Meeting Lighting Requirements
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Meeting Lighting Requirements

This is a discussion on Meeting Lighting Requirements within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> My lid and lighting is a DIY project. We have the lid finished. It is clear plexiglass. I WOULD get this: Lights of America ...

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Meeting Lighting Requirements
Old 01-01-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
 
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Meeting Lighting Requirements

My lid and lighting is a DIY project. We have the lid finished. It is clear plexiglass. I WOULD get this: Lights of America 4' Solid State Shop Light, White: Decor : Walmart.com HOWEVER, if I just lay that ontop of my lid, the heat from the lights may actually melt and warp the plexiglass. We live in an apartment, so we're not very willing to hang a heavy and breakable object from our roof/or wall.

So in an attempt to fix this issue, I was thinking 2 or 3 of these lamps. Mainstays Clip Lamp, Black: Decor : Walmart.com 1 at each end and 1 in the middle. I would be using these bulbs, Great Value 23W Daylight CFL, 4pk: Decor : Walmart.com


Now, I'm mainly using low-med lighting plants. Nothing high lighting. Opinions?

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
 
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Not sure about much of the other stuff, but the Kelvin on those bulbs is 5000k. From my very rudimentary understanding I believe plants grow best at 6700k.

I'd wait until someone with more technical knowledge comes along, though :)
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Not sure about much of the other stuff, but the Kelvin on those bulbs is 5000k. From my very rudimentary understanding I believe plants grow best at 6700k.

I'd wait until someone with more technical knowledge comes along, though :)
Right, but there would be 2-3 of those bulbs. Wouldn't that make the Kelvin rating at 10k or 15k?
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:41 PM   #4
 
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I found CFLs on Drs. Foster and Smith, the Mini Compact Color Max bulbs seem to have full spectrum at 6700k. They are a bit pricey at $8.50 a bulb though.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:45 PM   #5
 
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I don't think Kelvin works like that, but I might be wrong. I'd think each bulb would need full spectrum daylight, between 5500k - 6700k, with the optimal being closer to 6700k. The Kelvin is the bulb temperature, from what I understand.

Sorry, I know I'm not that helpful :/
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
 
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Fishy how thick is your Plexiglas?? I had a 55 gallon setup like that once. I found that the thicker Plexiglas won't warp when you have the light fixure sitting on top of the tank. The thin stuff however will like you said.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
 
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Not even a quarter inch thick :/
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
Right, but there would be 2-3 of those bulbs. Wouldn't that make the Kelvin rating at 10k or 15k?
Jentrala is correct in responding on this. The Kelvin is the colour temperature [nothing to do with "heat" temperature] of light as we perceive it. Sunlight is around 6000K [can't remember the exact number off the top of my head] and light with a lower K number is more "warm" while light with a higher K number is more "cool" in appearance. Warm involves more red and less blue, and cool involves less red and more blue.

Scientifically controlled studies indicate that aquarium plants respond best [= faster photosynthesis, all else being equal] to light between 5000K and 7000K. The most successful tubes over planted tanks are those within the 6000K to 7000K range. The "daylight" type are around 6500K so these are right where you want things. With more than one tube over a tank, you can mix the K to suit your preference for hue; a 6500K with a 5000K will provide good light for the plants but have a "warmer" tone, whereas a 6500K plus a 10,000K will be "cooler" in its tone.

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
 
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Okay
So say I got the Lights of America fixture, would 2 wood pieces similar to 2x4s hold the fixture up enough from the plexiglass?

Also, whats the difference between T5 and T8? While at HD, I saw the T5s were smaller than T8s.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
 
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Also, whats the difference between T5 and T8? While at HD, I saw the T5s were smaller than T8s.
The "T" number is the diameter of the tube in 8ths of an inch. So T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch diameter, while T5 is 5/8 inch diameter.

But the important point is that these two are very different. They will only fit their respective fixture, so T8 in a T8 and T5 in a T5. The T5 are more advanced so they produce more light intensity than the same type and length T8 tube. Over a 4-foot tank, two T8 tubes work, or one T5 HO tube works.

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