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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have a 10 gallon Perfecto Kit tank (20x10x12, canopy, and incandescent fixture) that I fitted with two spiral (or twisty) 26w CFLs. I have pressurized CO2 running on it as well.

The problem is that, 1) the spiral design is flawed or inefficient and the largest "U" shaped CFL (the longer, narrower ones) comes in at only 20w a piece. 2) The spirals are short and stubby so there is far less light in certain areas of the tank (middle, front, and far edges) because of where the bulbs are situated in the ballast that sits on the kit's canopy.

Now, at the LFS, there is a 20" ballast with two 18w T5HO bulbs. I was wondering if two 18w T5HO bulbs that reached across the entire tank would be better then the two 26w spirals.

Input is much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
correction: I believe the fixture is actually 18" in length... still would cover most of the length of the tank...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did in fact use aluminium foil as a reflector, but the difference was negligible.

I don't know if you've seen the Perfecto (more like Imperfecto) kits, but the fixture slides right over a sleeve that is fitted with glass on the bottom. The problem is that the fixture and opening is very narrow and therefore the light isn't allowed to spread as it would if it was suspend from the ceiling over a open top tank... :icon_frow

P.S they are indeed 6500k daylight bulbs
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey thanks for the tip kamikazi...:icon_bigg

However, I prefer the cleaner look of either a hood or a simple open top with a fixture above... and so would the wife... :biggrin:

I'm not feeling much love for the open top Odyssea T5HO fixture idea... Or was i too vague in the description of my problem?

The fixture is $60 with two bulbs included plus "moonlight" LEDs. What's the verdict? Not worth it? Too much light? Not enough light? :help:
 

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Hey thanks for the tip kamikazi...:icon_bigg

However, I prefer the cleaner look of either a hood or a simple open top with a fixture above... and so would the wife... :biggrin:

I'm not feeling much love for the open top Odyssea T5HO fixture idea... Or was i too vague in the description of my problem?

The fixture is $60 with two bulbs included plus "moonlight" LEDs. What's the verdict? Not worth it? Too much light? Not enough light? :help:
Are you sure you need more light than two spiral 26 watt bulbs?
 

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Buy a T5HO retrofit kit and make your own canopy to house the lights. Most retrofit kits will run one bulb is you wire the ballast correctly. This will give high light with one bulb unless hung well above the tank. There are T5NO fixtures on the market that have very good reflectors and would work well for your needs. I think Petco sells them if you have them in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you sure you need more light than two spiral 26 watt bulbs?

No, thats why I'm asking....:hihi::biggrin:

But seriously, I'm only concerned because, as I said earlier, due to the fixture and canopy design (and shape of the spiral CFL), there are areas of the tank that are seriously lacking light. I'm not looking to increase wattage, only efficiency (without too much hassle).

I just thought that a ballast that reached end to end and was mounted 3 inches above an open top would be the better option. But I wasn't quite sure, and I thought I'd just ask around first...

2in10, I'm not too electronically inclined, so buying a fixture was my plan.:icon_wink

So, no one has said much about having T5HO's (except for you lauraleellbp; yes, I have a nice CO2 setup going:biggrin:)... I've seen many 10 gal tanks on this site that have these lights and their tanks look pretty healthy. Any opinions on that?

Sorry if it seems I'm beating a dead horse, but I was just looking for some opinions specifically on T5HOs VS my current setup.

Thanks again for all the replies! :smile:
 

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I did in fact use aluminium foil as a reflector, but the difference was negligible.

I don't know if you've seen the Perfecto (more like Imperfecto) kits, but the fixture slides right over a sleeve that is fitted with glass on the bottom. The problem is that the fixture and opening is very narrow and therefore the light isn't allowed to spread as it would if it was suspend from the ceiling over a open top tank... :icon_frow

P.S they are indeed 6500k daylight bulbs
I use a Perfecto hood on one of my tanks and use mylar sheets as reflectors. Works really well.
 

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No, thats why I'm asking....:hihi::biggrin:

But seriously, I'm only concerned because, as I said earlier, due to the fixture and canopy design (and shape of the spiral CFL), there are areas of the tank that are seriously lacking light. I'm not looking to increase wattage, only efficiency (without too much hassle).

I just thought that a ballast that reached end to end and was mounted 3 inches above an open top would be the better option. But I wasn't quite sure, and I thought I'd just ask around first...

2in10, I'm not too electronically inclined, so buying a fixture was my plan.:icon_wink

So, no one has said much about having T5HO's (except for you lauraleellbp; yes, I have a nice CO2 setup going:biggrin:)... I've seen many 10 gal tanks on this site that have these lights and their tanks look pretty healthy. Any opinions on that?

Sorry if it seems I'm beating a dead horse, but I was just looking for some opinions specifically on T5HOs VS my current setup.

Thanks again for all the replies! :smile:
If it was me I'd stick with the current setup. Even if the coverage isn't 100% the same across the tank, all parts of the tank should be getting enough light. Getting the plants to grow well is all about finding the right balance of CO2 and light.

I had a 10 gallon setup at one point and ran two 13 watt spiral CFLs in it. It was a ran as a low light setup without CO2. The whole tank got plenty of light.

Now if there are areas that are really dark then maybe you do need to change it up. Is the fixture separate from the rest of the hood? And if so is it the hood part that limits the spread of the light?

If that is the case you could ditch the hood and use a piece of plexiglass or a glass hood and just set the fixture on top of that. then you wouldnt have any black plastic bits narrowing the area of you light spread.

Could you post or link a picture of what you have, that might help people with giving you ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If it was me I'd stick with the current setup. Even if the coverage isn't 100% the same across the tank, all parts of the tank should be getting enough light. Getting the plants to grow well is all about finding the right balance of CO2 and light.

I had a 10 gallon setup at one point and ran two 13 watt spiral CFLs in it. It was a ran as a low light setup without CO2. The whole tank got plenty of light.

Now if there are areas that are really dark then maybe you do need to change it up. Is the fixture separate from the rest of the hood? And if so is it the hood part that limits the spread of the light?

If that is the case you could ditch the hood and use a piece of plexiglass or a glass hood and just set the fixture on top of that. then you wouldn't have any black plastic bits narrowing the area of you light spread.

Could you post or link a picture of what you have, that might help people with giving you ideas.

I thought about the plexiglass idea, unfortunately, its the light fixture itself. The fixture is very narrow and therefore the reflectors are at a sharp angle which focus' the light instead of spreading it.

also, the way the hood is designed, it forces the fixture to be placed slightly toward the back of the tank. This is fine for the plants in the back, but not for my HC in the front.

I'll try to get some pics up tonight or tomorrow.
 
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