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Plant light(bulb) question
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nonamethefish
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.20(Wed)21:37    Post subject: Plant light(bulb) question Reply with quote

Okay...heres the story.

A ten gallon tank is fitted with a 15 watt Flora Sun(Zoo Med brand) light bulb. This bulbs package claims it will last for 3 years( Confused ). Well, maybe the bulb will....but I'm guessing they mean that plants will be able to use the light(Java fern, a couple misc bulbs which now appear to be Nymphae stellata).

Is that statement true? Or do these bulbs putter out after 6-12 months like all others do?

Also, is there a significant difference between these types of light bulbs and just the normal ones?
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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.21(Thu)0:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused about the subject myself. some people say spectrum is important, but others sa it doesn't. they say the spectrum thing has just been perpetuated by lightihng companies(esp the expensive ones) so they could make big money. Honestly, I'd rather do a "natural aquaria(actually, I'm doing one now) where it doesn't use expnsive stuff, sometimes, no filters and no lighting, just the sun.(but you can use artificail lighting if the sun is inconvenient, but still using bulbs that cost like 5-10 dollars each). No fertilizer is added and no CO2 injection.

I'm so interested in natural aquaria that I am sometimes led to believe that the stuff about tanks(needing expensive stuff, special lighting etc.) isnt necesarry and you can stiill grow a wonderful planted tank, but slower.

In my tank, I use 1 tri phospor($20,bougth this when I didn't know much), 1 ultralume, 1 plant and aquarium($10) and 1 cool white(the ordinary bulb).
Anyway, its up to you.
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.21(Thu)6:13    Post subject: Re: Plant light(bulb) question Reply with quote

nonamethefish wrote:
Okay...heres the story.

A ten gallon tank is fitted with a 15 watt Flora Sun(Zoo Med brand) light bulb. This bulbs package claims it will last for 3 years( Confused ). Well, maybe the bulb will....but I'm guessing they mean that plants will be able to use the light(Java fern, a couple misc bulbs which now appear to be Nymphae stellata).

Is that statement true? Or do these bulbs putter out after 6-12 months like all others do?


Your guess is correct. For most bulbs their lumen maintenance curve shows that 12 months is the end of their "useful" life. Meaning, while the bulb may still appear to produce the same amount of light, the performance has been reduced to about 25-50%. While plants can certainly still use this reduced amount of lighting they will begin to respond by stopping or changing their growth rates and patterns and most importantly slowing their comsumption rates of nutrients. Leaf colors and/or shapes may change too in response to the lower lighting levels. This is the reason most experts suggest changing normal output fluorescent bulbs every 12 months. Power Compact fluorescent bulbs don't suffer from this problem, they show a 20% lumen maintenance through their entire 2-3 year lifecycle. Using a good electronic ballast will also increase the lumen maintenance for normal output fluorescents bulbs too. So, if you want to keep lighting levels consistent in a planted tank, which is important if you don't want algae issues, you should replace most normal output fluorescent bulbs every 12 months.

Quote:
Also, is there a significant difference between these types of light bulbs and just the normal ones?


This really doesn't have a simple generalized answer. The best response is this: There are some cheaper equally good bulbs that aren't aquarium specific that will perform as well or better than the more expensive aquarium specific bulbs. There are also some cheap fluorescent bulbs that are only slightly better than incandescent bulbs. So, there are significant differences between some bulbs, yet their are some cheap bulbs just as good or better than the expensive aquaria specific bulbs. Note that more options exist for four foot bulbs, fewer options exist for shorter length bulbs.
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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.21(Thu)12:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read something that ANY full spectru brands will do. look into ge brands, or phillips and ask them if they have something thats full spectrum or go to the lighting aisle, and you shud read by there if its full spectrum or not. plus, they are a lot cheaper:-)
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