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29 gallon lighting

This is a discussion on 29 gallon lighting within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by spectroscopy Ok they also have 24" but the lights are 24 watt instead of 31. Ok so now that i have ...

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Old 06-22-2012, 11:46 AM   #11
 
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Ok they also have 24" but the lights are 24 watt instead of 31. Ok so now that i have the lightings almost down, what cover should i use, acrylic or some sort of Plastic cover. The plastic like those
Plastic crate stuff? If you know what i mean.
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If you just have a light strip then you can use a glass top like this Aquarium Hoods & Canopies: All-Glass Versa-Tops
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:32 PM   #12
 
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Oo yes its that aqueon kit. I got that cause didnt feel like byin everything else. But any way i do know that the both use ballast but different pins? Like different configures(double, quad right?)? But whats the difference between t5 and t8?
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:35 PM   #13
 
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Oo yes its that aqueon kit. I got that cause didnt feel like byin everything else. But any way i do know that the both use ballast but different pins? Like different configures(double, quad right?)? But whats the difference between t5 and t8?
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This will be very general, and aimed at our aquarium uses. First, the "T" refers to the tube diameter in 8ths of an inch. T12 was the original fluorescent tube, and as things change/improve, it was/is being replaced by the more energy-efficient T8. These are getting better too, for example the original T8 in 48 inches was 40 watts but most tubes today are 32w which is less energy but the same intensity (and sometimes even more). In other words, environmentally friendly.

T5 was developed for increased brightness/intensity and initially for the marine side of the hobby where tanks with corals need very high light. T5 being more intense light, fewer tubes are needed than with T8 to get the same intensity over the tank. Within T5 there are NO (normal output, roughly equivalent to the same size tube in T8), HO (high output, roughly 1.5 times brighter than T8) and now VHO and maybe even further.

The problem with T5 is that NO tubes are hard to come by; no one where I live has them. Which is not surprising perhaps, since why would one spend more momney for T5 when the less expensive T8 is the same result. HO is fine in some situations, but as most fixtures are still geared to marine tanks, they have 2, 3 or 4 tubes which is very bright. Two T5 HO tubes is the same as three T8 tubes.

There are situations in freshwater planted tanks where more light may be needed, for instance if you want the high-light plants, flowering plants, plant propagation, etc. The brighter the light, the faster most plants will grow--provided the nutrients are increased accordingly. This is why we call it high-tech; you need CO2 diffusion and daily dosing of nutrients. Without this, more light will not result in better plant growth but you will see algae.

As you have the Aqueon fixture, it is the same as mine (I like it) and will take one T8 24-inch tube. The one that comes with it is useless, but you can get a good tube for a few dollars from hardware-type stores. Look for the tube length (24 inches) in T8, and one with a 6500K (Kelvin) rating. GE, Phillips and Sylvania make them. The 6500K is the important thing. You can also buy comparable tubes in fish stores for more money, that's up to you. Life-Glo at 6700K or ZooMed's UltraSun at 6700K are two good tubes.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 06-22-2012 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #14
 
The pins are different but so is the ballast. I doubt a T8 ballast will light a T5 bulb especially a magnetic 'starter' type ballast typically found in strip lights. But beyond that even if it did the ballast itself only provides a certain wattage. The bulbs are standardized for the most part to run at a level where they are most efficient. The ballasts are then designed to run a tube of a specific lenght and diameter at that efficient level. Even if you wired a HO T5 bulb to your fixture and managed to get it to light it is not going consume any more then 17 watts since that is what your fixture provides. T5 bulbs if I remember right require more force to light, I've definitely never seen any T5 fixtures that don't have electronic ballasts.

The exception here is any type of HO fixture which use different ballasts then a normal output fixture. High output produces more light, but over all it is less efficient. HO T5 consume double the watts compared to NO T5 and produce 1.5 times the light as byron stated. The bulb life is also much shorter with HO T5 as the ballast is over driving the bulbs.

The availability of NO T5s depends a lot on where you live. My local home depot carries a few select T5 NO bulbs and a single 48" T5 HO bulb. They also sell 2', 3', and 4' single or dual NO T5 ceiling fixtures. If you have decent DIY skills its easy to buy one of these fixtures and just remove the ballast bulb holders and retrofit them into an aquarium hood. My local Menards carries a better selection of NO T5 bulbs. It is the only place that carries 6500K T5 bulbs around me, but..... not the 21" bulbs in a 6500K option >.< I have not found the NO T5s really any more expensive then the T8s its just more limited availability. They run around $13 for a 2 pack at Menards when not on sale.

You do not want a ton of light. Watts per gallon can vary a lot depending on bulb type, quality of reflectors and such. Some people are very good at managing low light levels. I certainly appreciate that ability and their patience, as its something I can not do lol. Most all my tanks run around 3 times the light byron uses. As mention it requires more beyond the light, expensive CO2 equipment is a biggy. Then dosing fertilizers which are also expensive if you don't buy and mix dry fertilizers. Then you have to figure out how much of what to dose which again depends on everything from light, plants, bioload, tap water, substrate, ect....

Somewhere between the two is what I prefer. Given the tank depth I would personally go with either 2 T8s, 2 NO T5s, or a single HO T5. You would need to use fertilizers a couple times a week, but not CO2.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:10 PM   #15
 
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Ok thank you useful info. :) So what im hearing is that its more of the kelvins and not really watts? So i would need a new fixture since mine only holds one bulb? Also the lighting would be around high-low light to low-moderate light? But any way thanks. :)
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:21 PM   #16
 
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K or Kelvins is qualitative, where watts is quantitative, you need to consider both

you don't necessarily need two bulbs, one will do
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:29 PM   #17
 
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Ok so first if it just shows: T5 Then thats normal output right? Ok then second if im goin with a t8 or t5no what is good watts? I know kelvins should be around 6,700k. Thanks
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:49 PM   #18
 
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yes the HOs will specifically say 'HO' or 'High Output'


you can also judge by the watts: 24" non-HO T5 will be 14 watts, 24" T5HO is 24 watts; 30" non-HO T5 is 18 watts, 30" T5HO is 31 watts; 24" T8 is 17 watts, no 30" T8 that I know of


looking at the numbers shows why wattage alone is not a good measure of light output, the 'T" number also has to be considered, the 24" T8 is higher watts than the non-HO T5 of equal length, but does not produce more light, maybe a little less


I just bought a Coralife single tube non-HO T5 with the 30" tube, previously had a similar non-HO T5 fixture from a different company, but it had a 24" tube and I didn't like the dark areas that resulted from the shorter tube, this produces all the light I want, but my tank is low-tech without CO2 and ferts
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:57 PM   #19
 
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Ok so first if it just shows: T5 Then thats normal output right?
Not necessarily, it should say on the tube.

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Ok then second if im goin with a t8 or t5no what is good watts? I know kelvins should be around 6,700k. Thanks
At this stage (same tube length, same type) watts is rather meaningless because all tubes in each size are basically the same watts. I'll use 48-inch because I am familiar with these, but the principle is the same for any tube length.

T8 in 48-inches were 40w. Then manufacturers started making them "better" to use less energy, so they are now coming out at 32w. The light output is the same; the 32w just produce it with less energy. And watts is simply the measurement of how much energy a tube uses to produce its light.

So, if I want a 48-inch tube with 6500K, I look for that, and pay no attention to the watts because it won't matter.

Applying it to your case, if you have a T8 fixture (which the Aqueon will), you just look for 24-inch T8 tubes with a 6500K. Any of them will be much the same, whether GE, Phillips, etc.

Does this make sense?
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #20
 
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Umm yea a little since the same
Length tubes are same wattage so yea.... Alittle but thank you for holdin up :)
Idk but can you run one bulb on a t5HO that can hold two?
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