How bright is too bright? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb How bright is too bright?

My wife really wanted a Betta, so I caved and we now have a 10g. The hood uses the old style T10 incandescent bulbs. In their place I put in two 14W 5000K CFLs simply because I had them laying around the house.

Let me tell you, that tank looks BRIGHT compared to my 20g that has a single 18" T8 8000K light.

I put some of my Brazilian Penneywort in floating, along with some Wisteria to hopefully provide some shade. Is 28W going to be way too bright? What's a good number for 'moderate' to 'moderate-bright' light?

I've been looking for those tubular CFLs but am having a really hard time. Lowe's had 10W 6500K ones, but are $9 each... seams really expensive. The 14W ones I'm using right now are the regular spiral kind you would use in table lamps. They literally just squeeze in, and touch the metal reflector, hopefully that won't become a problem.

I'm wondering if it would be worth buying two 10W GE Daylight spiral bulbs that would be a more correct 6500K. They are $11 for two. If 28W isn't too much though, I may stick with the 5000K and see how it goes.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 08:19 PM
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I would go with 10w 6500k. Thats probably going to be too bright even but with enough floating plants it will be good.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 12:09 AM
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I use spiral CFLs (x3) on my 20 long planted tank, and wound up cutting back all the way to the lowest wattage I could! I think they were 8 or 9 watts each. Ill check when I go over there tomorrow. Aside from that, I dont think it would be offensively bright, but you might wind up having to fertilize (if you dont already) to keep the algae from over taking your plants!

I vote for see what happens, but im leaning towards too bright.

As far as the bulbs touching, Just check periodically on the outside of the light housing to make sure it isnt getting excessively hot. Some get hotter than others, but mine have been fine, it will help that its touching metal to diffuse some of the heat before it warps the plastic :)

plan b could include taking the fixture out of the lamp, redrilling a hole for the fixture to mount off-set of center, and only using one of the sockets. Its pretty easy.

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 01:04 PM
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I use two 10w CFL daylight 6500K GE bulbs over my 10g, and i don't consider that overly bright. They do make 5w CFL bulbs but I could only get them in warm white and I didn't like it. With good floating plant cover the two 10w CFL daylight should work.

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 #5 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I use two 10w CFL daylight 6500K GE bulbs over my 10g, and i don't consider that overly bright. They do make 5w CFL bulbs but I could only get them in warm white and I didn't like it. With good floating plant cover the two 10w CFL daylight should work.
Is it these that you use?
http://www.amazon.com/85393-10-Watt-DayLight-Spiral-2-Pack/dp/B000X487XK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1328640981&sr=8-4
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
I think that's it. Mine has similar writing on the base (I threw away the package), "Daylight" should be the 6500K bulbs. I buy them in packs of 2 in Canada for $8-9.

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 #7 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 06:33 PM
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those might actually be the ones I use on my 20 long. I was there today and forgot to look, making me a liar i suppose :P

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 08:39 PM
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I guess my first question would be what is the primary purpose of your lighting ? Is it for plants, or seeing the fish in a good light ?
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 11:52 PM
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I went all the way back across town, just for you.

I have 3 10 watt spiral CFLs on my 20 long. Id imagine the extra width and depth makes up for the extra bulb, so youre probably 10-20% up on my tank. I think that would be about perfect :)

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish monger View Post
I guess my first question would be what is the primary purpose of your lighting ? Is it for plants, or seeing the fish in a good light ?
It's for the plants.


Thanks for the help and information everyone!
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