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Coralife light fixtures

This is a discussion on Coralife light fixtures within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by SinCrisis well if your fixture explodes into flames im sure that affects plant growth.. jk I use caralife fixture for mine ...

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Coralife light fixtures
Old 08-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
well if your fixture explodes into flames im sure that affects plant growth.. jk I use caralife fixture for mine and its done a superb job, hasn't failed yet and ive had it for over 1 year.
Nice one SC, got a good chuckle. Byron.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:13 PM   #12
 
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These are the fixtures I have:

https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/pro.../1/product.web

These are the bulbs:

https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/pro.../7/product.web

It's now time to replace the bulbs. Should I go with the same ones or should I consider doing something different? I'm happy with my plants but if something else would make them "happier" I'd make a switch.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:44 PM   #13
 
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These are the fixtures I have:

https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/pro.../1/product.web

These are the bulbs:

https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/pro.../7/product.web

It's now time to replace the bulbs. Should I go with the same ones or should I consider doing something different? I'm happy with my plants but if something else would make them "happier" I'd make a switch.
These look fine to me, they are full spectrum, rated 6700K (identical to the Life-Glo 2 I use) so I would not be surprised that your plants do well. If memory serves me (here we go again with my mind) you fertilize with Flourish so we are probably doing much the same thing in light and ferts, just different types of tubes.

You have the compact fixtures and tubes, how do you like them compared to the regular fluorescent? Do you replace every year (approximately)? I didn't see any info on the linked site or Foster&Smith about these compacts outlasting regular or HO fluorescent tubes, so I assume they lose intensity like the others.

Byron.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
 
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Byron, your memory is getting better . I do use Flourish, and also Excel & root tabs.
Thanks for the info. I wanted to verify that the specs on these bulbs were similar to the Life-Glo. While my bulbs still "look" the same it's been one year on the bulbs so I'm sure the intensity is gone. Time for new bulbs. Dang, these bulbs aren't cheap.
These fixtures are the only ones I've had so I've no familiarity with standard flourescents.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #15
 
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Byron, your memory is getting better . I do use Flourish, and also Excel & root tabs.
Thanks for the info. I wanted to verify that the specs on these bulbs were similar to the Life-Glo. While my bulbs still "look" the same it's been one year on the bulbs so I'm sure the intensity is gone. Time for new bulbs. Dang, these bulbs aren't cheap.
These fixtures are the only ones I've had so I've no familiarity with standard flourescents.
The intensity of fluorescent tubes decreases quite rapidly, at least the regular (and I've read from the manufacturers that the T5HO also decrease, although they say not quite so much so fast; I was wondering about the compact). One of the hobbyist owners of a lfs told me he used a light meter on some full spectrum tubes just to see, and after 3 months the intensity was greatly reduced, and then it gradually decreased from there. He said he agreed with the authorities on 12-month replacement, since after that the intensity is very minimal although the light "looks" the same to us.

Karen Randall, a plant guru with the Aquatic Gardeners Assoc, once wrote that it would be good to replace the tubes every six months due to the significant depreciation in light output, but as this is very expensive every 12 months would work. She suggested staggering the tubes, replacing one every six months so the intensity overall did not diminish so much during the last six months but remained more steady throughout the 12 months. I'm considering trying this, using the cheaper tube first (after only six months one has to chuck it) and after that it would be every 12 months for both but at 6-month intervals.

Byron.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:01 PM   #16
 
nor is changing bulbs very eco- friendly. Would leaving the light on for longer periods help? weaker light for longer? I change mine every 1.5 years, get some fail plant growth but i feel bad tossing out bulbs that are still able to light.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:15 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
nor is changing bulbs very eco- friendly. Would leaving the light on for longer periods help? weaker light for longer? I change mine every 1.5 years, get some fail plant growth but i feel bad tossing out bulbs that are still able to light.

I agree, sending a box of tubes to the recycling seems a waste when they still "light" but the evidence is there. Years ago in FAMA there was a series of articles on planted tanks by Kevin Osborne. He advocated several things, among them that a full spectrum tube could be used for 3 years. I have found no other authority who accept this view, and as I mentioned my friend with the meter proved that the decrease in output is considerable after only three months.

Plants require a certain intensity of light in order to grow (photosynthesize) as well as a minimal duration of that intensity. More light for shorter periods or less light for longer do not work. The plants are unable to convert the sugars to energy in order to grow.

Every plant authority I have read (and that is quite a few) are adamant that as the tube ages the light output diminishes considerably. They say that leaving it on longer will not help the plants because the light is simply not strong enough to allow the plant to photosynthesize, but algae will take over. And light penetration through water is less than through air. Fortunately, the blue light that plants most require (second is red) is the better colour to penetrate water. I guess nature knew what she was doing.

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:26 PM   #18
 
bugger... well i guess it was a good decision for me to only use low light plants. Java moss will never die! But anyway, to get back to the point of the thread, coralife gets lots of complaints, but realize that most satisfied customers don't have anything to say about their product and its the unsatisfied ones that make it known where a product fails. So, often times, online reviews from customers are not very accurate. Again, Ive never had trouble with mine and its not failed me yet.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:34 PM   #19
 
On a off-topic note, drfostersmith is having a summer sale and they have tons of bulbs on sale. If you are getting a new fixture, it may be a good opportunity to stock up on bulbs too.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:40 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
bugger... well i guess it was a good decision for me to only use low light plants. Java moss will never die! But anyway, to get back to the point of the thread, coralife gets lots of complaints, but realize that most satisfied customers don't have anything to say about their product and its the unsatisfied ones that make it known where a product fails. So, often times, online reviews from customers are not very accurate. Again, Ive never had trouble with mine and its not failed me yet.
Back on point. Yes, it's usually the disgruntled who are giving the negative reviews. I have the coralife fixtures and I have zero complaints!

PS. Thanks for the heads up on the sale!
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