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Old 09-03-2003, 08:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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I did a search for this topic and it seems that I cannot find enough specifics to help me decide on lighting.

So after several long months of setting up my 240gal freshwater tank (I will spare the details for now) I am ready to square away my lighting.

I have tried all sorts of lighting on several different tanks over the years and found that my requirements aren't that big.

For the plants that I am using, the intensity does not need to be that strong based on past experience. I am using dwarf and giant hairgrass, tropical java fern, 4 types of Crypts, Bolbitus and Anubias.

The tank dimensions are 2'x2'x8'.

Metal Halides are not desired due to heat and size. I think T12, T8 or CF will due fine. I don't even think the CF is necessary with the plant pallet I am using.

T8 has given me great results with high internsity needing plants. The plants that I am using do not require serious lighting, so T12 could be the ticket.

I am leaning towards T12 because I think there are more "colors" to be found with this type of bulb. T8's tend to be too yellow. I like the ominous white, pink or blue that T12's can deliver.

The real question is, will T12's suffice for a 2' deep tank? I think 3 watts/gal would be sufficient, but that doesn't play too well when the tank is this deep.

Any suggestions, recommendations or past experience out there?

I need to get on this part of the project!

Thanks folks!

Keith
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Old 09-03-2003, 08:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I did a search for this topic and it seems that I cannot find enough specifics to help me decide on lighting.

So after several long months of setting up my 240gal freshwater tank (I will spare the details for now) I am ready to square away my lighting.

I have tried all sorts of lighting on several different tanks over the years and found that my requirements aren't that big.

For the plants that I am using, the intensity does not need to be that strong based on past experience. I am using dwarf and giant hairgrass, tropical java fern, 4 types of Crypts, Bolbitus and Anubias.

The tank dimensions are 2'x2'x8'.

Metal Halides are not desired due to heat and size. I think T12, T8 or CF will due fine. I don't even think the CF is necessary with the plant pallet I am using.

T8 has given me great results with high internsity needing plants. The plants that I am using do not require serious lighting, so T12 could be the ticket.

I am leaning towards T12 because I think there are more "colors" to be found with this type of bulb. T8's tend to be too yellow. I like the ominous white, pink or blue that T12's can deliver.

The real question is, will T12's suffice for a 2' deep tank? I think 3 watts/gal would be sufficient, but that doesn't play too well when the tank is this deep.

Any suggestions, recommendations or past experience out there?

I need to get on this part of the project!

Thanks folks!

Keith
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Old 09-03-2003, 09:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Getting 3 wpg out of T-12's into 240 gallons will probably require a lot of bulbs ana ballasts. The most energy and financially effecient route is probably going to be CF's. AHSupply is highly regarded by the pros on this list, and I am in the midst of upgrading my DIY hood with their product.

Actually, with the plants you listed, 3 wpg may be more than you need. You may not be able to grow thick foreground plants if you change your mind in the future. But if you DIY a hood with CF bulbs it will provide the flexibility of adding more in the future.

If I were you, I would get 2 of the AHSupply 6x55w retro kits and build them in a hood with a half dozen fans.

tank specs and bad pictures
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Old 09-03-2003, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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cf's and t-8's have a similar useful life. t-12's have a LOT shorter useful life. i would go with t-8's, you will require fewer t-8's to do the job of the t-12's. to do a lamp change with cf's will cost you an arm and a leg. i can buy many different colours of t-8's at my local lighting wholesaler for under 5 bucks per lamp.

720 watts at 40 watts per lamp = 18 lamps. the same effect could likely be had with about 12 or 14 t-8's (6 + 6) which would fit nicely in a 2' top.

before you make your choice, check for local suppliers for the phillips 850 lamp. they grow plants very well. if the colour is not what you want, try supplementing a couple of lamps of different colours till you get the right look and intensity. you will save quite a big buck in the long run.

rick
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Old 09-03-2003, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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As Tom Barr has stated several times, CF bulbs do not appreciably deteriorate in light quality over time. They will last until they burn out, which should be at least 2 years, sometimes up to 5 or 6.

He asks that people who disagree send him their 'old' lights and he will pay the postage.

tank specs and bad pictures
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I guess I need to call some local stores on the T8's. I didn't know the colors were that diverse as of yet.

I have a pile of CF's sitting in my garage with burnt out ballasts. I have had nothing but frustration with those worthless things. I literally have about 10 CF units. They put the ceapest ballasts known to man in those things and unless someone can prove to me that they last more than 6 months, I won't even consider using them again. I have a box full of CF bulbs too...all good.

I have heard AH Supply has decent DIY units, but have also heard negative things about them as well. I am not into throwing more money away.

I know the T8's work great and last long, are cheap and provide sufficient intensity. The color of the bulb is waht stops me, but I will look into it.

Keith
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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liquid gardens....you've got PM.

George

Tank specs in profile
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Old 09-04-2003, 03:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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How about VHO Lighing. Two Ice Cap 660 ballest and six VHO bulbs should work.
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