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Old 07-17-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
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Too much light for low tech?

I have an All-Glass 36 inch triple tube fluorescent strip-light that I'm planning on putting on a 30 (36 x 12 x 17) and I'm thinking it's to much for a low tech aquarium. It seems that the WPG is pretty much based on the old T12 bulbs so I would think that the newer energy efficient T8 bulbs would require less actual WPG than the old T12's. I know I'll need to set up a small lamp to come on before the tank light so the fish don't go blind when the tank light comes on. :fish: :eek5:

I'm using an AquaClear 70 for mechanical filtration and Eco Complete with Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil as substrate.
Here's the blurb about the light from Doctor's Foster and Smith:

"Triple-Tube strip lights combine new state-of-the-art electronic ballasts with polished aluminum reflectors to supply 22% more light, consume 17% less energy, and produce 20% less heat than conventional magnetic ballast fixtures. The new ballast turns lights on instantly, which improves bulb life up to 50%. Includes: polished aluminum reflector, internal mounted electronic ballast, 3 aquarium spectrum fluorescent T-8 tubes."
Just looking for some other opinions.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
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Are the bulbs 36"? If so they are 30w each, or 3 wpg, then like you say maybe slightly better or worse depending on reflector, ect..

You could just pull one bulb out, for 2wpg and be OK

If there 24" bulbs then its 20w each, so 2wpg with all of them
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:52 AM   #3
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They're are 36" T8 bulbs that have 25watts printed on them. They make both 30 and a 25 watts T8's. The fixture is rated for rated for 81 watts. It's shaped like a 3 sided box (no curve) aluminum reflector so it's pretty good. Box says "10-22% more light per lamp". 10-22% more than what is the question.

I was planning on 'pulling' a bulb at least some of the time if need be but it's a brand new light and I'd rather sell it and get a different light if this one will be way too much on a low light tank with no CO2.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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T8's are more efficient than T12's. A 25W T8 would be putting out the light of a 30W .... so I would think that you would be getting into high light territory, without even counting the reflector.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Her'e how I ended up with the light: I found a strip light on ebay that was at a good price. I bid on it and was outbid so I waited until it got close to the end to bid again. I'm use to having dial up so I bid with 4 minutes left instead of waiting. BIG mistake, I outbid the person by .02 (yes, 2 cents)! Darn if I didn't get outbid with like one minute to go. I was going to place another bid of $30.15 and I wasn't paying attention (in a hurry) and it came out as $3,015.00! Their bid was a lot more than I wanted to pay but it could have been a lot worse.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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T8's are more efficient than T12's. A 25W T8 would be putting out the light of a 30W .... so I would think that you would be getting into high light territory, without even counting the reflector.
Thanks for the clarifacation. So 2 bulbs would be equal to 60 watts which is 2WPG.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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Are the bulbs 36"? If so they are 30w each, or 3 wpg, then like you say maybe slightly better or worse depending on reflector, ect..
Did you mean actual watts or the watts figured like jsoong?
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:22 PM   #8
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I meant actual watts because all the 36" bulbs I saw(quick search) were 30w, but after looking again it seems that T-12 is 30w for 36" and the sites I looked at had some bad info.

But yeah either way, a 25w T8 is=30w T12, as far as the outdated WPG stuff is concerned
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:52 AM   #9
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T8's are more efficient than T12's. A 25W T8 would be putting out the light of a 30W .... so I would think that you would be getting into high light territory, without even counting the reflector.
Is that an across the board conversion? In other words is any length NO Fluorescent is equal to the watts of a T12 the same lenth?
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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I think its a good estimate due to restrike, since all the T8 diameter bulbs are the same compared to the T12 dia. Hence why people like T5's.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #11
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Is restrike also improved by being able to put multiple T8/T5's in the same amout of space as as T12's? Two T12's would be closer togather than two T8's or two T5's.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:06 PM   #12
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Restrike is more a function of bulb placement and the reflector. A narrower bulb would have less restrike, but a good reflector shape also lessens restrike by directing the light away from the bulb.

However, the light output per watt of T5 vs T8 vs T12 is a function of the tube design (from what I read) and independent of the reflector & restrike. Actually it also varies with the brand of tube. I saw a comparasion chart of the various bulbs a while back and a Phillips T8 actually beats the T5 (CF's) in output - some 40% brighter than the reference T12. However, the average T8 is approx 25% brighter than the T12, and that is the number people use to calculate the WPG for a T8 setup. <The original WPG refers to a T12 NO bulb.> Once you add in a fancy reflector, you would prob need to bump up the WPG again to account for the increased efficiency of the reflector.
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:25 PM   #13
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Thanks! I sure wish there was an easier way to figure this with all the different choices now. I've heard some folks are using PAR to figure out proper lighting but that really confuses me.

It seems this tank has been causing more drama than I'd like. I decided to get a double strip light and found a Perfecto on ebay. Long story short it turned out to be a single strip. I have no reason to think it was anything but a mistake in reading the box, it had 2 lamps pictured and stated it contained two lamps. It's not uncommon for misprinted boxes to end up in resellers hands. They offered to pay shipping for return or for me to keep it for cost of shipping.
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