you plug them in, their on, they don't switch on and off with the lights :mad: The legs are pretty whimpy too.

Positives are the moonlights are just right, not too bright (though I found a problem with my coralife command center not switching from night to day, so I need to replace that :mad:)

Tina
 

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I have a question for the TEKies about their 4x54W models. Can you turn pairs of lights on and off or is it all or nothing? I suspect it's the latter. I'm in the market for a light atop my new 75-gallon tank and it would be a real benefit to be able to contol pairs of lights. DIY won't save a nickel, hardly, but it would give me some control.
 

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I have a question for the TEKies about their 4x54W models. Can you turn pairs of lights on and off or is it all or nothing? I suspect it's the latter. I'm in the market for a light atop my new 75-gallon tank and it would be a real benefit to be able to contol pairs of lights. DIY won't save a nickel, hardly, but it would give me some control.

Although I dont have the 4x54w Tek, I do have the 4x39w Tek. If you order the Aquarium Tek and not the hydroponics tek you will get a tek that you can switch 2 bulbs off and 2 bulbs on independently. The Teks that are 6 bulbs you have 3 independent switches, which would allow each set of 2 lights to come on independently. This and the fact that my Tek has no noisey fans and isnt hot is the reason why I bought Tek.
 

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That explains why I can get such a great price on the unit from a hydroponic seller. I don't know if I would need 6 bulbs. I got a bad feeling that much light and the slightest imbalance would be algae city.
 
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