Help aquascaping my new 40G Breeder - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-05-2012, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
17 watts means 24" T8, you may want to try and get a 36" fixture with the 25 watt 36" T8, that would provide better coverage so the sides aren't so dark
I would love to buy a better light fixture but unfortunately just can't afford it right now. Once I have everything set up how I like though that will probably be the first thing I save for.


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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Fluorescent tubes come in a basic wattage for the tube length. So the length that fits your fixture will be that wattage only. However, the phosphors used in the tube affect the colour (spectrum) and intensity (dare I say it, lumens) and these can vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, or depending upon the type of tube (how it is made, the phosphors inside).

As an example, because I am most familiar with them, 48-inch tubes. T8 used to be 40w. Then some manufacturers came out with 32w tubes that emitted basically the same light. Energy-efficient, the buzzword today. This is one example. But the other is the phosphors. In the Hagen "Glo" series the Life-Glo is the best. It emits twice the intensity of the Aqua-Glo, yet both are 40w. Then there is the Power-Glo, also 40w, but even more intensity, just a tad above Life-Glo. But of these, only the Life-Glo has the balanced spectrum that renders colours accurately.

I don't think you can do better than the Life-Glo. I use this on all my single-tube tanks. The Power-Glo might be worth trying, if you don't mind the purplish hue it casts; it is a tad brighter, and plants do well under it. I had one years ago. For a bit less cost, there is ZooMed's UltraSun; I know these are very close to the Hagen tubes, and I do have a couple but not the UltraSun which is the best spectrum alone. No one here carries these any longer, so I can't compare them for you. But I can't see it being much different.

Byron.
Great thanks for the explanation Byron. I didn't know tubes came in only one wattage. This is my first experience with them so it's all new to me. I will look for either the Life-Glo or UntraSun tomorrow when I go out.
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-05-2012, 10:18 PM
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If you have a Petco, they sale the Zoomed UltraSun bulbs there.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 11:15 AM
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I would love to buy a better light fixture but unfortunately just can't afford it right now. Once I have everything set up how I like though that will probably be the first thing I save for.
I know where you're coming from here, but with the 24" bulb over a 36"x18" tank there is a lot of area without much light.
On a temporary basis until you get the full length fixture/bulb you could add something like this:




Remove the clamp, add a 8-10 watt 6500K sprial CFL and put it next to the current fixture.

It's not pretty, but it would get light to all parts of the tank.

Also, for midground plants, one of my favorites is the 'compacta' variety of the amzon sword. It usually stays about 8" high and has a really nice shape, especially when allowed to grow without being crowded by too many other plants around it. I've also been wanting to try the 'Kleiner Prinz', another smaller sword, I think it gets to about 12" high, but I don't have first hand experience with this one yet.
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post #14 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
Quantum, I have 2 extra light fixtures for a 10g tank. Both would take CFL bulbs would 4 6500K bulbs work better then what I'm currently running or some combination of both?
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 01:20 PM
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I would not go to some "temporary" setup, but rather suggest changing from the current to something permanent. Reason being that you want to improve the light permanently, and the intermediate fix might actually be "better" than the end fix, if you follow. All these bulbs and tubes produce slightly different light.

If your end situation is going to be the new tube in the existing fixture, move directly to that. On the other hand, if you are OK with having the other fixtures permanently, say so and we can look into those as the permanent solution.

Byron.

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 #16 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 03:46 PM
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Just going by the photos it looks like there is very little light getting to the rear corners. It may just be that the photos make it look darker that it is in real life so you may be alright, it just seems like very little light to me.

The two ten gallon lights with 4 CFLs, I think would be a good solution that would save the expense of a new fixture. I would be interested in the others' opinions on the amount of light since they have more experience with this type of set-up than I, but four low-watt CFLs over this size tank doesn't seem excessive. I've seen as low as 9 watt CFLs available in the 6500K color temp so you have some options regarding the amount of light.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 03:56 PM
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I agree, I think 4 CFLs can easily suffice, it is another option. And 10w bulbs should be enough. It depends on whether SomeDudeAtHome wants the fluorescent fixture he now has over the tank, which should work with the new tube; or instead the two incandescant fixtures with the four CFL bulbs, GE Daylight 6500K or comparable. My earlier point which may not have come across as intended, was that either of these should be decided and implemented to move in one stage to something better.

Byron.

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 #18 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
Thanks to both of you you've been very helpful. I think I will go with the 2 10g lights since I think I'll be able to get a little better coverage that way. I don't know if they make them but if I was able to get 2 8000K bulbs and 2 6500K bulbs for the fixtures would that be better than just the 6500K?
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SomeDudeAtHome View Post
Thanks to both of you you've been very helpful. I think I will go with the 2 10g lights since I think I'll be able to get a little better coverage that way. I don't know if they make them but if I was able to get 2 8000K bulbs and 2 6500K bulbs for the fixtures would that be better than just the 6500K?
I've never messed with mixed CFLs, mainly because of a visual problem. When you have fluorescent tubes full length, you can have two different spectrum tubes and the light from both is distributed evenly across the length and width of the tank, providing the same hue throughout. But with the CFL bulbs, each will light the water directly beneath it. And once you mix bulb spectrum, you are going to end up with some type of pseudo-psychedelic mish-mash.. I wouldn't.

Four Daylight 6500K bulbs, 10w, will work fine. You could use 13w perhaps, even if just one over the highest-light plant? I'd want to be there to see the tank before actually recommending this. Even 10w will probably be better. Over my 20g two of these is ideal light.

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 #20 of 24 Old 01-06-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
The whole different colors looking odd thing did cross my mind but I wasn't sure if that's how it would actually work. I'll buy some 6500K cfls then and be done with it. BTW Byron if you ever wanna stop by and help me with my tank feel free I'm not too far away from you haha
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