Dendroboard banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have built a rather large vivarium and it doesnt seem to get enough light for the plants. I have 2 cfl 6500k bulbs and a grow bulb i found at lowes for $4. I planted about 5 months ago and nothing seems to grow...mostly just wilt and die. I think do to the lack of light and the heat being produced by the bulbs its killing the plants. Sometimes it is 80 degrees on the floor! I installed a small 8"x3" vent right above the bulbs hopping to let some of the heat escape but not much change, also I have two pc fans blowing inside but all that seems to do is move hot air around. pic below

I took this right after i finished.

Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
You say you have a vent cut up in the top with the lights. Do you have anything blowing the hot air out? or is it just passive ventilation? If you just have passive ventilation then you'll want to get something to actively cool it off. If you have a fan blowing in one side and another fan blowing out the opposite side this would help create a path of air rushing over it and blowing hot air out (same concept as when designing computer cases).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,941 Posts
Too much heat will kill frogs and plants, not enough light will also make the plants wither over time. The best route to get away from heat and give yourself enough light will unfortunately mean spending more $$. T5 HO lights are great and the new LED lighting systems are very heat free but pretty expensive. One of those ought to fix you problem, creating a vent should help but you need to push air through it. CF lights are very hot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I mist it about once a day very heavily and the humidity is around 70-80%. Im not sure of the grow light wattage, but the i think the two CFL are 26watt 6500k. I think that sounds right. I have managed to kill 2 african violets, a creeping fig, cissus, a bromeliad,and java moss(which might be because i transplanted it to a diffrent part of the viv.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Is the light box on top of the vivarium totally enclosed?

Compact fluorescent bulbs put off a lot of heat, it is not enough to simply have air movement inside of the 'light box' but, fresh air must be brought in and the hot air must be exhausted.

It looks to me like there might be 4-5ft between the top (of the inside of the vivarium) and the bottom/floor. I do not think that 2- 26 watt lights is anywhere near enough. Over my 92 gallon I have over 120 watts, and it is only 24in deep.

If I had to light that tank I would use a 250w HQI pendant - at least. Heat will again be an issue though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was guessing it was a lack of light. I have a lot of pc fans laying around so i will fiddle with them and do a little cutting to make an intake and exhaust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Ok, could you give us a little bit more information & pictures of the setup? Looks like it will look great once everything is sorted out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·




I put a fan on the vent to work as an exhaust. You can notice the foil around to create better lighting....it kinda failed. I was thinking of getting this fixture.

T5 Aquarium Lighting

i can easily move things around in my canopy because its removable. I just dont have hundreds of dollars to put into them lights. I was also thinking of making a couple of LED strips to go in the viv veritically on the door frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Ah, ok.

As long as you can keep humidity up with a screen top you should be alright.

The cheapest way to do high intensity lighting is to buy used metal halide fixtures off craigslist. Not the pendants made for aquarium use but, the surplus industrial variety. Also check ebay. (I just looked, seems like there are some available for less than $100)

Because your vivarium is so deep I'm not sure if the fixture you linked would work, it might work well for the first few feet but, I'm not sure about penetrating all the way to the bottom.

I would hate for you to spend like $70 on something that doesn't do what you need it to.

As for LED's along the frame - it might work but, instead of spending money on supplemental lighting like that you could put it towards a higher output fixture.

If you end up going with a metal halide fixture you might want to build another box with a glass face for the entire fixture to be housed in. This way you could vent this new light box as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Metal halide maybe where i need to go with this. I remember having these on our projectors at my theater...Forgot to open the exhaust vent/fan once and it exploded....these things get super hot....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looked on ebay and there seems to be quite a bit of set ups when you search grow light hood. Some kits come with switchable ballast and everything...couple of thoughts though...i dont know how many watts 400,600, 1000?! MH or HPS? would i need more that one to penetrate 4 feet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Yes, they get VERY hot. I would just get a MH 250w 6.5k bulb w/ appropriate ballast and reflector. I think people use a HPS for growing fruiting plants - tomatoes etc.

You will probably have to open up your canopy and hang the MH light from the ceiling and play around with the fixtures height from the tank.

I think that when you get into the 400w+ bulbs it's about being able to light up more square feet of space, not necessarily depth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am really begining to hate lights. I was up till 4 last night looking up diffrent types i cam arcoss on the same website as before a dual MH with 24" T5 HO with 2 cooling fans built in for a good price but i would need to change out the bulbs because it comes with 15000k 250w MH and the t5 are some blue color for reef tanks.

24in Metal Halide HQI System Advance Plus

For now i have the heat issuse to rest. I took out the center grow bulb and the temp stabalized at about 72.5 and the humidity is about 85% stable.

I cant do alot of cutting into the canopy because I think i will loose to much humidity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Ok, that seems like a nice fixture. If you are concerned with humidity you can get some glass cut to partially cover the screen top.

With this fixture and the large amount of heat and light you are going to have to keep an eye on any plants planted near the top of the viv. You might end up with your broms having their leaves turn brown/burnt looking at the tips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I found these on ebay when I was doing some research for LED's for my 36" high tank they have 10, 20, 30, 50, and 100watt units. I ordered a small 10w version to test but have not recieved it yet.
1pc 100W White LED Garden Floodlight Wall Wash lamp | eBay

maybe 2 of these would work?
50W LED Outdoor garden yard wash Flood Light pure white | eBay
I have been actually researching these tonight and I like the idea of the 100W Led, but i wouldnt buy a prefabed unit. Because high power LEDs are very directional you dont loose much light without a reflector as long are you buy the one with the correct angle. ie 100 degrees to 140 degrees. 2 100w would run me about $200 (led and driver) and i would need to come up with a heat sink for it. (come to think of it i might have some old cpu heatsinks)
I have read alot of people saying the reflectors/lens you can buy for these things (about $9) are useless.
My lights for the most part are hidden so i dont need to worry about how they look.
I also thought about just adding more light fixtures and cfls and polished aluminum (for a good reflector).
But alas that would be lazy of me and i still come to the heat from the CFL s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to retract a statement i made in my previous post; Adding more CFLs will not increase light penetration. From what I have read on some other forums it will in increase angle coverage but not depth. A single source with a high lumen output i.e MH. will increase the depth.

I just fear the intense heat output of a MH and not wanting to cut large holes into my canopy and the possible humidity loss. As i saw just adding 100w grow bulb kills humidity and increases heat greatly.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top