To much light? - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 27 Old 11-30-2010, 11:57 PM
I agree with byron on the angles. I keep a breeding pair in a 55gal community. Angels can have major mood swings. I could see my male possibly killing my female in a 20 gallon. They have spawned 4 times and get along most of the time, but sometimes there is a "falling apart" where the female constantly stays out of sight of the male. He can tear her fins up pretty good.

.... I'm probably drunk.

This is how I lurk

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post #22 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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This morning I went to Lowes and bought 2 13 watt cfs 6500K screw in bulbs. Then onto the nearest LFS were I bought an AllGlass 24 inch strip light. I lined the inside of the black plastic strip light with polished allumumum sticky tape, screwed in the bulbs and after removing the resident CoralLife fixture plugged in the AllGlass strip light.

First reaction was that the screw in bulbs were noticeably bluer and light diffusion was about equal to the older fixture.

The new fixture has now been running for a couple of hours and I took some photos of the tank with my Nikon DSLR so I could compare the decrease in light intensity.

After normalization of the exposure data it appears that the replacement light (26 watts total) is producing slightly less then half the light intensity(less then one full stop) of the CoralLife strip which a mounts single 65 watt CF bulb. This bulb is advertised as burning at 6700K but its much more yellow then the new 6500K bulbs!

This is not what I expected. Given the almost 3 times greater wattage of the Coralife fixture and its polished reflector I was expecting to measure at least a 2 stops (4 times less light from the new fixture.)

Please note that I am only comparing the the ratio of BRIGHTNESS. I am not stating the measured light intensity.

Its probable that the screw in lights will lose intensity with use. However I don't believe that they will lose 1/2 of their initial brightness in a few weeks.

Does anyone have a reaction to this?
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post #23 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sailnut View Post
Getting a bit ahead of ourselves here... got to walk before I run. Once I get this light thing straightened out and everything running smoothly I can consider my options.

If nothing else my concept of housing shrimp and fish in a more or less naturalistic way seems to be playing out OK.

On learns by ones mistakes. There is an awful lot of information on fish keeping (much contradictory) around the web, an example, the bit with the Angel fish.

I am a home theater nut, RC Model aircraft and digital photography enthusiast but none of these hobbies has so much in the way of contradictory opinions offered up by so many self made pundits. There is nothing subjective about the output of a given bulb. It's measurable and should be presented in an agreed upon universal format . It took me 3 weeks to determine exactly what type of bulb was furnished with my strip light. Such a situation is non acceptable. Coralife advertised it as a 65 watt bub PERIOD! Not overly informative that.

I can take a model aircraft electric motor made by an obscure oriental manufacturer and get its operating parameters within minutes and there are hundreds of these motors in various sizes and form factors available.

My lighting misfortune is a beautiful example. In the RC model hobby there are spread sheets were one enters the data and tn response a suggested matrix of optimal components is generated. The needed raw data regarding the intensity and light quality of the various bulb options is available. Its a misfortune that no similar spread sheet exists. Yes I have seen the published graphs and there seems to be a matrix table around both of which make my eyes cross.

The present tank appeared to be about the minimum size for a budget starter tank if things work out I want to scale up from the subject aquarium.
Not a problem at all. I merely pointed out an issue that is going to become significant in time. When I see something like this, I honestly feel it would be a dis-service to the member and others to not make a comment. If I can help someone avoid a problem and keep them in the hobby with success, I am satisfied.

The fact that this hobby (aquarium fish) deals with living creatures--fish, plants, bacteria--makes it far more complex than most others. Fish and plants can respond similarly or differently in several different environments. There is sometimes no "right" or "wrong" method, but there are still methods that work better or have fewer risks perhaps. And sometimes there is a right and wrong, regardless of what others may advocate. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote, "The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it, and error is still error even though everyone believes it." Similarly here.

Which brings me to the contradictory information. The advantage of forums is that we can exchange not only ideas but also methods of success--and warn of failures. Notwithstanding that here again different scenarios can result in a different ending (success or failure), there are still some pretty well-documented absolutes. But when it comes to the requirements of a particular fish species, one always has to consider the source to determine the degree of reliability. I can speak to the information in our fish profiles because having written it I know its source. I begin by researching acknowledged authorities and ichthyologists, usually half a dozen or more sites. I use information on which they agree, and if there is contrary data from a reputable authority, I include it for a complete picture. It's comparable to taking the advice of a specialist rather than the GP; not that the latter is wrong, he is simply wise in referring to the higher authority. Science in this hobby is moving very fast these days, after years of quite the opposite. I linked a scientific study recently, the first of its kind, that has proven that maintaining shoaling fish in less than 5 heightens aggression and stress. Stress is a major cause of health problems as it weakens the immune system. All of us would be unwise to ignore any of this.


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 #24 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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You should make that last post a sticky. 100% on target
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post #25 of 27 Old 12-01-2010, 08:37 PM
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I would like to say Hear, Here! to Sailnut and Byron. I've found the ads regarding lighting (and other equipment at times), to be awful. The information is minimal at best in most of the ads and product descriptions and being new-again to this hobby, I'm easily lost and frustrated.
I would personally support stores and sites that were more user friendly and supplied more information about their products even if they were a bit more expensive.
USER FRIENDLY is the NEW priority!!

Resuming Fish Keeping in the Gentle Mountains of NE TN.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good people to do nothing."
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post #26 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Indeed the information the lighting manufactures provide is actually worse then useless. In an earlier post I described how I replaced an $80.00 name brand strip light with a non branded semi DIY light. Using a digital camera I found that its efficiency (aquarium illumination DELIVERED per watt) was much higher then the more expensive product.

Its obvious that the bulb, reflector and the position of the light assembly are mutually dependent upon each other. Why buy a light on legs? Whoever is engineering these things must know that light intensity is subject to the inverse square law. More likely is that their reflectors were designed to deliver focused illumination when a broader distribution is needed. Cheaper to raise the light then redesign the reflector.

As some here may know... electric powered model aircraft are capable of astonishing performance. WHY? Because it was realized that the prop, motor, battery and airframe are mutually dependent upon each other. Some bright souls developed spread sheets which optimized the various components for a given performance object (speed, endurance, weight and so on.) If you can build the thing straight its going to fly as calculated!

The aquarium hobby recognizes the reality of this but give only lip service. What does "balanced tank" imply and how can it be achived? Surely the mechanics can be quantified.

The situation with filtration, tank lighting and dimensions in this hobby presents a similar inter dependence to model aircraft but any acceptance or even common realization of same is at best given lip service. There is little or not quantification of the performance variables let alone their publication. Surely a manufacturer of strip lights could provide information on the angular distribution and efficiency of their reflectors. In reality most seem to avoid confessing the presence of one ! The only manufacturer who seems to spend money on development is Hagen/Fluval whose latest series of HOB filters are wonderfully engineered.

There are a lot more people keeping fish then building model planes but they just muddle along relying on anecdotal opinions.

Of course a model airplane has to be well engineered or it won't fly. Not the case with mass market aquariums which torture there unfortunate occupants to a lingering death.

Again Hagen seems to recognize the interdependence of the mechanical systems and their expanding line of purpose built tanks may point to the future. I see these tanks on display at the mass market stores. Hopefully they represent where this hobby is going.
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post #27 of 27 Old 12-02-2010, 11:45 AM
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I agree on the lack of info concerning equipment (light and filters) but I think there is a connection to the scientific advancement in this hobby that I mentioned previously. For years we knew very little about our fish--where they came from, what environmental conditions they live in, etc. Authors said planted tanks need 2-3 watts per gallon. Filters had to move the water at this or that number of gallons per minute to be efficient. This is all nonsense, as is now being proven. The variables really are significant.

Now that we are learning more about fish habitats, we are finding that some fish absolutely do not like bright light or fast flowing water. This stresses them out, and that causes innumerable health issues that would otherwise not occur. Even 20 years ago this was largely unknown. And given the quite remarkable difference in requirements between fish species, combining them in one aquarium takes a fair bit of research and into this comes the type of filter (if any) and the light for certain plants sufficient but not so much as to be detrimental long-term to the fish.

I could go on and on, but I expect I have made the point. However, I will do my best to respond to any questions from anyone on this.


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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