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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From what I believe, when a tank reaches a depth of 24inches, fluorescent lights lose their effectiveness and metal halides become necessary. Having said that, my question is if the substrate is 3inches thick, this reduces the depth to about 21inches. Would this make fluorescent lighting still viable or is the substrate already taken into account?

Thanx
Tin
 

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Depends on what you want to grow and how much light you want. Low to moderate lighting can be acchieved easily with any flourescent, I have T8s on my 90 gallon for example. Compact Flourescents would certainly provide enough light if you used a nice reflector with them. Watt for watt, metal halide and power compacts are somewhat similar in light output.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well, i was aiming for about the 2-3watts per gallon range. Unfortunately, AH supply does not deliver to Australia so that is out of the question. For now I want to keep things on a budget. i was thinking of overdriving 4 t8 NO fluorescents on a 120 gallon tank (48x24x24). how does that sound? i read somewhere that an overdriven fluorescent emits more lumens than a Power compact... is that true?
but anyway, what do you guys think of overdriving idea? or do u think i'm better off going for PCs or metal halides?

btw some plants that i'm thinking of growing:
pearlweed
stargrass
tennellus or dwarf hairgrass

the rest are in the lower range.

thanx for the replies
Tin
 

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I have a 60 gallon cube with measurements equalling 1/2 of a standard 120gallon (24"x24"x26"). This tank is lit with a single 175watt coralife MH pendant. I've never had trouble growing anything in this tank. Right now it houses a variety of swords, rotala sp., ludwigia cuba spec, pearlweed, and zienkeri dwarf lillies (oh my how the lillies grow the initial bulb has produced 15 flowers over the past 3 months) The substrate is an organic one, and about 4 inches thick.

Ideally for this setup I'd like to be able to cram some GE pc bulbs (the ~ 9000K ones in combo with a few 10K bulbs) the MH is much smaller and allows the open top tank to have MANY emersed leaves and flowers. Overall i think the MH works better for this setup.

So my point here is that on 1/2 the tank you are considering a single 175 watt MH works very well and is a lot less bulky than a bank of PCs. though limitted somewhat by spectral output of the MH bulbs, i still think for this size of tank this is the way to go.

(PS my new M bulb is a coralvue 10000K that has a slight pinkish hue to it, it will be put into use after the new stand is built)
 

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On a 120 gallon I'd probably put 6 T8 bulbs on it and overdrive them at x2. That would be the most economic route, otherwise PCs would be next on my list. I wouldn't consider running the T8 bubls over x2 as they will heat up a lot and life will be much shorter. I replaced 110W PC with 2 T8 tubes overdriven at x2 and they are somewhat similar. Here's more info if you are interested:

http://www.gpodio.com/overdrive_twin_strip.asp

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
kevin jones: are metal halides really as expensive, as people say, electricty wise? or is it just exaggerated?

giancarlo: how long is the useful life of an ODNO bulb for a planted aquarium before you have to change it?

from what it sounds like, the initial startup cost and the cost of constant bulb replacement, ODNO lights and PCs would run about the same price. or am i wrong?
 

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I currently have a 270L [70g] tank, and i run a 40w gro-lux fluro light. I want to make the tank a well planted one, and currently have about 25 plants in there. As i am just starting, could some one explain the best sort of lighting? the magazines are full of different ideas and products, but not sure of the best one for me. Thanx :?
 

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My MH costs me very little electricity-wise
maybe $15-20 every few months. it is located centrally in a large room and the heat is dissipated very effectively.
 

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giancarlo: how long is the useful life of an ODNO bulb for a planted aquarium before you have to change it?

from what it sounds like, the initial startup cost and the cost of constant bulb replacement, ODNO lights and PCs would run about the same price. or am i wrong?
Well mine haven't been running long enough to know, but I'm guessing everything will be fine if I change them once a year. That the same routine I follow for all my bulbs and as long as you keep the ODNO bulbs cool, there shouldn't be much difference in life at x2. T8 and T12 bulbs cost less than PCs and seeing there may be a shorter lifespan with the ODNO T8 or T12s, it equals out in the end. Startup cost is the most of it. If you already have some light strips around the house then changing the ballast to overdrive them is the cheapest solution. If you have to buy everything from scratch, then I'd choose based on light spread and coverage. Several T8 bulbs will give you a better spread than a single PC for example.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Steve Pituch said:
Not so anymore. With the PC lighting from
http://ahsupply.com/index.html
you get very good reflectors that will easily penetrate 21 inches to the top of the substrate. I wish I could trade in my MH pendants for some of this kind of lighting.

Steve
sorry, forgot to ask why you would want to trade your metal halides for power compacts? aren't metal halides meant to be the ultimate source of lighting for plants?
 

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I have actually had better luck with NO lighting versus MH as far as growing plants and not algae. I have also purchased daylight MH bulbs that have been expensive duds. I think a regular PC bulb should last a couple of years. The MH ones have only lasted less than a year if they weren't duds. Also I have run into heat problems with the Hamilton pendants. At the top of the pendant where the socket is there is very little ventilation space. The wiring chars every couple of years and shorts out. Yesterday I ordered my first 96W PC light kit from AHS. Wish me luck.

Steve Pituch
 

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Steve, I too just upgraded to AHSupply lighting w. 4-55wt using a combo of 6500k and that GE 9325k bulbs for my 75g. Very nice. Just be sure to use the spacers provided if mounting under wooden canopy. Install was super easy.

Chris
 

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Steve, the 6500 does greens Really Well! They just sparkle. The reds are more subdued certainly comp. to the 9325 bulb. I'm learning about myself, what I'm liking/not liking..and I like both bulbs and love the combo. But using only the 9325 bulb alone is a bit much for me. I like green so if I had to choose one bulb, it'd be the 6500k. It's really a matter of preference.
Chris
 

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Tinman,

AH Supply do ship to Australia. I bought 5 x reflectors from Kim at AH Supply and the service was fantastic. I received them in 5 days.

Take a look at a post that I wrote on the 1 October 03 on the "Boronia Aquarium" website. It explains where I purchased the tubes, ballasts, etc.

BTW where do you live? If you live in Sydney and you decide to buy reflectors from AH Supply send me a PM as I need another reflector and we could halve the shipping/postage cost. I have also located a supplier that will ship the highly rated GE 9325k tubes aver here.

Dave,
Sydney
Australia.
 
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