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Old 09-21-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
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Compact Flourescent lighting

Ok, so my 55 gallon I have currently set up with 6 60w equivalent 15w actual compact florescent light bulbs. I'm shooting for 2 to 3 watts per gallon, so do I count these as 15w bulbs or 60w bulbs?
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
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The WPG "rule" counts W's in NO T12 Fluorescent. So for those 15W bulbs, you count 15W's, so you have 90W total. The spiral pigtails are not as efficient as linear bulbs, so you prob have a bit less light than a normal 90W fixture. You can prob call your tank low light ATM.
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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jsoong is right on. they have a lot of restrike. i would call it low light too. do you have any reflectors for the bulbs?
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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I do have reflectors for them, and they make the tank look like it's glowing, actually pretty cool. The reflectors I do have have a fair amount of leakage. They are the cheap 5 buck jobs from home depot. I gotta pay for my house and skimp on the fish, not the other way around. I could put 23 watt replacements in there, but I was concerned about burning the plants and fish.

I thought this would go without saying, but I figure someone out there might read this post and wonder, but standard incandescent are a bad idea because of added heat instability it brings to the tank, reduction in photosynthesizing blue spectral light, and stupid because of how much more money you will pay over the long run. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Currently most of the tank has cabomba and anacharis (if I've got it pegged right) and I just planted two swords, which seem to do fine, but it's early to tell. The cabomba is sprouting like it has never done before for me. It's always grown nice and leasurly, now it's bright green and jumped by about an inch in 2 days. My hornwart I just got seems to be losing most of it's leaves, but I wonder if that is because of doing a salt water rinse to rid it of pond snails...
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:23 PM   #5
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Incandescent put out less light per W than fluorescent, so definitely cannot use the wattage in working out light levels.

23Wx6 is not too much if you are aiming for medium light. That only works out to just over 2 WPG. I don't think you need to worry about too much light (even for low light plants) until you hit 4 or 5 WPG or more. <Even then, it is a matter with algae control. Plants will do fine, considering that sunlight is far brighter than what we provide.>

If your plants are growing well, you can just leave things as is. The swords might do better with more light. You can always swap out the bulbs for higher W's as needed.

Hornwort is sensitive to salt/bleach/Excel, etc. But they easily bounce back given a bit of time (& a lot of nitrates.)
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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Thank you for confirming the incandescent fact. I knew this, but didn't want someone strolling across this post and using incandescent thinking it's 60w.

Thank you for letting me know the horn wart should come back. Of my two bunches only one is looking rough. I might just spruce up the light on that side of the tank, since the other side only has some cabomba and anacharis which is loving life (they grew another inch yesterday.) Now are you saying that the horn wart will have issues if I dose with excel?

I guess I'm approaching these plants wrong. My mom was a farmer, and we always had issues with giving her plants too much light on our grow tables. The leaves would dry up and turn brown, then black spots. I guess that if your leaves are underwater, you won't really have a problem with drying out, or localized heat issues.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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Excel will kill hornwort (or other plants without stomata, eg vals.) You might want to try a half dose regime. Some find it works, but mine just drop leaves & looked ratty even at half dose.

Even for land plants, you only get burns if the light is too close to the plants (inches) and it is the heat from the lamps rather than the light that dries them out. <Sunlight is much brighter & the little seedlings do fine in grow frames outside ...> At any rate, your light is much further away in a tank, and the water prevents drying out, although you still have to watch heat accumulation. <Some people find that the lights get their tanks too hot & cook the plants, so they put in fans to add ventilation in the hood.>
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:08 AM   #8
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Thank you for the advice on Excel. I am not currently dosing with it, I did do a salt treatment on the leaves to prevent snails, because I know there were a ton on there already.

Update on my tank lighting,

I replaced the left half of my lights with 2 23 watt 100 watt equivalent and a 26 watt 120 watt equivaletn spot (has a built in reflector). I do not notice a big difference between the 100 watt and the cheap reflector I bought, and the 120 watt with build in reflector. The 100 watts were 5 bucks for 2, the 120 watt was 8 bucks for 1. I think I'm going 100 watt.

Both sets of bulbs are the cool blue 65k light, not standard, daylight or bright white.

Looking at the pricing on this stuff, and comparing a 48 inch aquarium bulb at home depot was 10 bucks for a 40 watt, over all replacement costs on the compact flourescents looks like it will be cheaper. While I still need to work on a hood or enclosure for my lights, they are looking like they will do just about as good of a job much cheaper than a full lighting system. I will try to post pictures when I manage to take them.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epsolon77 View Post
Looking at the pricing on this stuff, and comparing a 48 inch aquarium bulb at home depot was 10 bucks for a 40 watt, ....

I use 32W T8 Phillips Daylight tubes (48"), only $4-5 at HD. So that beats your CF's on price. IMO the daylight bulbs are as good as the plant/aquarium bulbs. <The 32W T8's put out the same amount of light as the 40W T12's, so I save on electricity as well.> However, you may as well stick with what you have if it works for you.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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100% agree with jsoong on that too.... before i got cf bulbs this is what i used over my 120. was able to grow a fair amount of plants.

i also have a 20 gallon with 2 cfl bulbs. i use 2 27w bulbs over it. i got the bulbs at walmart daylight 6500k.
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