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Old 04-10-2004, 11:12 AM
James Smith
 
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Default How many watts per gallon do I need with T5?

Usually the convention with flourecents is 2-4watts per gallon, or 20watts
per sq foot surface area.

However for the same length tube (i.e 36in) a T8 flourescent is 25w and a T5
39w.

I have read though that a T5 gives more lumnens per watt than a T8.
(http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...?article_id=75)
If this is correct then when using T5 a lower wattage should be required
than using T8 tubes?

Therefore on a 39inch/29gal(imp) tank (3.3sq foot) what wattage of T5
lighting should be used on a mixed freshwater tank to provide a good level
of lighting for plant growth?

Would a single T5 tube be enough? i.e 39w for 29 imperial gallons =
1.34w/gallon or 11w sq foot?. A single T5 power compact would provide 55w
but fit only in the centre of the tank (i.e 22in tube in a 38in wide tank)
and give 1.89w/imp gallon or 16w sq foot? Alternativly it may just be
possible to fit 2x 39w single T5 tubes which would give 78w or 2.68w/gallon
or 23w sq foot.

If the tube is REALLY 3-4 time more effective than a standard fluorescent
bulb of similar wattage as claimed by pratical fishkeeper then:

if we assume 29 gallon tank and aim for a high target of 4watts/gallon we
would require 116watts of light. If T5 is really 3 times more effective we
would require 1/3 of the wattage which would be 38.6w - or one T5 tube?

Has anyone used T5 in a freshwater tank? is it really more effective than
standard tubes?
Does anyone know if the watts rules still apply to T5? and how much light
(in T5 terms) should I be looking at acheiving? Would a single T5 tube be
enough? or should i be looking at power compact t5 (55w) or even 2xTubes?

Any advice appreciated.










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Old 04-10-2004, 02:08 PM
Cichlidiot
 
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In alt.aquaria James Smith James wrote:
Has anyone used T5 in a freshwater tank? is it really more effective than
standard tubes?
Does anyone know if the watts rules still apply to T5? and how much light
(in T5 terms) should I be looking at acheiving? Would a single T5 tube be
enough? or should i be looking at power compact t5 (55w) or even 2xTubes?


As with all rules of thumb, the watts per gallon is just a general
guideline and not an absolute rule. Your first priority should be to see
if appropriate bulb spectrums are available in T5 size for your tank
length in your area. You want bulbs with strong peaks in the red and blue
spectrums for maximum photosynthesis (key parts of the photosynthesis
process rely on specific red wavelengths, blue is a supporting spectrum).
Some people compensate for lack of spectrum peaks by throwing more watts
at the tank, but I prefer to chose the bulbs wisely. If you can't find the
right spectrum in a T5 bulb, but you could in say a T8 bulb, then it would
be more effective to go with the T8 and maximize the lighting in the right
spectrum rather than throw more watts at it.

It really does come down to the ballast and bulb regardless of what system
you're using. The ballast affects the intensity and the bulbs affect the
spectrum of light available for the plants. If you can find plant
appropriate spectrum in T5 bulbs, you'll probably still benefit from a two
bulb system, each fixture having a seperate brand/model, in order to
balance a pleasant viewing color with the proper spectrum for plant
growth. For example, on my 36"x18"x12" tank, I have a 3xT8 fixture. Each
bulb is a different model. Two are specifically chosen for having a strong
red peak in their spectrums (ZooMed FloraSun and GE Freshwater). The third
is a more general bulb (All-Glass generic) used for color balancing for my
viewing of the tank. The tank still has a slight purple cast to it, but
not too bad. This tank where I took specific care to chose two strong red
spectrum bulbs has far better plant growth than my other two planted tanks
where I had focused more on watts per gallon when setting them up.








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Old 04-10-2004, 03:44 PM
James Smith
 
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Default

As with all rules of thumb, the watts per gallon is just a general
guideline and not an absolute rule.


Agreed. But I am sure that most people will agree that agree 0.95w/gallon is
significantly low and hence the reason why only Java Fern thrives despite
haveing a tube in the correct spectrum.


Your first priority should be to see if appropriate bulb spectrums are
available in T5 size for your tank
length in your area. You want bulbs with strong peaks in the red and blue
spectrums for maximum photosynthesis (key parts of the photosynthesis
process rely on specific red wavelengths, blue is a supporting spectrum).


I already have a "correct spectrum" T8 -
http://www.arcadia-uk.com/en/220freshwaterlamp.html so the problems requires
more watts rather than a better spectrum.


Some people compensate for lack of spectrum peaks by throwing more watts
at the tank, but I prefer to chose the bulbs wisely. If you can't find the
right spectrum in a T5 bulb, but you could in say a T8 bulb, then it would
be more effective to go with the T8 and maximize the lighting in the right
spectrum rather than throw more watts at it.


There are several options within T5, either as a straight bulb or compact.
For fitting purposes 1x39w would be the easiest, or a 55w Powercompact (but
this would be at the centre of the tank.. At a struggle maybe 2x39 could be
fitted.

There are several options a Interpet Triplus T5 Power Compact Lamps:
a.. Freshwater aquariums to stimulate lush plant growth

Super bright daylight-balanced aquarium lamp
* Freshwater aquariums to stimulate lush plant growth

Or in a regular T5:

As above or:
Arcadia T5 Plant Pro Lamp
a.. Superior Plant growth
a.. Enhances colours of fish and plants
a.. Satisfies plant species with a higher light requirement eg Lilleopsis
(http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/lis...=42&rets=1 01)


It really does come down to the ballast and bulb regardless of what system
you're using. The ballast affects the intensity and the bulbs affect the
spectrum of light available for the plants. If you can find plant
appropriate spectrum in T5 bulbs, you'll probably still benefit from a two
bulb system, each fixture having a seperate brand/model, in order to
balance a pleasant viewing color with the proper spectrum for plant
growth.


I too would like two tubes - but one is a lot easier to get inside the
exiting hood. I will have another look!


For example, on my 36"x18"x12" tank, I have a 3xT8 fixture. Each
bulb is a different model. Two are specifically chosen for having a strong
red peak in their spectrums (ZooMed FloraSun and GE Freshwater). The third
is a more general bulb (All-Glass generic) used for color balancing for my
viewing of the tank. The tank still has a slight purple cast to it, but
not too bad. This tank where I took specific care to chose two strong red
spectrum bulbs has far better plant growth than my other two planted tanks
where I had focused more on watts per gallon when setting them up.




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Old 04-10-2004, 04:26 PM
Toni
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Cichlidiot" wrote in message
...

It really does come down to the ballast and bulb regardless of what system
you're using. The ballast affects the intensity and the bulbs affect the
spectrum of light available for the plants.



With most lighting systems this is so, but when using T-5's the reflector is
a much larger part of the equation. You want individual reflectors for each
bulb, as the whole point of using T-5's to start with is to harness all of
the intensity that the bulbs put out. One catch all, flat type reflector
cannot suffice. The Sunlight Supply Tek-Light's are one good example of
proper T-5 reflectors- an individual reflector for each bulb.

I use a T-5 system on my reef tank and the bulbs are indeed available in the
6500 K spectrum from ATI and GE- possibly others as well.
You will *love* these bulbs!

And I think one 35w bulb would be adequate. You run into issues with
shallower tanks and T-5 lighting, but for your dimensions one would be fine.
It all boils down to your setup- are you planning on running CO2? If so a
two bulb system could be best. If not, go with the one. I run a lovely
planted Discus tank with 1.2 wpg of power compacts- this is referred to as a
low light/low tech setup and maintenance is a breeze.

--
Toni
http://www.cearbhaill.com/discus.htm


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Old 04-10-2004, 05:55 PM
James Smith
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And I think one 35w bulb would be adequate. You run into issues with
shallower tanks and T-5 lighting, but for your dimensions one would be
fine.


The tank is about 18in deep.

It all boils down to your setup- are you planning on running CO2? If so a
two bulb system could be best.


The current tank has a DIY Co2 system.

If not, go with the one. I run a lovely planted Discus tank with 1.2 wpg of
power compacts- this is referred to as a
low light/low tech setup and maintenance is a breeze.






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Old 05-10-2004, 01:04 AM
Cichlidiot
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In alt.aquaria James Smith James wrote:
I already have a "correct spectrum" T8 -
http://www.arcadia-uk.com/en/220freshwaterlamp.html so the problems requires
more watts rather than a better spectrum.


Hate to break it to you, but that is not a correct spectrum bulb. It
completely lacks a spike around 680-700nm (closest appears to be 620nm or
so), which is essential for photosynthesis. There are two key types of
chlorophyll which require 680-700nm wavelengths to activate.

Unfortunately, this is an extremely common problem with fluorescent bulbs,
even bulbs that proclaim to promote plant growth. I assume this is because
replicating this portion of the spectrum is difficult in fluorescent
technology. I researched bulb spectra for weeks before I found a few that
came even close to providing the required red peaks. The GE Freshwater
(not Fresh and Salt which is a completely different bulb) and Zoo Med
FloraSun that I chose for my T8 system came closest with having peaks
around 650-660nm and a decent taper off in the 680-700nm range.

There are several options a Interpet Triplus T5 Power Compact Lamps:
a.. Freshwater aquariums to stimulate lush plant growth


Super bright daylight-balanced aquarium lamp
* Freshwater aquariums to stimulate lush plant growth


I can't seem to find the spectrum of that bulb with a Google search,
perhaps because Interpet was bought out this spring, so finding
information on any of their products online is not easy these days (I
remember having the same issues searching for information on another of
their products a couple months ago). If you are looking at a bulb in the
store, see if the packaging has a diagram of the spectrum and check for
peaks in the 650nm+ range.

Or in a regular T5:


As above or:
Arcadia T5 Plant Pro Lamp
a.. Superior Plant growth
a.. Enhances colours of fish and plants
a.. Satisfies plant species with a higher light requirement eg Lilleopsis
(http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/lis...=42&rets=1 01)


This bulb does have a nice peak in the 650nm+ range. It looks like a good
prospect. Notice, compared to the other Arcadia T8 bulb above, that this
has more than one peak in the 600-700nm range. The T8 bulb just had that
first peak right after 600nm. This T5 bulb has two additional peaks. It
does trail off quite a bit heading toward 700nm, but that is pretty
typical in fluorescents. The basic thing to look for when comparing those
two bulbs is that the T5 has more red spectrum while the T8 has more blue
spectrum (which is typical in a bulb that's meant more for viewing or a
fresh/salt bulb).

I too would like two tubes - but one is a lot easier to get inside the
exiting hood. I will have another look!


As I said before though, you might desire another bulb just to make the
viewing colors less purple (as many plant bulbs give a purple cast). It
doesn't even have to be another of the same length/wattage. If you could
squeeze in even an 8W T5 "soft white" bulb in the hood (say by mounting
ballasts on the outside back of the hood), that would likely be enough to
balance out the colors for viewing. Could also be that the plant bulb is
sufficiently "broad spectrum" to not have the purple cast, in which case
you wouldn't need a color balancing bulb. If you can find a CRI (color
rendering index, how close to real sunlight does it render colors) rating,
the closer to 90 that is, the less likely there is to be a significant
color difference in the light.

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Old 05-10-2004, 11:19 AM
James Smith
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Hate to break it to you, but that is not a correct spectrum bulb. It
completely lacks a spike around 680-700nm (closest appears to be 620nm or
so), which is essential for photosynthesis. There are two key types of
chlorophyll which require 680-700nm wavelengths to activate.


Im always open to improve my knowledge. I thought that a "promotes plant
growth" tube would be right to support improved plant growth. Obviously I
was wrong!

Unfortunately, this is an extremely common problem with fluorescent bulbs,
even bulbs that proclaim to promote plant growth. I assume this is because
replicating this portion of the spectrum is difficult in fluorescent
technology. I researched bulb spectra for weeks before I found a few that
came even close to providing the required red peaks. The GE Freshwater
(not Fresh and Salt which is a completely different bulb) and Zoo Med
FloraSun that I chose for my T8 system came closest with having peaks
around 650-660nm and a decent taper off in the 680-700nm range.






There are several options a Interpet Triplus T5 Power Compact Lamps:
a.. Freshwater aquariums to stimulate lush plant growth


Super bright daylight-balanced aquarium lamp
* Freshwater aquariums to stimulate lush plant growth


I can't seem to find the spectrum of that bulb with a Google search,
perhaps because Interpet was bought out this spring, so finding
information on any of their products online is not easy these days (I
remember having the same issues searching for information on another of
their products a couple months ago). If you are looking at a bulb in the
store, see if the packaging has a diagram of the spectrum and check for
peaks in the 650nm+ range.


The Interpet Triton spectrum is listed he
http://www.thegoldfishbowl.co.uk/lighting.html. It has a slight increase
above 650nm but nothing significant. The triton is quite a commonly used
"fish only" tubes used by the stores. It might be a good one to use in
combination with a plant tube?

Or in a regular T5:


As above or:
Arcadia T5 Plant Pro Lamp
a.. Superior Plant growth
a.. Enhances colours of fish and plants
a.. Satisfies plant species with a higher light requirement eg Lilleopsis
(http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/lis...=42&rets=1 01)


This bulb does have a nice peak in the 650nm+ range. It looks like a good
prospect. Notice, compared to the other Arcadia T8 bulb above, that this
has more than one peak in the 600-700nm range. The T8 bulb just had that
first peak right after 600nm. This T5 bulb has two additional peaks. It
does trail off quite a bit heading toward 700nm, but that is pretty
typical in fluorescents. The basic thing to look for when comparing those
two bulbs is that the T5 has more red spectrum while the T8 has more blue
spectrum (which is typical in a bulb that's meant more for viewing or a
fresh/salt bulb).

I too would like two tubes - but one is a lot easier to get inside the
exiting hood. I will have another look!


As I said before though, you might desire another bulb just to make the
viewing colors less purple (as many plant bulbs give a purple cast). It
doesn't even have to be another of the same length/wattage. If you could
squeeze in even an 8W T5 "soft white" bulb in the hood (say by mounting
ballasts on the outside back of the hood), that would likely be enough to
balance out the colors for viewing.


After having another study the easiest way to fit is to keep the existing
30w T8 fitting mounted in the center of the tank, and add a T5 tube (39) to
the front of the hood. This would then give 30w T8 and 39W T5 - or a total
of 69w in 29gal (2.37w gallon / 20w sq foot) which is well within the target
lighing requirments of 2-3 w gallon and 230% more than now. Or would going
for 2x T5 be the better option?






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Old 05-10-2004, 10:37 PM
Cichlidiot
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In alt.aquaria James Smith James wrote:

Im always open to improve my knowledge. I thought that a "promotes plant
growth" tube would be right to support improved plant growth. Obviously I
was wrong!


Well, see that's the problem with just relying on the labels on the box or
things like color (eg 4000k) or CRI. None of these are truely indicative
of how much red spectrum the bulb provides. And they can be quite accurate
in saying it would promote plant growth because it provides plenty of blue
spectrum which plants also require in photosynthesis.

The Interpet Triton spectrum is listed he
http://www.thegoldfishbowl.co.uk/lighting.html. It has a slight increase
above 650nm but nothing significant. The triton is quite a commonly used
"fish only" tubes used by the stores. It might be a good one to use in
combination with a plant tube?


That looks like a pretty typical fresh/salt combo lamp spectrum. See,
corals (salt) like blue and blue is important to plants, so it's very blue
heavy. There's also a minor spike around 700nm for plants. The Interpet
Beauty lamp listed on that page might also be a good candidate.

After having another study the easiest way to fit is to keep the existing
30w T8 fitting mounted in the center of the tank, and add a T5 tube (39) to
the front of the hood. This would then give 30w T8 and 39W T5 - or a total
of 69w in 29gal (2.37w gallon / 20w sq foot) which is well within the target
lighing requirments of 2-3 w gallon and 230% more than now. Or would going
for 2x T5 be the better option?


Well, the only reason you might want to go with two T5 bulbs is if you're
planning to pay for a two bulb ballast. Then you'd only have one ballast
instead of two if space for the ballasts is a concern. However, there's
also advantages to running two ballasts. In all my tanks with two
ballasts, I have the weaker light come on first and go off last to create
a little bit of a buffer zone between no tank lights and full tank lights.
  #9   Report Post  
Old 06-10-2004, 06:23 PM
Nitesbane
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Cichlidiot" wrote in message
...
In alt.aquaria James Smith James wrote:

Im always open to improve my knowledge. I thought that a "promotes plant
growth" tube would be right to support improved plant growth. Obviously

I
was wrong!


Well, see that's the problem with just relying on the labels on the box or
things like color (eg 4000k) or CRI. None of these are truely indicative
of how much red spectrum the bulb provides. And they can be quite accurate
in saying it would promote plant growth because it provides plenty of blue
spectrum which plants also require in photosynthesis.


What should one look for in a bulb then, if not color temperature? What
about using two different bulbs in combination? What is everyone's personal
favorite?


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Old 06-10-2004, 11:27 PM
Cichlidiot
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In alt.aquaria Nitesbane wrote:
What should one look for in a bulb then, if not color temperature? What
about using two different bulbs in combination? What is everyone's personal
favorite?


If you aren't growing plants in a freshwater tank, looking at color
temperature and CRI is just fine. In this case, you are likely trying to
accentuate the coloration of your fish, so using these metrics are a good
way to go.

If you're growing plants, my personal preference is to look at spectrum
first. Plants have very specific requirements when it comes to certain
wavelengths of light. As I already said, certain critical types of
chlorophyll need light in the 680-700nm range. The requirements of
photosynthesis in general is usually called the action spectrum. This has
peaks from 400-500nm (violet and blue) and 650-700nm (orange and red).
Many aquarium bulbs are good at providing the blue portion of the action
spectrum. It's the red portion that's a bit trickier to provide. So my
methods now are to have multi-bulb systems where the majority of the
wattage is provided by bulbs with decent red, and the remainder are a more
general aquarium bulb for balancing color. And if a bulb does not publish
its spectrum, it is not considered for anything other than the balancing
color bulb.


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Old 07-10-2004, 05:02 PM
Fish-Forums.com
 
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Default

Many peopel prefer to use 6500k to 6700k bulbd for freshwater palnts


Want to win a FREE new co2 system or a lighting system check out our
forum for our newest contest coming up

http://www.fish-forums.com

Http://www.aquatic-store.com

On Wed, 06 Oct 2004 17:23:51 GMT, "Nitesbane"
wrote:


"Cichlidiot" wrote in message
...
In alt.aquaria James Smith James wrote:

Im always open to improve my knowledge. I thought that a "promotes plant
growth" tube would be right to support improved plant growth. Obviously

I
was wrong!


Well, see that's the problem with just relying on the labels on the box or
things like color (eg 4000k) or CRI. None of these are truely indicative
of how much red spectrum the bulb provides. And they can be quite accurate
in saying it would promote plant growth because it provides plenty of blue
spectrum which plants also require in photosynthesis.


What should one look for in a bulb then, if not color temperature? What
about using two different bulbs in combination? What is everyone's personal
favorite?


  #12   Report Post  
Old 13-10-2004, 09:50 PM
Michi Henning
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Brian S." wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s04...

As an idea, I purchased the Satellite Compact Fluorescent which provides 65
watts of light. The bulb that I received with the light was one of those
"SmartPaq" bulbs that has half of the bulb at Actinic 460 nm and the other
half at 10,000K for viewing and intensity.

I have had the light on my 29 gallon aquarium for two weeks now and I am
amazed how fast my plants are growing now. However, I am finding myself
with green glass because the algae has really taken off.


Chances are that you will find yourself with ongoing algae problems. The bulb
you bought is intended for marine tanks. For freshwater planted tanks, bulbs
with lower color temperature are typically used. (Most people stay in the
5000-6000K range, but some go as low as 3500K.) The high blue content
and low red content of the bulb you have does not match the absorption
spectrum of plants very well, but algae seem to like the blue light just fine.

If your algae go out of control, you may want to try a bulb with a lower
color temperature.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

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Old 23-10-2004, 04:08 PM
js1
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-10-04, James Smith wrote:
Usually the convention with flourecents is 2-4watts per gallon, or 20watts
per sq foot surface area.

However for the same length tube (i.e 36in) a T8 flourescent is 25w and a T5
39w.


http://fins.actwin.com/aquariafaq.html
http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/


--
"I have to decide between two equally frightening options.
If I wanted to do that, I'd vote." --Duckman



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