Lighting help

Discussion in 'Planted Tank Equipment' started by CiRavesh, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. CiRavesh
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    CiRavesh Noob

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    Hi All

    Similar to slashers post I'm in need of some advice as I'm due for bulb replacement.
    I have a 100l tank with 4x 24w T5 fluval life fluorescent in there...
    I have 2x Hagen Glo ballasts, each of which powers 2x 24w tubes.
    Ideally this tank needs the 39w tubes. Reason for choosing the shorter tubes is due to the 39w not fitting inside the cover hood.
    I'm thinking of modifying the hood now to make the 39w tube fit in there.
    My concern is if the 24w ballast can handle the 39w tubes.
    Digging around on google I've read on some post that the 39w tubes will work on the 24w ballast but not as bright as it should be....maybe as bright as a 24w tube?? if this is the case then its cool with me as I may get more light coverage I hope... (I have some dark spots with the short 24w tubes)

    Any one wishing to comment on this ?

    The fluval 39w tubes are R500 each. I know the osram ones are cheaper but are those as bright and stimulating 'for plant growth? if I buy 4 fluval tubes for 2k and if it doesn't work on my 24w ballast :( what a chance to take... hopefully the osram are much cheaper? where do they sell osram plant growth tubes in durban? Hows the pricing? What Colour temps to use?

    Also I've seen LED tubes that can fit on a normal T5 ballast. If I get the 39W length LED tube will that be a wiser option as they take lesser power and may be brighter and better for plant growth....but i know they WILL be expensive . Where do I get them?

    Anyone to comment or advise ?
    Appreciated.
     
  2. Joshua Tree
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    Joshua Tree Valued Contributor

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    Get your tubes from The Lamphouse. I run 4x generic tubes over my 300l and grow jungles. Tube prices range from about R30-R150 so much cheaper. You can buy replacement ballasts from the manufacturer or a lighting/electrical supplier like bolted.
     
  3. Joshua Tree
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    Joshua Tree Valued Contributor

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    Damn autocorrect...Voltex
     
  4. CiRavesh
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    CiRavesh Noob

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    Thanks Josh will go check out voltex.

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  5. CiRavesh
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    CiRavesh Noob

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    And lamphouse

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  6. CiRavesh
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    CiRavesh Noob

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    Josh. What about going DIY LED? Is it worth the trouble?

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  7. Joshua Tree
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    Joshua Tree Valued Contributor

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    From watching the numerous threads regarding LED's you get what you pay for. Decent leds cost a lot of money but do work and save electricity. So the biggest question is really do you have cash to spend...if not stick to T5's.

    PS - This is just my opinion and I have no experience with LED
     
  8. CiRavesh
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    CiRavesh Noob

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    I've also looking and I see Cree where ever I read. Maybe a second hand fixture or DIY with those leds. Have to do some googling or maybe just go with t5. I am a DIY guy love a challenge but like how lighting is a limiting factor in a planted tank, so is cash in everyday life lol...

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  9. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    Without an adequate heat sink the LEDs will quickly degrade. Unless you have the money and time to built it right you are just wasting time and money. The LED tubes work well... but I would still stick to T5/T8 for now. In fact, I have gone back from my LED array to T8.

    2x24 W T5 should given more than enough light to grow plants in your tank (I'm assuming it is 90 x 32 x 35 cm?). You will have less trouble with algae running 2x24 W T5 than 4x24W T5 lamps.

    Regular Cool white, warm white or daylight T5s will grow plants fine but might not look right to your eye. Lamps rated 6500 to 8000 K seem to give the best color rendering and grow plants just fine. Combining a daylight with a grow-lux would work well.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. CiRavesh
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    Yes Tyrone that's the dimensions. Running 2x24w my carpet didn't seem to respond that well. Pearling was almost non existent. As for algae I have nothing visible for now. I have the second pair as a mid time burst. Problem that I face is dead spots as the 24w don't run the length of the tank.

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  11. tyronegenade
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    If you are using one of the commercial hoods then you are always going to be stuck with dead space. You would need to build your own hood to accommodate the proper length lamps. You could, then stagger the 24W lamps in the hood so that two are off-set to either side in the hood. Then you can keep your lamps as they are.

    If the plants are growing well, as is, and there is no algae, then don't mess with what you have!
     
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  12. CiRavesh
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    Yeah have a commercial hood and it posed a problem from the start.

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