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Power Compact tubes lifespan?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Ian H, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    I'm getting closer to my final decision to go PC on my lighting setup. I know that the tubes have an estimated 10,000 hour life but does the output diminish to an unuseable point well before this figure is reached. The only information I have been able to find states " change after 1 year or when it expires" :( As the estimated lifespan on my current photo period works out to 2.5 years, this is worse than useless info. Anyone else had more luck than me?

    The other issue I have is what size to order. The PC's are shorter in length than regular tubes, which means that if I follow the 2 watt 'rule' I would end up with a twin 15" array in my 30" lid which I think would lead to dark corners. I would like to go with the twin 55w at 20" but that is a bit OTT in terms of watts per gallon. Help!!! Please HELP. :confused:

    Ian
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    They run till they die pretty much.
    I've gotten about 4-5 years out of mine.
    I've kept asking folks for their 1-2 year old one they claim they swap out but they never send any:)


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Ian, what are the dimensions of your tank? Is it a 30" 29 gallon? 2 X 36w,
    across the top of the tank would not have any dark corners if the tank is
    12-13" from front to back. The MIRO4 reflector is 34.5" in length and can
    easily be cut down to fit your 30" lid. I'm assuming you will be procuring this
    setup from AH Supply. Two 55s in a 29 gallon is definitely overkill....

    Regards,

    Bill Ruyle
     
  4. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Thanks Tom, looks good to me. It will without doubt be the main selling point when I enter financial negotiations with my accountant/banker (the Missus).

    Ian
     
  5. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Thanks Bill, I think that the twin 36w units are the ones I should use.The ones I think I am going with are ASL units from a UK supplier. http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/listsections.asp?parent=299&seq=133&retp=43&rets=131
    They are similar to the AH ones on a twin inbuilt 19" reflector. The reason I decided against AH was that the shipping costs etc. outweighed the dollar rate cost saving.

    The reason I asked about the light spread is that I have read that the light from these units does not spread a lot. BTW my tank is 75l 30" X 12" x 18" heigh.

    Ian
     
  6. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Ian, you are going to be very happy with the results of the 2 X 36w kit.

    Bill Ruyle
     
  7. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Thanks Tom and Bill. A 2 X 36w units plus tubes ordered tonight. Aquatics online are very good on delivery normally, may be here by Monday. :)

    Ian
     
  8. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    PC's arrived Today and are fitted. I'm impressed with Aquatics online's delivery. Ordered late Wednesday, arrived Friday. :D

    First impressions :- The reflectors are white coated aluminium.......I expected a more reflective shiny surface.The reflectors have a clear perspex cover. The brightness was a little less than anticipated so I added one of my old t8 floro's. The tube I got are pink/blue and white/pink, colour balance looks good. with the T8 on the light spread looks quite even.

    The ballast is larger than I expected, 7" x 4", and states magnetic ballast. Quite heavy too. So is a magnetic ballast an electronic ballast as it states in the write-up??

    I'll be watching closely to see how my plants respond. I don't have a problem with algae, but I'll keep an eye on that too.
     
  9. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Ian,
    Down the road, you might want to order the MIRO4 reflector from AH Supply.
    You won't be needing any other lighting when you do. It's unfortunate, albeit
    good delivery service, that the company you ordered from cut cost by including a lesser quality reflector. When you install the MIRO4 reflector, the
    results will be immediately noticeable. :cool: Also, a magnetic ballast is not
    an electronic ballast which would drive up the cost considerably. You will want
    to mount the magnetic ballast outboard the hood, due to heat and weight.

    Regards,

    Bill Ruyle
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Ian, make sure you keep a record of where you get good deals, the pmdd supplies etc there.

    This will allow you a quick reference to help others in the UK.
    Due to the size of the UK, it's like shipping in state in the USA.

    We have many thuingsa here that might be better, a better deal etc, but shipping and availability is difficult across the seas. Shipping makes it tough.

    So having a list of resources for these things locally is always a good plan.
    This is one of the main concepts I've tried to focus on when giving advice and suggesting an approach.

    Folks in the USA. Canada might have access to antibiotics but you folks don't for BGA, KNO3 is easy to advise on dosing no matter where on earth an aquarist might live.

    Tap water conditioons does play a role but much less so with the methods I'll often suggest.

    This trend towards a unified approach and low cost available nutrients is a good thing for everyone. The experimentation is fun no dobt, but aquascaping and doing that rather than algae wars seems like what most are seeking.

    By a unified method, I mean several, not just one, EI works well at high and low light, so there's a couple, non CO2, and marine tanks. That's four basic approaches. All the others are linked to these in some general way.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Ian,
    The MIRO4 reflector is a German product. Why don't you have Aquatics-Online
    investigate stocking these? It could be an upgrade (much improved upgrade)
    to the kit they're currently offering. Or try getting it direct from the OEM: you
    could have it shipped ground all the way to you via the 'Channel tunnel ;) And
    best of all, these reflectors are extemely light!

    Bill
     
  12. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Looking into it but don't want to go into protracted negotiations with my lady just yet. :)

    I will send them an email and ask them to explain as they do quote an electronic ballast in their sales pitch.

    Not really a problem as I designed/built the hood with a shelf that extends beyond the rear of the hood/tank.

    Thanks,

    Ian
     
  13. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Thanks Tom, it is a more difficult market in the UK than the US, both on the buying and selling side. Had Greg Watsons and AH Supply been in the UK, I would have shopped with them without doubt.

    Growing water plants in the UK is becoming more popular but to my mind still in it's infancy. Most LFS's have no idea about plants or the growing of them at all. Greenline and Tropica are the only sources I consider to offer a good range of quality plants here. It took me ages to track a source of chemicals that equated the PMDD formula. I do pass on the information to all that need it and get some form of satisfaction from that.

    It's terrific that people like yourself and all the responders in the various forums spend time and effort to help inquisitive soles like me to attain some level of understanding.

    You never know Tom, if you continue 'hammering' I may even get round to trying your estmative index method.................However if you remember my thread regarding excessive water changes, it could be a while. Still not got the python thing also. :)

    Ian
     
  14. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    Greg Watson does ship overseas and it's not all that expensive.

    The only thing that he can't ship is KNO3 if I remember correctly. But that I have no problem getting at the local pharmacy here; they just order it for me.
     
  15. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Power Compact tubes lifespan?

    I did manage to source all of the PMDD ingredients in the UK, most were as the recipe except the traces, but with a bit of adjustment they look close enough. If I need more in the future I will possibly get them from Greg W. I think I've got a few years left in my current supply though.

    Going back to the new lights, I found out from a contributer in another forum that the white coating on the reflectors was in fact a plastic protective film. It's now peeled off and looking shiny. :)

    In my defence there were no instructions in the kit and as the plastic film looked perfect I thought it was a white coating.

    Ian
     
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