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Catalina Aquarium lighting?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Detritus Mulm, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    Has anyone tried the T5 lights sold by Catalina Aquarium (eBay). They look pretty decent but some feedback would be nice.

    I curently have 2x96 over a 55 gallon (36") and I will be moving to a 90 gallon (48") in the fairly near future. The 6x54 look good, but the 8x54 are only a few bucks more. Overkill I know, but you can never have too much power. :D (9 out of 10 Algae surveyed)
     
  2. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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  3. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah, I'd been to their site before. But I did a little more digging after you posted the link. I still like what I see and the eBay seller is very responsive. The 8x54 has 3 power chords (4-2-2), so I don't have to use the last set if it's too much. I'm going to add the dimmable Moonlights too. :)

    Not in SoCal, Canada. So shipping is going to hurt. :(
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    How big is the 4 ft tank?

    These are very bright, I'd suggest no more than 4x 54 w for a 90 gal etc, even a 120 gal 4ft tank.

    I can make very nice tanks, say a 75 gal with 2x 54 w.

    You can see them if you come to the AGA event at some stores.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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    BTW, Catalina Aquarium fixtures seem to be made with some of the same components as Coralife, JKS, and others. I wouldn't be surprised if the T5's were really Tek-like systems.
     
  6. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks I ended up with the 6x54, assuming my downgrade made it through in time. Tom made me see the light. I think this will still be about a third brighter than what I have now all things being equal. This will definately be bright when the bulbs are new. But the new tank will be deeper than the old one and I suspect the new reflectors will not be as efficient as the old (AH Supply) ones. I'll have to make sure I have sufficient shade for the night dwellers.

    BTW, your site is very nice.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Thanks,

    One experiment few ever seem to take upon in this hobby, light limiting.

    Like the limbo, how low can we go?

    For all the banter and carrying on about limitation of CO2/NO3/PO4/Fe etc, why have not folks tried do this more often?

    I do this with shade cloth at the lab, many horticulturalist do this at the nursery.
    Old scholl Dutch and European tanks tend to have 2w/gal or so.

    Knowing what we know from a high light/high CO2 system concerning nutrients, then applying this knowledge to the low light tanks, affords us the best of both worlds and gets the most efficacy out of the lights at lower levels.

    If we attempted to test and analzye at low light, many things would allude us.
    It would take longer for one.
    Second, the test kits would be required to have a higher resolution/accuracy level to detect changes.
    Third, algae responses are intensitfied at high light, eg: not many folks had Green Water till PC lighting came along.

    CO2 demand is driven by light and available nutrients(EI addresses that).

    So less light= less demand and more wiggle room with CO2 dosing.


    The arguements are very good for this exploration, but consensus dating back 60 years suggest 2w/gal is fine for most any plant.

    Which is low by today's standards and about high med by standards 20 years ago.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. matpat

    matpat Prolific Poster

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    Hey Tom,

    I have to ask about the wpg rule since I am one of those who likes to use less light on my tanks. Wasn't the WPG rule created back in the Krib days when T-12's without reflectors was the norm?

    I'm not a big fan of CF or T-5 lights and prefer to use T-8s on my tanks. I have had good success in the past running 136w of T-8 and T-12 lights on my 75g. For some reason I upgraded the 40w T-12 strip and replaced it with a 2x55 All Glass fixture. You are right about the green water and higher light. The tank was always nice before adding the CF fixture. It did grow much slower though.

    I have been contemplating dropping the light levels back to their previous levels to reduce maintenance and this may just give me the push I need to do it :)
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well to give folks an idea of the issues:

    two new PC lighting systems, one a 13w on a 2.5 gal tank, => 88 umol
    110w on a 20 gallon: 450 umol of light

    Same type, but serious difference in the amount of PAR.

    I cannot find a T8 or it's = for such a small tank, I can for larger tanks.
    Less light is easier to maintain and deal with,. and given you got family, kids etc, that's not a bad idea. Gives you more scheduling flex time you need.:cool:

    A nice well made T8 system is a nice thing, add a nice reflector and the tank does very well.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr





     
  10. matpat

    matpat Prolific Poster

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    Sorry for the Hijack Detritus Mulm but excess lighting is a pet peeve of mine...
     
  11. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    Not a problem, I was curious about this myself. I did a quick Google search and I was surprised by the results. T12s were around 70 lumens per watt, T8s 80 lumens per watt and T5s around 90 lumens per watt. Obviously this varies by bulb, ballast, etc. Plus the new reflectors are supposed to be much more efficient. But I was surprised how close the output is.

    As for the Pet Peeve, no one has ever accused me of under doing. :)
     
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