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lamps--purple?

This is a discussion on lamps--purple? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think the health and benefit to the plants and fish come first. A lot of ...

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Old 02-10-2010, 11:22 PM   #11
 
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think the health and benefit to the plants and fish come first. A lot of people don't like purplish hue. That's why I like that link. It gives a person an idea, before buying bulbs, what they will look like. I studied those intensely looking at the colors on the fish, the plant greenieness, lol, the over all tank hue. I came up with my choices from that link.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:23 AM   #12
 
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I'd like to clear up some misconception. But first, on the "appearance," this is obviously a matter of personal choice whether you want your tank looking purplish, ghoulish, spectral, or natural. I mention several because different tubes will give a different hue:
  • the so-called plant lights like Aqua-Glo and Flora-Glo and similar will be purplish;
  • tubes high in blue will look ghoulish or spectral, like moonlight, all the reds and greens (fish and plants) lose their true colour;
  • full spectrum balanced tubes will be natural, fish and plant colours will be as they really are.
That's the appearance; but more importantly is the light intensity for the plants. And the "purplish" lights are not anywhere near as intense in light output as the full spectrum. It is not just how they look to us. We know that lux is in relation to lumens, the measurement of the intensity.

The Life-Glo 2 is full spectrum and the lux is 320. The Aqua-Glo by the same manufacturer (Hagen) is only 130 lux. That is less than half the light intensity. At this rate, you would need three of the Aqua-Glo just to equal the light intensity of one Life-Glo 2. The tank would still be purple, and very much so. Plus you would be spending three times the cost in energy. This makes no sense to me.

And to put this into better perspective, I tried the T5 HO Life-Glo 2 last summer. This tube emits 430 lux. The T8 Life-Glo 2 emits 320. That difference of approximately 100 lux was very noticeable to me; I comically said that my fish would be asking me for sunglasses if I forced them to exist under the T5 HO light. After a full week of using it over my 115g, I took it back and got the regular T8 fixture. The point here is that what may seem like a small difference in lux is very significant.

Thus, I do not recommend these so-called plant lights; they were all the rage back in the early 1980's when I got into planted aquaria, but even before the end of that decade they were being set aside by plant authorities in favour of full spectrum due not only to the appearance but the obvious improvement in plant growth.

Final comment, in a scientific study it was proven that aquatic plants in an aquarium had the strongest growth under a combination of full spectrum and cool white; both these tubes are within the 6500-7000K range. Second best was cool white alone; third best was full spectrum alone; and last was warm white. I believe in having the minimal amount of light over a tank, and thus with two tubes I use the full spectrum/cool white combo, and with one I use full spectrum enhanced so I have good colour rendition plus good plant growth. This has worked for 15 years with several various manufacturer's tubes.

Byron.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I'd like to clear up some misconception. But first, on the "appearance," this is obviously a matter of personal choice whether you want your tank looking purplish, ghoulish, spectral, or natural. I mention several because different tubes will give a different hue:
  • the so-called plant lights like Aqua-Glo and Flora-Glo and similar will be purplish;
  • tubes high in blue will look ghoulish or spectral, like moonlight, all the reds and greens (fish and plants) lose their true colour;
  • full spectrum balanced tubes will be natural, fish and plant colours will be as they really are.
That's the appearance; but more importantly is the light intensity for the plants. And the "purplish" lights are not anywhere near as intense in light output as the full spectrum. It is not just how they look to us. We know that lux is in relation to lumens, the measurement of the intensity.

The Life-Glo 2 is full spectrum and the lux is 320. The Aqua-Glo by the same manufacturer (Hagen) is only 130 lux. That is less than half the light intensity. At this rate, you would need three of the Aqua-Glo just to equal the light intensity of one Life-Glo 2. The tank would still be purple, and very much so. Plus you would be spending three times the cost in energy. This makes no sense to me.

And to put this into better perspective, I tried the T5 HO Life-Glo 2 last summer. This tube emits 430 lux. The T8 Life-Glo 2 emits 320. That difference of approximately 100 lux was very noticeable to me; I comically said that my fish would be asking me for sunglasses if I forced them to exist under the T5 HO light. After a full week of using it over my 115g, I took it back and got the regular T8 fixture. The point here is that what may seem like a small difference in lux is very significant.

Thus, I do not recommend these so-called plant lights; they were all the rage back in the early 1980's when I got into planted aquaria, but even before the end of that decade they were being set aside by plant authorities in favour of full spectrum due not only to the appearance but the obvious improvement in plant growth.

Final comment, in a scientific study it was proven that aquatic plants in an aquarium had the strongest growth under a combination of full spectrum and cool white; both these tubes are within the 6500-7000K range. Second best was cool white alone; third best was full spectrum alone; and last was warm white. I believe in having the minimal amount of light over a tank, and thus with two tubes I use the full spectrum/cool white combo, and with one I use full spectrum enhanced so I have good colour rendition plus good plant growth. This has worked for 15 years with several various manufacturer's tubes.

Byron.
Thanks Byron, and I am sure Stephanie is going to find your response helpful to her question. I could start another thread for myself but Stephanie's question goes right along with what I wanted to know.

I have the 2 Full Spectrum Life Glo tubes (both are 20 watts each). It did not say Life Glo "2". I want to change out the Sun Glo that I have for the third bulb...came with the tank. It is only 17 watt and gives off I guess what you would call a warm hue....on the yellow side. Should I go with another Life Glo Full Spectrum or a cool white like you said? I guess the cool white would be best since you said that it was proven the best was a combination. The only reason why I was considering the Aqua Glo was from some search results online. They rated it better for the plants than the Life Glo full spectrum. It can get confusing. So, I thought by adding one of those that could balance it out a bit. But, now that I read what you say about the energy and the lux and the type of light the Aqua Glo has, I won't go with that.

What cool white tube do you recommend? I assume I can probably get these at Home Depot. ?? I am using three tubes since my tank is deeper and only can use the 24" tubes which are only 20 watts each.

Thank you as always.

Last edited by HollyinWA; 02-11-2010 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by HollyinWA View Post
Thanks Byron, and I am sure Stephanie is going to find your response helpful to her question. I could start another thread for myself but Stephanie's question goes right along with what I wanted to know.

I have the 2 Full Spectrum Life Glo tubes (both are 20 watts each). It did not say Life Glo "2". I want to change out the Sun Glo that I have for the third bulb...came with the tank. It is only 17 watt and gives off I guess what you would call a warm hue....on the yellow side. Should I go with another Life Glo Full Spectrum or a cool white like you said? I guess the cool white would be best since you said that it was proven the best was a combination. The only reason why I was considering the Aqua Glo was from some search results online. They rated it better for the plants than the Life Glo full spectrum. It can get confusing. So, I thought by adding one of those that could balance it out a bit. But, now that I read what you say about the energy and the lux and the type of light the Aqua Glo has, I won't go with that.

What cool white tube do you recommend? I assume I can probably get these at Home Depot. ?? I am using three tubes since my tank is deeper and only can use the 24" tubes which are only 20 watts each.

Thank you as always.
Yes, the science speaks for itself. As for cool white, I have two at present.

On my 115g, I have a Lightning Rod Ultra Daylight 11,000K tube plus a Life-Glo 2 tube, both 40w. The LR is obviously high in blue, but when combined with the Life-Glo 2 which is a strong natural light on its own it is nicely balanced so the tank does not take on that spectral hue.

On the other two tanks, I have a Phillips Daylight Deluxe 40w plus again a Life-Glo 2. It is not as "blue" as the LR but it does accent blue a bit; I experimented with this tube and the regular Phillips Daylight and the Life-Glo, and this tube (Daylight Deluxe) definitely was a tad more blue in that situation.

For 12 years I used Sylvania tubes, one daylight and one enhanced daylight (can't remember the exact name, it is comparable to the Phillips). I left those only because I can't get them; Home Depot stopped carrying Sylvania in Canada and went to Phillips. The Life-Glo 2 I got because a local fish store was closing and they were on sale at 1/4 cost, so I got enough for 3 years (one per tank). They are a good full spectrum tube, and I couldn't pass that up.

The Life-Glo 2 and Life-Glo are identical in colour rendition. The Life-Glo is higher output (higher lumens/lux) due to a special coating on half the tube that focuses the light out the other side instead of all around, so it directs light into the aquarium better (providing you put the tube in the right way of course). I like this on my 33g which has one tube, though presently I'm using a Life-Glo 2. The Life-Glo is more expensive than the Life-Glo 2, by $10 for a 48-inch tube in Canada. From my experience I can't see the value of this over the dual-tube tanks.

Byron.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:54 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post

Final comment, in a scientific study it was proven that aquatic plants in an aquarium had the strongest growth under a combination of full spectrum and cool white; both these tubes are within the 6500-7000K range. Second best was cool white alone; third best was full spectrum alone; and last was warm white. I believe in having the minimal amount of light over a tank, and thus with two tubes I use the full spectrum/cool white combo, and with one I use full spectrum enhanced so I have good colour rendition plus good plant growth. This has worked for 15 years with several various manufacturer's tubes.

Byron.
Glad I read this before buying the complimentary light for the "purple". Also, glad this thread was here to guide me through the lighting for my next tank so I don't have confusion after buying lamps this time.
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