Best light tubes to use together

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by spaldingaquatics, 28 Jun 2008.

  1. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

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    Hi,
    What's the best Hagen light to run alongside my 30w Flora-glo?

    I've only started to add plants to my set up recently and when I first started the tank I just had a single 25w Aqua-glo to bring out the colour in my fish, which I didn't think would be good enough for plants so I switched it to my current 30w Flora-glo.

    It's run from a single T8 controller so I'll need to buy a second for an additional tube but out of all the models from the Hagen range which would be best to add that would help plant growth and keep fish colours at their best? I'm aiming to have the tank heavily planted over time (4ft tank)

    Thanks
     
  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    Welcome to UKAPS, the life glo is a good tube for plant growth
     
  3. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

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    Thanks Aaron

    Here's a strange question to the experts but I really haven't got a clue; I've noticed people refering to T5 lighting, I have T8, but what's the difference? and for a novice is it needed?

    Thanks
     
  4. sanj

    sanj Member

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    T5 and T8 refer to the tube diameter. People are moving towards HO T5 because they punch out more light per watt.

    I think I use T8 Lifeglos on my rena mixed with powerglo.
     
  5. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    T8 are 1" , T5 are 1/8th of an inch, they give out more light and are smaller so therefore more pracical for planted enthusiasts so you can get the most light possible out of the space you have. A new T6 range has been brought where the tubes fit in the T8 ballasts but give out 40% more light which will be good for you if you ever want to get more lighting but dont have the space.

    http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ath=12_207
     
  6. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

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    Thanks guys,

    I'll continue to add a 2nd T8 Life-glo and if I can get everything right and the plants do well I'll upgrade to T6 when I'm more confident and add more demanding plants.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    There is no such thing as "best bulb" and there really is no such thing as "plant bulbs". The best bulbs are the ones you think make you plants look the prettiest. That's it. No bulb simulates the spectral output of the sun and plants will uses whatever frequencies you provide. Therefore there is no need to spend lots of cash on designer or brand name bulbs. See the JamesC sticky regarding the aesthetic qualities of various bulbs viewtopic.php?f=50&t=555 and select your bulb type based on what you think looks best. Then find the cheapest source for these bulbs, which as of this writing is Lampspecs. Decent quality bulbs can be had at a fraction of the cost of ripoff "plant bulbs".

    Cheers,
     
  8. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    Just as Ceg says. forget the branded bulbs (although it looks like you are in the business so you obviously will want to sell the specific ones, he, he.) Its about choosing a combination within the 4000-11000K range that suits your personal colour preference.

    All lights within this range should have enough of each colour for the plants to use.

    Just to correct poster above T5 is actually 5/8ths of an inch.

    The T number is the number of 8ths the diameter is so T8 = 1inch, T5 = 5/8ths, T10 = 1¼inches and T12 = 1½inches. The WPG rule was calculated on the latter (T12) which is why I am a fervent protestor when people start using this rule with todays thinner, more efficient lights.

    In general these days with the technology advances you need less WPG the thinner tube you get.

    Andy
     
  9. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    cheers Andy, when i put 1/8th i thought that didnt seem right.
     
  10. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

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    I'm not being sarcastic here, this is a serious question based on what's been said because I haven't got to grips with understanding the scale properly but would I be able to get away with using a desktop lamp over a small 30cm tank as all the 'clamp on' lamps I've found have a 9 or 11w bulb with them, would a desklamp bulb be too bright? not on the right spectrum? allthough thinking about it at £3 for a lamp and 60p for a bulb if it was possible everybody would be using them so maybe it's a stupid question but I just need to cross it off my list of ideas if it can't be done.

    Also, if this idea isn't possible could somebody recommend an online shop that sells a light suitable? I've found some on ebay but wasn't sure about them

    Thanks
     
  11. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    You could indeed provided that it's a compact fluorescent. Many american nano hobbyists use 27w desk lamps over nanos of all sizes. I've not been able to track down anything suitable on the Uk market, clip on lights seem to be the only real option and just multiplying the number used to get the wattage you want.
     
  12. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

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    Thanks garuf,

    would this be suitable?

    11w gls fluorescent bulb
     
  13. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Not really, no, horrible spectrum, low lumens that's not to say it wouldn't work it could well work and work well but I wouldn't consider it.
    The "chopstick" type of lights are best (I think they're called pll27) because they give best light distribution spiral and low energy bulbs although they work often have "ugly" spectrums that mimic standard lightbulbs day light spectrum would be best. I've had a browse through some American forums and those who use desk lamps all are the chopstick type and those who have a hood are almost always low energy bulbs in diy fittings.
     
  14. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here's an example of how the American's do it.*
    *the lamp is an off the shelf lamp with a metal halide fitting diy'd into it
     
  15. spaldingaquatics

    spaldingaquatics Member

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    damnit!!! :twisted: there was about 10 mins left on it and I didn't want to miss out so I bought it before you posted :( (removed the link now because it comes up with paypal stuff)
    The curse of ebay, no wonder they're so rich :bored:
     

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