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Discussion Starter #1
No, not a dumb movie based on a dumber video game....

Q for all you fellow horticulturists: I am quite UNABLE to suspend any lights over my tanks; the fixture has to rest on the tank (too many cats...)

Would you go with a 24" "Reptile UV Aqualight" which uses 1 24" European-style power compact bulb (the one that looks like a thin tuning fork),

OR

a 24" Zilla "Low Profile strip," which uses two 14W T-5s.

I suspect the first bulb may get too warm for tanks with plants mounted near the the top (e.g., Anthurium, Epi porpax, Haraella, etc.), especially in warmer weather. Actually, the first bulb is Coralife, the 2nd Zilla, which means they're essentially from the same company.

Does anyone have any experience or a serious opinion on which fixture they would use, resting on top of a planted vivarium?

I thank you for your advice.
 

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im building an array of 10 26 watt compact florescent bulbs at 6500k. the peak lumen output will be 16,000. this is comparable to a high pressure sodium bulb with MUCH less heat.

"daylight" CFLs are my new best friend. they are very cheap compared to pre-made fixtures.

james
 

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He's talking about power compacts, not the spiral tubes.

In general I'm a fan of T5's. In my experience there's a better selection of replacement tubes available, and you don't have to worry about which connector is the right fit. A T5 is a T5 (unless you take HO and SHO T5s into account).

These however look like special UVB lights, so I can't vouch for their availability.

Also, power compacts will always have a certain amount of restrike, which means lost light and additional heat, but the T5 fixture appears to have both tubes under the same reflector so it will have the same problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Carbonect!

What is the difference between HO and SHO T-5s, and regular T-5s? Are they different sizes? (I assume that "HO" means high output).
 

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He's talking about power compacts, not the spiral tubes.

In general I'm a fan of T5's. In my experience there's a better selection of replacement tubes available, and you don't have to worry about which connector is the right fit. A T5 is a T5 (unless you take HO and SHO T5s into account).

These however look like special UVB lights, so I can't vouch for their availability.

Also, power compacts will always have a certain amount of restrike, which means lost light and additional heat, but the T5 fixture appears to have both tubes under the same reflector so it will have the same problem.
i understand that he was asking about power compacts and not compact fluorescent, however i was saying that the CFLs give you way more bang for the buck. not only are they cheap in comparison but a comparable lumen output should produce much less heat. price for my 10 light 16 thousand lumen CFL light at 6500k is around $50-60. if you have looked at the prices of T5 units or T5 HO units or even power compacts for that matter, you will find that they are generally MUCH more expensive, and again may produce much more heat.

HD has 26w (100w equivalent) CFLs on sale $4 and change for a 2 pack.

james
 

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Plants don't use UV. They can only utilize light in the visible spectrum. Any amount of UV being put out can burn them if they get too close. Unless you need to have it for your animals, of which dart frogs have been shown to not need it, I wouldn't bother with the UV bulbs. Aside from that go with what ever option gives the best full spectrum lighting and the largest amount of lumens possible. Bright white lighting like 65 or 63K is ideal and pump as much into it as the system can bear, basing it on the heat load.
 

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A HO T5 that puts out 5000 lumens is the same size and shape (the "5" indicates the tube's diameter) as a regular T5 which puts out 3000 lumens. You can think of it as being supercharged I guess. It uses a different ballast and the wattage is a little higher, as well as being hotter.

CFLs are just HO T5s, coiled. So we're talking about two of the same tubes, but one (being coiled) suffers from a lot more restrike. CFLs may not get significantly hotter than HO T5s, but they definitely aren't cooler. Regular T5s will be cooler than both.

A VHO T5 (sorry, SHO was a typo) is "very high output" so it's the next step up. You mostly see that one used by hardcore reefers.
 

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I should also mention that not all CFLs are T5. I have some next-generation CFLs which are T2s. Those will have some advantages over T5s, cost aside.
 

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CFLs are just HO T5s, coiled. So we're talking about two of the same tubes, but one (being coiled) suffers from a lot more restrike. CFLs may not get significantly hotter than HO T5s, but they definitely aren't cooler. Regular T5s will be cooler than both..
Thats not the whole truth.

HO T5s are designed to run in higher temperature environments than PC/CFL lights. Different design parameters are used. This leads to T5s being significantly more efficient in environments over about 75 degrees.

And, despite your frog tank being in the 70s, its nowhere near 70 around the bulbs themselves. Most likely around 100. In these sorts of temperatures, T5s will last longer, and be more efficient. They'll also give you more light because of both A) Restrike issues in CFLS, and B) significantly better reflectors.


As to the poster who said that 10 26W CFLs will give you less heat than a MH/SV bulb, thats incorrect. A 250W MH bulb is going to produce significantly more light on the same amount of energy. Because it creates more light, less energy is directly wasted as heat. Also, a 1600 Lumen CFL running in an array of 26 of them, in any sort of even close to enclosed environment is going to be down around 7-800 lumens in a matter of days because of the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bottom line: Will a 24" double T-5 with two 22" tubes. one "tropical," one "desert" (UV for lizards), be too hot for orchids mounted near the top of the tank? I cannot suspend the unit; it has to rest on top of the tank (%^$# cats...) I am running a muffin fan..
 

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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I have a question about T5 lighting. Home depot has reasonably priced T5 fixtures, are these capable of running the HO bulbs, or do they require the expensive aquarium/hydroponic fixtures? Is a T5 setup really worth the extra cost compared to the standard T8?
 
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