Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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yippee 08-01-2009 07:03 PM

Coralife light fixtures
Hello. I am looking at a 48 inch unit local to me. What are the ups and downs of these fixtures?

Thanks, Matt

Unrulyevil 08-03-2009 11:55 AM

I hear they catch on fire easily... but that's just a rumor :)

Ups.. cheap can get one under 120$ + it has 6 bulbs each 65W so that is nice...

aunt kymmie 08-03-2009 12:22 PM

I have coralife fixtures and haven't had a problem. I purchased them a year ago, long before I had read so many negatives about them. :-?

yippee 08-06-2009 01:54 AM

I've heard plenty of negatives too. What other fixtures are good? I'm needing good lighting to start growing plants in my 55 soon. The Coralife was sold to someone else instead.

WisFish 08-06-2009 09:36 AM

This is the fixture I use with my 55gal planted tank. You can look at my tank pics for results. It give about 2watts per gal, doesn't get too hot and the bulbs are easy to find. I just replaced the bubls with 3 Sylvania daylight (6500K) bulbs at $3.50 each.

Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Triple Tube Strip Lights

Unrulyevil 08-06-2009 09:42 AM

agree with Wisfish on this one. good variety of bulbs .

Byron 08-06-2009 10:17 AM

The light 'fixture' is irrelevant to plant growth (but important in other respects as I'll mention), it is the tubes in it that are important for plant growth. You can put any of the good tubes in a fixture provided they fit. The regular fixtures take T6, T8 and (I think) T10 (these refer to tube diameters). A T5 fixture will only take T5 tubes so you are limited (not all manufacturers make T5 tubes). Then there are the newer compact ones that I have not seen.

With fixtures, you want a good reliable one; I recently replaced two of mine (I think the ballast gave out on the oldest and the other just stopped working) and bought ones manufactured by All Glass Aquariums. They have good reflectors and electronic ballasts which are qwuick starting and use less energy and produce less heat, so said to last longer than standard ballast. The tubes that came with them are junk, but I replaced them with my preference and they are fine.

aunt kymmie 08-06-2009 11:21 AM

Byron- what tubes are your preference? You may have told us somewhere in another thread but you know how it our age we're lucky enough to remember what day it is. :lol:

SinCrisis 08-06-2009 11:49 AM

well if your fixture explodes into flames im sure that affects plant growth.. jk I use caralife fixture for mine and its done a superb job, hasn't failed yet and ive had it for over 1 year.

Byron 08-06-2009 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 223620)
Byron- what tubes are your preference? You may have told us somewhere in another thread but you know how it our age we're lucky enough to remember what day it is. :lol:

Know what you mean Kym, really do.:lol:;-)

First thing is full spectrum, or modifications to suit the situation. On my smaller tanks with one tube I always use Life-Glo2 which is 6700K and about the nearest to mid-day sun (which is around 6500K). Colour looks natural, plants respond (my single 25w over the 33g had very good plant growth as you previously remarked). The regular Life-Glo [without the "2"] is more intense but also about $10-$15 more, and as the Life-Glo 2 has worked well i can't see changing.

On tanks with two tubes I use one Life-Glo2 and then one Lightning Rod T6 Super Daylight 11,000K (on the 115g and 90g which are deeper, and blue penetrates water better and is the colour most required by plants to photosynthesis) and one Phillips Daylight Deluxe which is ever so slightly warmer (almost unnoticeable) on the 70g (this tank is shallower, and is being aquascaped as a SE Asian marsh so the warmer hue suits it).

Over the past few months I tried a couple of other tubes. I had a Zoo Med Tropic Sun 5500K mixed with a Lightning Rod 11000K on my 90g and it was good (plants did well, and the higher blue of the 11000K balanced the higher red of the 5500K; you can see this combination in the photos of my (now former) 90g aquarium. On the former 70g (still the one in the photos) i had a Life-Glo 2 and a Phillips. When I reset the 115g a couple of weeks ago and moved the plants and fish of the 90g into it, I settled on a Life-Glo 2 and the Lightning Rod. I intend to go this same mix on the 90g when the lfs gets more Lightning Rod tubes in. The new 70g has a Life-Glo 2 and a Phillips. Photos will be posted of the new tanks when I manage it.

The Life-Glo 2 is the more expensive (in my area stores) but having tried others I see the value. I was also lucky to pick up 9 tubes from the local Petcetera store that is closing at less than 1/3 cost, so I'm set for this tube for three years.:-) The Zoo Med series is less expensive but from my experience a good tube, and comes in similar varieties to the Hagen -Glo series. I check the spectrum charts and K ratings and have tried them accordingly.

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