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thinking about switching from cfl to t5

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by lethalcustoms00, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. lethalcustoms00

    lethalcustoms00 gearhead extrordinare

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    my planted tank is a 180, very densly planted and currently i have over 300 watts per gallon of old compact flourescent bulbs. my problem is that they create a lot of heat, as in the tank doesnt need a heater to stay right around 80 deg f. ihave 2 t5 bulbs already, and im thinking about going to all t5s, ho or regular either one. does anyone have any personal experince with this situation? I do use c02 also, and i dont want to ruin my high light growth and color. it woudl be nice to have less heat and less power consumption though. what does everyone here think?
     
  2. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    I had CFLs over my paludarium for quite some time. Keeping in mind that most of the plants are grown emersed, the plants responded very well to the switch to T5HO. I have not, however, dealt with CO2 so I have no clue how that would affect things.

    HTH
     
  3. teij_tseng

    teij_tseng AC Members

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    Wow, 300 watts per gallon is a lot of light buddy :thm:. Lol, just kidding but I think I know what you mean. Anyways, back on topic. In my plant tanks all I use are T5's and have had remarkable success. When I first started my planted tank, I did a little research into T5's and CF's and decided to go with T5's, mainly because of the cost of replacing the bulb and as you stated, the issue with heat. I also read somewhere that CF's tend to crack due to moisture and the amount of heat it outputs so that pretty gave T5's the thumbs up. As far as issues with CO2, as with any system, it's just a matter of balancing your light, nutrients and CO2. 300w of CF is pretty much the same as 300w of T5 (CF is just an oddly shaped fluorescent bulb afterall). I'd imagine that you should be able to easily find a T5 fixture with 300+ watts of power for a 180 as well. Whether you're using CF's or T5's, just make sure you get something that's going to have the spectrum of light needed for plant growth (mainly a lot of blue light and quite of bit of red light). I've found that having a half of my bulbs be a full spectrum bulb and the other half being a "plant" specific bulbs work best, mainly just because I'm not too fond of the pink hue that the plant bulbs tend to output. Hope that helps!
     
  4. sideshow201

    sideshow201 AC Members

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    I have had very good luck with T5HO, CO2 and plants. I use the Hagen Glo retrofit ballasts and 1/2 of the bulbs PowerGlo and the other 1/2 LifeGlo.
     
  5. lethalcustoms00

    lethalcustoms00 gearhead extrordinare

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    that jus what i was lookinng for, thank you. Im already tired of buying bulbs and balasts anyway, so t5 it is
     
  6. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    I don't think I would say 300w CFL is comparable to 300w T5...linear bulbs don't get the restrike effect like spiral bulbs do. And wattage across bulb types doesn't really say much about the amount of light produced that is actually usable for the plants.

    Anyways, T5 definitely seems to be the way to go nowadays.
     
  7. dundadundun

    dundadundun ;sup' dog? ;woof and a wwwoof!

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    one thing... if your cfl's are creating that much heat, you've probably got them oriented wrong. you can get great penetration from a cfl oriented vertically and reflected much like a clamp lamp would. that would really help with your heat situation... but it's more of a spot light than many prefer... for some reason.

    t5ho is definitely a step up and would provide the characteristics you're looking for. although, they do produce a fair amount of heat as well...
     

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