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Old 02-06-2011, 06:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Watt lumens?????

Can anyone help me with figuring out how many lumens my 55gal tank needs for lighting as a planted aquarium???

Or even how to convert lumens to watts would do the trick.

Thanks
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35gal Sponge Bob tank with live bearing tropicals (daughters tank)
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55 gal with Oscar (future planted tank with angels and flowerhorns)
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

Lumens wont get you there very easy. What type of light do you want? T5HO, cfl, T5NO, etc.......

If it were me I'd be looking at a T5HO setup. Probably just a two bulb fixture would probably get you into the medium light category. You can also go with shop lights and go cheaper. Check out fishneedit.com, they have great prices.

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

Is this what your looking for:
F15T8
18 Inches
940 lumens
color temp 300k
CRI 70
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10gal fry tank planted with Wisteria, Java Moss, Anuabis and Anacharis
35gal Sponge Bob tank with live bearing tropicals (daughters tank)
15gal planted with Swords, Java Fern, Wisteria and Red Rubin housing 10 fry and 2 bladder snails
55 gal with Oscar (future planted tank with angels and flowerhorns)
55 gal Community tank (platys, mollys, guppys, glass catfish, angels, phantom tetra, red eye tetra and swordtails)

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

So just to clarify, lumens are a way to show light output of a lamp. Watts are difficult to use because they are based off the power consumption of the lamp and can be affected in several ways including, lamp efficiancy, spectral response, and light output angles. So when you base something on wattage, be sure to have an idea of those parameters. Such as, a CFL will have a lower wattage than a normal incandescent but a higher lumen output. A regular fluorescent will have a higher wattage than a CFL and similar lumens but its spread over a larger area so the total flux (lumens per area) will be decreased for the long fluorescent tubes. This same idea applies to LED's and halogen lamps. LED's introduce more complexity so unless you're thinking about those, i wont go into detail here.

Depending on what set up you currently have, you should look into what is available. If you can upgrade, then wiegh the costs and benefits of each. Such as a T8 bulb is longer and has less lumens per watt than a T5 and is also less efficiant. A T5HO (high output) has a higher lumen output than a normal T5 but cost slightly more. I've been told that you need to replace T5 and T8 lights every 6-9 months due to the degredation of the spectral response over time.. which leads to a high cost in the long run.

You'll also need to look at the Kelvin rating of the bulbs. That is, the spectral output of the lamps. Plants have been seen to have the best growth with 6500K lamps. So look for lamps with that rating. If you go too low ~2500K, then that promotes algae growth and looks dull and yellow in your tank.

So the best thing to do in this case, is to look at the lumen output of the different lamps for the wattage specified as well as the length of the lamp. the lower wattage with the higher lumens over the same area is what you want to go for in my opinion. So in that case, several (3-5) 26 watt CFL's over the length of your tank should do the trick and they last longer than the T5/8 lamps. You just have to find the fixtures to do so, which you can make or get wall affixed hanging fixtures with the screw in CFL's. Mixing the 6500k and the 50/50's look really cool in my tank btw ;).

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

For reference, the 26 watt GE 6500K CFL's i use have 1600 lumens of output out of a 5 inch lamp.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amie View Post
Is this what your looking for:
F15T8
18 Inches
940 lumens
color temp 300k
CRI 70
I don't know what this is, lol. Color temp or kelvin ratings should be somewhere in the 6700k range. That is closest to what the sun is at peak daylight.

Here is what I was referring to:

T5-ho 3ft / 2LAMP Aquarium lighting
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

Sorry the color temp is 3000k. Does that sound better????
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10gal fry tank planted with Wisteria, Java Moss, Anuabis and Anacharis
35gal Sponge Bob tank with live bearing tropicals (daughters tank)
15gal planted with Swords, Java Fern, Wisteria and Red Rubin housing 10 fry and 2 bladder snails
55 gal with Oscar (future planted tank with angels and flowerhorns)
55 gal Community tank (platys, mollys, guppys, glass catfish, angels, phantom tetra, red eye tetra and swordtails)

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Old 02-06-2011, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amie View Post
Sorry the color temp is 3000k. Does that sound better????
I would stick to something in the 5000-6500k range.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watt lumens?????

lumens tell you how bright a light is to the human eye, not if it is the kind of light plants need. Lumens can be useful but on their own don't really help. The PAR rating is what you want to know for plants but that info is hard to find out so we have to do our best with the numbers we have between kalvin, watts, lumens etc we can get close enough to what we want to know in most cases but always need to use a combination of numbers.
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