My 55G Journal! - Page 7 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #61 of 67 Old 02-19-2012, 11:10 AM
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Both of those would be far too much light over this tank. And you cannot have the tubes on individually, both have to be in and on for the unit to light. I do not recommend these for freshwater. T5 HO lighting was developed primarily for marine systems where more light is needed over reef tanks [one of these has the word "Marine" in it] with fewer tubes than was possible previously. We freshwater aquarists manage better with the standard T8 tubes. I tried this, and after a week took it back for a T8. The way my fish looked at me, I thought I could hear them begging me for sunglasses.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #62 of 67 Old 02-19-2012, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Yea that's why I'm staying away from them Byron. Also the only bulbs that I can find for the 48" are T12s. I'm finding that the T8s are smaller bulbs, not just in length but in circumference. Am I not finding the T8s in the larger sizes or is that just the way they come?
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post #63 of 67 Old 02-19-2012, 12:29 PM
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Yea that's why I'm staying away from them Byron. Also the only bulbs that I can find for the 48" are T12s. I'm finding that the T8s are smaller bulbs, not just in length but in circumference. Am I not finding the T8s in the larger sizes or is that just the way they come?
"T" refers to the diameter of the tube, in eighths of an inch. So a T12 is 12/8 or 1.25 inches diameter, a T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch, a T5 is 5/8 inch, etc. I have also seen a T10 which I believe fits a T8 fixture. The T5 requires only a T5 fixture, and nothing else works in it either.

The T8 tubes are more energy efficient than the older T12. Always get T8 if you can. T8 and T12 (and likely T10) will all work in the newer T8 (standard) fixtures. I have one older fixture on one tank, and the T8 tubes work but they flicker for a few minutes before lighting. This I understand is due to the older ballast or something. I have used T12 and T8 tubes in my fixtures, depending what I buy. Most manufacturers are now making T8 and not T12. My older Phillips were T12, but the last ones I got at Home Depot were T8. Same tube, just more efficient. And the intensity does not decrease quite as fast with the T8 over T12.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #64 of 67 Old 02-19-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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all the 48 inch daylight 6500K and even the sunlight 5000K bulbs in the Lowes store here are all T12s. So they make the T8s in 48 inch?
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post #65 of 67 Old 02-19-2012, 01:18 PM
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they do indeed. Actually, im considering rewiring my 55g tank light (uses 2 24" T8s) to use one long T8, because daylight 48" T8s are easier to get here than 24" daylight T8s, for some reason, but I havent checked my local lowes yet. If you cant find those bulbs, ask someone. They may be hiding, but im sure they can get you some.

Byron, if you have the old style twist lock fluorescent starters in your fixture, the starter needs to be replaced. The starter is supposed to redirect the current, so instead of the power being run through the length of the light, it runs it just from pin to pin on the end, which is why the ends fire up first. Once the gas is "preheated" the starter kicks out forcing the current to travel through the gas, the length of the tube. Excessive flickering usually indicates a failing starter, though if the starter hasnt been out in a long time, you can do damage to the sockets trying to force it. When my starters go, I replace the ballast with a new one. FWIW.

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #66 of 67 Old 02-19-2012, 01:58 PM
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they do indeed. Actually, im considering rewiring my 55g tank light (uses 2 24" T8s) to use one long T8, because daylight 48" T8s are easier to get here than 24" daylight T8s, for some reason, but I havent checked my local lowes yet. If you cant find those bulbs, ask someone. They may be hiding, but im sure they can get you some.

Byron, if you have the old style twist lock fluorescent starters in your fixture, the starter needs to be replaced. The starter is supposed to redirect the current, so instead of the power being run through the length of the light, it runs it just from pin to pin on the end, which is why the ends fire up first. Once the gas is "preheated" the starter kicks out forcing the current to travel through the gas, the length of the tube. Excessive flickering usually indicates a failing starter, though if the starter hasnt been out in a long time, you can do damage to the sockets trying to force it. When my starters go, I replace the ballast with a new one. FWIW.
Thanks. I will simply replace the fixture when it does go, the glass under the light is broken off at one end a couple bits, and this was one of those complete plastic hoods. The T12 din't flicker, only the T8, although I'm going from memory. May be co-incidence of course.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #67 of 67 Old 02-20-2012, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so on a whim decided to just go with some easy mainenance fishys for the 55G! I'm satified with them. I bought 3 dalmation mollies and 3 cherry barbs. Only 3 cherry barbs bc that's all they had LOL! I plan on getting about 9 total for the tank. Photos below of the new fishys! Some of my Cory Cats too! :)
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