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fenix
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just a few things crossed my mind after a conversation I had with another club member...
I've been running striplites/reflectors converted to compact fluorescent bulbs on a DIY basis for years...the bulbs come from walmart. - The screw-in type they sell in a 4 or 6 pack. My plants are doing well with these, but seldom put out runners. Vallisneria is, but it took them a year to get acclimated.
Conversion to compact fluorescent from either an incandescent or long fluor. striplite or hood is relatively easy- if you have a low light plant setup, such as Java fern, you can get by with sockets from walmart and wire from your original light bulbs or fluor. ballast. No special substrate or fertilizer is needed if your tank's been set up for 6 months or more, or you get lucky with the gravel you purchase from a sand/gravel outfit- if it's full of silt or mud so you have to wash it, your plants should thrive.
Get your sockets from the lumber yard, along with whatever fasteners you use to secure the sockets to the reflector (the black or brown cover for the bulbs)- that should come to less than $10 for sockets, bulbs, and fasteners. Note: be sure you get the sockets that are threaded on the end or you'll have to buy more hardware. You'll need to shop electrical supply houses for sockets for the compact fluorescents you see on those ($100 plus) striplights you get made especially for planted tanks, as well as the bulbs- if you are just changing bulb types it may be easier- if the original ballast will take the increased demand. Ask the electrical supply people.
 

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34 Posts
keep us updated on how that works for you. I'd be interested to know what all plants you keep. I know you have vals, but what else?
 

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48 Posts
Why not purchase the silver reflector that is commonly used for heat lamps?

It could be painted on the outside with a high temp paint and is already wired. The big downside would be the height if you don't have a tall canopy to hide the fixture.



I would think as long as enough space is allowed for airflow this would work. Just put in the "daylight" bulbs.
 

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fenix
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Re our plants: we have swords, watersprite, java fern, crypts,and wisteria- the sprite grows to about 2 ft. and then I have to thin it..
 

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A PLANTED TANK GEEK DORK
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27 Posts
my thoughts on lighting for a planted tank is it's more about p.a.r/p.u.r. and kelvins.

PAR:

PAR is probably one of the most important considerations along with the related Useful Light Energy, Lumens per Watt, Focused Lumens and Watts per Gallon when choosing a light for your aquarium, yet is often over looked by both marine and freshwater pant keeping aquarists.

PAR is the abbreviation for Photosynthetically Active Radiation which is the spectral range of solar light from 400 to 700 nanometers that is needed by plants for photosynthesis. This is found from actinic UVA to infrared; 400-550nm (of which 465-485 has the highest PAR of the actinic range) which is the absorption bandwidth of chlorophylls a, c², and peridinin (the light-harvesting carotenoid, a pigment related to chlorophyll) and ~620-700nm which is the red absorption bandwidth of chlorophylls a and c².
Photons at shorter wavelengths (Ultraviolet –C or UVC) tend to be so energetic that they can be damaging to cells and tissues; fortunately they are mostly filtered out by the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Green light occupies the middle spectrum (550-620nm; what is mostly visible to us) and is partly why chlorophyll is green due to the reflective properties.
Bulbs that emit mostly actinic light will have a lower PAR (although actinic UVA still occupies an spike in PAR as seen from the graph and improve the PAR of your lighting), bulbs that occupy mostly the middle spectrum (yellow-green) such as “warm White (2700K) will produce little necessary PAR, while bulbs that produce mostly infrared will produce more important PAR (as seen from the graph), however it is the balance of infrared and UVA that will generally provide your best PAR output.

PUR (Photosynthetically Usable Radiation) should also be considered. PUR is that fraction of PAR that is absorbed by zooxanthellae photopigments thereby stimulating photosynthesis. As noted above, PUR are those wavelengths falling between 400-550nm and 620-700nm.
 

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A PLANTED TANK GEEK DORK
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27 Posts
in my opinion it's more about p.a.r. p.u.r.,kelvins, and having a good reflector.


PAR:

PAR is probably one of the most important considerations along with the related Useful Light Energy, Lumens per Watt, Focused Lumens and Watts per Gallon when choosing a light for your aquarium, yet is often over looked by both marine and freshwater pant keeping aquarists.

PAR is the abbreviation for Photosynthetically Active Radiation which is the spectral range of solar light from 400 to 700 nanometers that is needed by plants for photosynthesis. This is found from actinic UVA to infrared; 400-550nm (of which 465-485 has the highest PAR of the actinic range) which is the absorption bandwidth of chlorophylls a, c², and peridinin (the light-harvesting carotenoid, a pigment related to chlorophyll) and ~620-700nm which is the red absorption bandwidth of chlorophylls a and c².
Photons at shorter wavelengths (Ultraviolet –C or UVC) tend to be so energetic that they can be damaging to cells and tissues; fortunately they are mostly filtered out by the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Green light occupies the middle spectrum (550-620nm; what is mostly visible to us) and is partly why chlorophyll is green due to the reflective properties.
Bulbs that emit mostly actinic light will have a lower PAR (although actinic UVA still occupies an spike in PAR as seen from the graph and improve the PAR of your lighting), bulbs that occupy mostly the middle spectrum (yellow-green) such as “warm White (2700K) will produce little necessary PAR, while bulbs that produce mostly infrared will produce more important PAR (as seen from the graph), however it is the balance of infrared and UVA that will generally provide your best PAR output.

PUR (Photosynthetically Usable Radiation) should also be considered. PUR is that fraction of PAR that is absorbed by zooxanthellae photopigments thereby stimulating photosynthesis. As noted above, PUR are those wavelengths falling between 400-550nm and 620-700nm.
 
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