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  1. Default Lighting upgrade


    0 Not allowed!
    I currently have a standard 55g tank with two 24" single bulb light fixtures on it. They are the standard fluorescent bulbs that came with the tank. I have a few plants:

    Amazon swords
    Anubias (I think)
    Melon sword?
    Anacharis
    some sort of grass - Cyperus Helferi?
    Vallisneria spiralis
    java moss
    Christmas moss (not in tank yet. Ordered)

    The plants aren't exactly thriving, but they aren't dying either. I really don't want to get too high tech with co2 and stuff like that if I don't have to. Is there a decent bulb upgrade I can get that would do the trick, or am I trying to oversimplify it?


    55g African Cichlid tank -
    29g Community tank -

  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    have you looked at the mod Hardy85 did? That might fit the bill. Sorry i cant post the link i am accessing the forum on a mobile phone
    Water changes are key to healthy fish!

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Let's see what you are working with now, Need some info on your bulbs.

    T8s T5s? Wattage[20W T8s I am guessing]? Color spectrum [it will be a number with a K IE: 10000K]

    Just a heads up: This step is likely to be a fixture upgrade and not a bulb upgrade as you don't really get different wattage fluorescent bulbs of the same length.

    EDIT: Unless you retrofit different ballasts as Hardy did, T5s are friendlier to your power bill than the retrofit kit mentioned if that's a factor.
    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    EDIT: Unless you retrofit different ballasts as Hardy did, T5s are friendlier to your power bill than the retrofit kit mentioned if that's a factor.
    I dont understand why any retrofitting would be needed. The mod requires no ballast as I understand it. Cfl bulbs do not require a ballast as do tubes. But, not having done those mod myself yet, i may be missing something.
    Water changes are key to healthy fish!

  5. #5

    Default Still around & Not that old really


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by gurglegurgle
    I dont understand why any retrofitting would be needed. The mod requires no ballast as I understand it. Cfl bulbs do not require a ballast as do tubes. But, not having done those mod myself yet, i may be missing something.
    Yep and here's what it is, Hardys mod wasnt the spiral kind of CFL you are talking about.. See below.

    This happens on occasion because CFLs are now commonly the top image and they used to be [Still are actually] the next one. We are referring to two different things is all it is.

    {Couldn't get the image tags to work}
    You are referring to these -[The new CFLs]:

    I am talking about these [The old aquarium light CFLs]:
    Picture -->

    Click here for a link also. <--- Why retrofitting would be required.

    EDIT: Ok Chuck, I looked at the PDF for your kit but they don't give any specifics [that I see] about your bulbs.
    Last edited by Goes to 11!; 01-18-2013 at 06:04 PM.
    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by 850R
    Yep and here's what it is, Hardys mod wasnt the spiral kind of CFL you are talking about.. See below.

    This happens on occasion because CFLs are now commonly the top image and they used to be [Still are actually] the next one. We are referring to two different things is all it is.

    {Couldn't get the image tags to work}
    You are referring to these -[The new CFLs]:http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/image/Stap..._sc7?$splssku$

    I am talking about these [The old aquarium light CFLs]:
    Picture --> https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/i...UPtS6JO6EgUBPQ

    Click here for a link also. <--- Why retrofitting would be required.

    EDIT: Ok Chuck, I looked at the PDF for your kit but they don't give any specifics [that I see] about your bulbs.
    Yeah, i know. I'll have to look tonight. I suspect they are just your basic run of the mill fluorescent bulb.


    55g African Cichlid tank -
    29g Community tank -

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I just posted in your other thread too, but I'll chime in here too. I had that light setup too, it was pretty useless. There weren't any bulbs I could find that had more power.

    What I ended up doing was getting a new fixture; I went with LEDs, but T5s work too, and give you med/high light if you get one with two bulbs and at the correct lengths for your tank (if it's a 48 inch long, two 24 inch fixures, or one 48 inch one). Watts per gallon is a loose guideline for determining light strength: I think at least 3 WPG is needed for medium light plants?? IDK, I might be wrong.

    Even with high light, you do not have to necessarily do CO2. I won't do it, even though I have high light. I dose flourish excel kinda lazily, and I've utilized floating plants to help diffuse the light. Is it perfect? No, but it's not bad.

    Seems like upgrading your fixture is just par for the course when interested in aquatic plants. Of my four working tanks, only one has the original light on it, and that only works because it's two CFLs (I removed the crapola incandescents). Sigh. Just a bit more time and money, but a necessity for this part of the hobby.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by 850R
    Let's see what you are working with now, Need some info on your bulbs.

    T8s T5s? Wattage[20W T8s I am guessing]? Color spectrum [it will be a number with a K IE: 10000K]

    Just a heads up: This step is likely to be a fixture upgrade and not a bulb upgrade as you don't really get different wattage fluorescent bulbs of the same length.

    EDIT: Unless you retrofit different ballasts as Hardy did, T5s are friendlier to your power bill than the retrofit kit mentioned if that's a factor.
    I'm sorry but I don't have any info about my bulbs. I can look tonight when I'm home, but this is the kit I bought - the 55g one:

    http://www.aqueonproducts.com/produc...uarium-kit.htm


    55g African Cichlid tank -
    29g Community tank -

  9. #9

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That's exactly what I had. Not good for much of anything, I'm afraid. Time to start shopping.

    I say it like it's a bad thing, but good lights are just so wonderful when you have a tank full of healthy plants. It's just (as least it was for me) kinda ridiculous when you're trying to find a good light for your needs.

    I thought T5s got too hot for my liking, so I went with LEDs. Nobody else seems to think T5s are too hot though, I guess I'm crazy. That's not a surprise.
    Beth
    1 - 55 gallon planted community
    3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
    My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.

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