I'm thinking of getting an All-Glass 12" incandescent strip light and using one of those screw-in mini PC bulbs in it. This is for my 2.5-gallon tank. I was originally considering a Coralife Mini Aqualight, but that would be overkill. I just want something just a little bit stronger than the 8W normal-output fluorescent I'm using now.
I would like to know:
Does the inc. fixture have a reflector?
Will the bulb socket position put the bulb near the center or off to one of the sides?
Will a 10W mini PC bulb fit properly in the fixture?
Would this actually be an improvement from the 8W N-O fluorescent or would poor light distribution make it worse?
On a different note, one of the LFS's I frequent carries the coolest "nano-tank." It's a 4-gallon rectangular glass aquarium meant to hold up to four bettas. But if you don't put the dividers in, it makes a pretty nice "long" tank. Apparently, the length is the same as a 5.5-gallon, so you can fit a 16" strip light over it perfectly. With one of those palm filters, it makes a great little set-up, if you can work around the relatively shallow back-to-front depth. I guess it makes light distribution (back-to-front) less of an issue, though. Only thing is, if you use an incandescent 16" strip light, there's only one socket, which is skewed off far towards the left side, so one side ends up being deprived of much lighting at all. That's why I asked about the placement of the bulb socket in the 12" strip.
Well, I hope somebody can answer my questions. TIA!
I was thinking of doing the same thing with my ten gallon. It has two 15 watt incandescents in it now that I dont like. I was going to order some of the screw in PCs from Big Al's. They only thing I have heard about these types of PC lights is that there is a lot of wasted light. Since they curl around and around a lot of the light is lost. I still think that it would be better than incandescents, but I would try to find the highest wattage PCs that you could. Where were you planning on getting them?
They would definitely be a large step up from incandescents, I'm sure, but the light I'm using right now is 8W normal fluorescent. It's probably only going to be a small step up, which is what I'm going for. I didn't want to blind my fish and invite algae with 18W of full-on PC lighting, nor did I want to be trimming plants every other day. I just wanted a hair more to get slightly better growth from the plants that are already in there.
I've seen the mini PC bulbs at lots of places, but they're pretty expensive. Big Al's is the cheapest I know of, but it'll take forever before it gets here. They don't have the fixture, either. I'll probably end up dishing out the extra bucks and pick it up locally.
Art - these lights are made by Coralife and by All-Glass. They're a relatively new product. First I heard of them was earlier last year. They're pretty commonplace, now, and can even be found at PetsMart.
I got the incandescent fixture, and just as I thought, the socket *is* to one side. Not only that, but the "reflector" only spans that half of the fixture, so when I turned it on over my tank, only half of my tank gets blasted with light, while the other side is really no better off than before. And wouldn't you know it - most of the plants that should be getting more light are on the *wrong* side of the strip light... So I have to set it backwards. No biggie.
Don't get me wrong, though. I think these little nuances can be worked around without much problem... Overall, I'm pleased with the effect and I think it's going to be good. Actually, it might work to my advantage to have a "darker side" for green-spot-attracting plants like Anubias petit. I just wish that the socket were on the other side of the fixture :roll: . I'm mostly excited to see if this will make my Hottonia palustris in this tank grow bigger.
Will post again with any interesting observations.