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Yeah, yeah I know It's just my poor sintaxis. When I started I never understood why would anyone care about colour temperature, if the real thing that matters to plants is light spectrum, so why labelling in kelvins and not in nanometres? . That's what surprised me most. And everyone seems to base their decisions on kelvins and not on spectrum. What I meant by blue light, was that when we studied the effects of light on pigments, Calvin cycle, Rusbisco,etc, the blue peak was ignored and we focused on the red peak of the light spectrum. At least with angiosperms. I will research more on the matter, but I suspect blue light is not as useful as red light for plants, and maybe that's why it was not mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #182 ·
One photon of blue or red light produces the same amount of photosynthesis.
 

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No. Blue light is less effective than red light, as it was discovered in the 70's. And green light is significant only in thick leaves, where green light can reach deeper in the leaf's mesophyll. This is measured in terms of carbondioxe fixation. Not in term of molecular fluorescense, excitation,etc of the pigments. This doesn't mean that blue light is useless.

sources:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002157171900227
http://pcp.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/4/684.full
http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/8/2283.full
 

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Newt reminds me of a college professor who is very knowledgeable but unable to talk in layman's terms. I prefer the KISS principle---KEEP IT SIMPLE STUDID---just be like Consumer Reports and tell me what bulbs you found most satisfactory. I have zeroed in on the 6700K Daylight and don't have any problem with algae at all. My tank is a 55 gallon with an Eihiem filtration system. I stopped using Eihiem medea and just use charcoal & 100% polyester. I don't even buy the polyester at the pet store, instead I buy a big ole pillow on sale that's the exact same polyester. I think the trick is to change the polyester about twice a year. It works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #186 ·
Newt reminds me of a college professor who is very knowledgeable but unable to talk in layman's terms. I prefer the KISS principle---KEEP IT SIMPLE STUDID---just be like Consumer Reports and tell me what bulbs you found most satisfactory. I have zeroed in on the 6700K Daylight and don't have any problem with algae at all. My tank is a 55 gallon with an Eihiem filtration system. I stopped using Eihiem medea and just use charcoal & 100% polyester. I don't even buy the polyester at the pet store, instead I buy a big ole pillow on sale that's the exact same polyester. I think the trick is to change the polyester about twice a year. It works for me.
Well, I thought I explained it enough so that others could determine what was good. It's a very old article and the bulbs at the time were mainly T12, T10, CF/PC and some T8s. We are now past T12 and most T8s and onto T5,T5HO and LED. IMO, LEDs are a few years away from where they need to be. I could tell you what I like but others may not be happy with the looks of the tank; as everyone has their opinion. I did find the following T8 combo to be very effective: Philips Aquarelle, Philips ADV and Allglass 8000K. I always use Sylvania T12 GroLux Standard and Wide Spectrum: more for dawn/dusk effect than for growth. I now use some T5HO bulbs and an Aquarelle. I like to mix bulbs both for effect and growth.
Regards, Dr Newt
 

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Need to replace my 4 (2+2) power compacts, 55 or 65 watt is what I have on the 75gal. In the past I have used 2ea 9325K or Colormax, in combo with 2ea 6700k and have like the red they bring out in my Ammania Gracilis and Limnophilia Aromatica(sp?).

Any suggestions on what might come close to those today. I just need to replace the bulbs at this time. Would love to move up to LED but, cannot afford them.

TIA,
Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #188 ·
It's been so long since I've had to deal with biax bulbs (except for my shrimp tank) That I really don't know what's good out there. Don't bother with LED yet. They aren't there in development for planted tanks yet. You would be better served going T5HO.

Are the colormax no longer available?

I've always found that mixing bulbs of diff kelvin produces the best results. Like 8800K w/ 5000K.
 

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Confused

NEWT!!! I loved your article man.
Well... Honestly, i have read many articles before and got near about the same info (in bits and pieces) but this thread of yours is really good for those who want to get technical.

And, I hope you can answer my queries cuz i am seriously confused right now as I am planning to start a planted fish tank.
Basically, i am confused on whether to go for for SHO CFL or T2 lights? (LED is out of the question cuz frankly, i am broke)
Or should i just go for T5HO lights?
Also, i have some confusion regarding the Kelvin Rating.

SHO CFL
SHO CFL's are used in hydroponics!!! Like... quite a few people grow radishes and tomatoes and what not under SHO CFL lights.
This is pretty cool to know cuz if you can grow an onion with this then it's pretty reliable :p
The WPG* rule for a SHO CFL i came across was:
a. 2 to 2.5 wpg for freshwater setup
b. 2.25 to 2.75 wpg for marine setup
*i know the WPG is not to be taken seriously but i take it as a beginner's guideline.

T2
T2's are ultra-thin
The WPG rule for T2 that i came across is:
a. 1 to 1.25 wpg for freshwater setup
b. 1.5 to 1.75 wpg for marine setup
*this seems good for me as i want to minimize the energy i consume cuz i run up hefty electric bills easily :/

T5
T5's are thin. It maybe old technology but is still quite popular & selling.
The WPG rule for T5 i believe is 2-3wpg (although the 2-4wpg was for T8 and 2-5 wpg was for T12. i just dunno why the lower limit is same for all :D )
and T5HO being Higher Output lights must be near SHO-CFL's WPG requirement (i am guessing)

Now, whether i select SHO CFL or T2 lights, what's next?
See... i think i have understood why Kelvin Rating OR Lumen per Watt are NOT to be considered solely before deciding on the light.
BUT... i am still confused with the Kelvin Rating part.
To elaborate, say i take a 6500k T5 light without checking other parameters.
I could have easily made a mistake cuz this light may:
1. have weak PUR/PAR output
2. have a dominant green wavelength spike (which the plants don't need)
This would mean that the light is not very efficient (from the plant's perspective, although from our perspective it looks nice & bright)
So basically, a 6500k light should have a good PUR output & have red &/or blue wavelength dominant spikes instead of green wavelength dominant spikes.
(Reason being that underwater plants have evolved to utilize mostly the red & blue light wavelengths rather than the green light wavelength)

Now this leads to a confusion.
A 6500k light is supposed to be white & since it's white, it should technically give out equal quantities of red, green & blue wavelengths.
Right?
Why then do wavelength spikes occur?
Can the wavelength spike alter the color of the 6500k?
If a wavelength spike does alter the color, won't it contradict the concept of Kelvin Rating?
(cuz you know... a 6500k must look white and not greenish or orangish or pinkish or whatever)

After noting the models of available SHO-CFL/T2/T5 lights available in my country, where can i get details such as:
1. Dominant wavelength output graph
2. Wavelength of light system giving (in nm's)
3. PUR/PAR output

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other sources:
http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/aquarium_lighting.html
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...bs-6500k-rating-make-95749/page2/#post1009402
http://www.myfishtank.net/forum/aqu...10-000k-little-lesson-light-temperatures.html
http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/Wavelengths_for_Colors.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature
 

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dono where T2 fits
T5HO vs LED, where lumens rates, ...
T5HO beat LED arrays of the same size in watts per lumen. (what people see)
unfortunately this doesn't mean anything with PAR or PUR (what the plants use)

Matav.
for Flouresent lights and their color spikes, ... the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (ROYGBIV), the human eye i think really makes all it's colors based off red, green, blue, being more sensitive towards the green/yellow.

we see orange just fine, based on how much red & how much green and the brain interprets the rest. (i'm going by really really old memory, so it might be beyond fuzzy)

as for "white" light, ... it appears white for the same reason, ... the balance of everything, a generally balanced whole, but it's a balance. if the reds and the blues are heightened or diminished equally things will still appear "white" to us. just dimmer.

it's like scales, if the right and the left aren't balanced it tends to shift one way or the other

spikes are somewhere between intentional by design and intentional for marketing.
plants don't make much use of green, but our eyes do, and without that spike it's going to look dark to us regardless of the benefits to the plants, and marketing is scared of loosing sales.

for google searches on light spectrums of various bulbs, (5500K and higher) they can nail the blues, and the spikes the plants crave. the reds the plants want, ... it seems like they're all shifted, slightly towards yellow/orange.

a google search for a 6500K bulb


this has a balanced spectrum, but i notice the sides tend to be a little less than the middle. for everything i've read, this would give a good balance and be very bright, ... well bright to us, the reds & blues as they've taken a hit, and as these are the wavelenths the plants crave more, ... it's a good bang for your buck if you want to light a room, but for your plants, ... your money could be spent better elsewhere
 

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Why dont you try a FijiPurple. You can get them thru www.reefgeek.com and www.aquacave.com. They have nearly double the output of most other T5HO bulbs. They use true red phosphourus in these.
I just want to point out that the spectral analysis .jpg's that you posted ARE NOT correct for the Fiji Purple. Actually KZ does not post this data and are very protective about it for some dumb reason, but I have taken an accurate spectral readout of the KZ Fiji Purple and can tell you that there is absolutely NO red wave bands past 630nm and most of the red in them is just your normal tri-band phosphor which peaks at 610nm.

The Fiji Purple is actually an Actinic type of T5 with about 95% of it's energy dedicated to the 400nm-485nm region and peaking at 435nm and 457nm where most Actinic T5 lamps peak.

If you want me to post the correct spectral graph for the Fiji Purple let me know! Also, the ATI purple plus is EXACTLY the same lamp wavelength for wavelength so do yourself/selves a favor and save a few bucks and buy the ATI. The lighting industry is good at scamming people. It's what they do best. Also, ZooMed sells some real nice products for half the price as the competition out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #192 ·
That would be great info to post.
Sylvania is the actual manufacturer of the bulb.

Yes, ZooMed has some nice bulbs.
 

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so that's the graph I took. the forum wouldn't let me link the image directly so you will have to copy and paste it to see, but that is the spectral output for the Fiji Purple.
 

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Let me try posting it. The reason you couldn't might be because
you didn't have enough postcount.

Did you measure it with a spectrophotometer?
 

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I measured the T5 with a $2000 spectrometer from RGB Laser Systeme Germany. Really handy device, it's the size of a USB drive. Just a little expensive. It has been one of the best purchases ever of mine. I've taken sun measurements throughout the day to see how the spectrum changes from morning to afternoon and have also taken measurements of many other T5s and combinations of them. What's very interesting is the fact that there is absolutely difference between expensive T5s and cheaper T5s spectrum wise. Thanks for re-posting my images for me. Hopefully a moderator can fix my account so I can post images in the future if needed of other spectral reading.

The forum wouldn't even let me quote your post with my image because of the fact that there is an image in your post, LOL, do you know someone that can get this fixed? I would greatly appreciated it, makes it really hard to provide any helpful information for anyone.
 

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I measured the T5 with a $2000 spectrometer from RGB Laser Systeme Germany. Really handy device, it's the size of a USB drive. Just a little expensive. It has been one of the best purchases ever of mine. I've taken sun measurements throughout the day to see how the spectrum changes from morning to afternoon and have also taken measurements of many other T5s and combinations of them. What's very interesting is the fact that there is absolutely difference between expensive T5s and cheaper T5s spectrum wise. Thanks for re-posting my images for me. Hopefully a moderator can fix my account so I can post images in the future if needed of other spectral reading.

The forum wouldn't even let me quote your post with my image because of the fact that there is an image in your post, LOL, do you know someone that can get this fixed? I would greatly appreciated it, makes it really hard to provide any helpful information for anyone.
There is a typo in this post of mine. I meant to write, "There is absolutely NO difference between expensive T5s and lesser expensive ie, ZooMed FloraSun Vs Sylvania Gro-lux. The ATI Pro-Color that was discontinued also fits in this category. There is slightly a bit more deep red in the Pro-Color but not enough to make any real difference.
 

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I just want to point out that the spectral analysis .jpg's that you posted ARE NOT correct for the Fiji Purple. Actually KZ does not post this data and are very protective about it for some dumb reason, but I have taken an accurate spectral readout of the KZ Fiji Purple and can tell you that there is absolutely NO red wave bands past 630nm and most of the red in them is just your normal tri-band phosphor which peaks at 610nm.

The Fiji Purple is actually an Actinic type of T5 with about 95% of it's energy dedicated to the 400nm-485nm region and peaking at 435nm and 457nm where most Actinic T5 lamps peak.

If you want me to post the correct spectral graph for the Fiji Purple let me know! Also, the ATI purple plus is EXACTLY the same lamp wavelength for wavelength so do yourself/selves a favor and save a few bucks and buy the ATI. The lighting industry is good at scamming people. It's what they do best. Also, ZooMed sells some real nice products for half the price as the competition out there.
Yes I can confirm this on two counts.

1st off I used to work in quality control for a lighting manufacturer and will say that made virtually the same light bulb with the exception of the brand stamp on it very often. Looking at various pricing between the brands if you would know the exact spectrums of all of them you could easily find the same the same bulb with a different stamp on it for a wide range of prices.

2nd of the Fiji Red and the Purple plus are extraordinarily similar from my research. I ran plots about a year and half ago on the purple plus and compared them to someone elses plots on the fiji purple. There were minor (less than 10%) differences in the peaks were some were higher on one and lower on another peak but within 10%. Interestingly if you shifted our plots by roughly 10nm on the short wave lengths to 15nm on the longer wave lengths you would have all the peaks line up perfectly. This 10 to 15 nm shift could easily be caused by different batches of bulbs or a differences in the calibration of our equipment. The same individual (Pacific Sun) that did the evaluation on the Fiji Red also posted a plot for the Purple Plus that showed identical peak wavelengths but similar difference in intensities between the two at the various peaks. I do believe these are the same bulb but can only make that as an assumption from this data.
 
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