Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting - NO, VHO, and T5

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You have many options when choosing fluorescent aquarium lighting. Fluorescents come in numerous Kelvin ratings and wattages. There are three main types of fluorescent aquarium lighting: Normal Output (NO), Very High Output (VHO), and T5

Fluorescent bulbs for aquarium use are usually labeled as T12, T8, or T5. This denotes the diameter of the bulb and end caps.
T12 = 1.5" diameter
T8 = 1" diameter
T5 = 5/8" or .625" diameter

Normal Output (NO)
Normal Output bulbs are standard wattage bulbs that usually come with many stock aquarium hoods. Normal Output bulbs come in varying sizes, including but not limited to, 18", 24", 36", 48", and 72".

NO.jpg


Very High Output (VHO)

Very High Output bulbs allow you to fit fewer bulbs over your tank and provide considerably more lumens as compared to NO bulbs. All VHO bulbs are T12's, or 1.5" in diameter. VHO's, like all linear fluorescents, distribute the light evenly across the water surface, unlike Metal Halides which is a single point of light. Another advantage to using VHO lighting is that they generate less heat as compared to Metal Halides. VHO bulbs generally will need to be replaced about every six months, or as according to the manufacturer's recommendation. VHO bulbs require a 1500ma VHO ballast to operate.

vho.jpg


T5

When purchasing T5's ensure that you are getting High Output T5's (T5HO). All T5 bulbs must be run on an electronic ballast. T5's have a higher lumen output than a VHO, generate less heat, and are more energy efficient. It has also been reported that T5's last considerably longer, between 2-3 years, with less degrade in lumen output. At only 5/8" in diameter, more bulbs can fit under your tank's canopy.

t5.jpg
 
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Thanks Copperband.This lighting info of yours is answering all my questions..Cool
 
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now what are all the different types of t5 lights purposes like blue pink white etc etc...
 
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now what are all the different types of t5 lights purposes like blue pink white etc etc...
Ok, how is a simplified explanation. The whiter lights (6700 - 10000K) are great for growth but don't make the tank look great to human eyes. These lights look "whiter"

The higher K rating (+12000K) are "bluer" lights, they do have an effect on growth but on as effective as the lower K ratings. These lights are used to supplement your lighting and give a cool look.

Always remember natural sunlight runs in the (6000 to 7000K) but this kind of light makes the tank look yellow.
 
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ok that was by the far the easiest explanation i got... thanx..

so the perfect setup would be a combination of all 3?
 
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Ok i am trying to get my blond brain around lighting. Sort of getting there. I wanted to increase the lighting in my tank, but I want to keep the hood as its well made and finishes the tank well, so MH is out, for now.

I have two T5's 58'' (80w) and they generate a fair amount of heat, but if placed in the centre under decent reflectors (i have just sourced) and have a fan running that should protect the wood.

I was also thinking of placing two t12 60'' (140w) either side of these so the fans run over them and dissapate heat to the wood work but also under reflectors. I may also place insulation foam between the wood and reflector to improve this.

Outside these (moving towards the edge of the hood as such) i have 2 sets of double ballast t5's 46'' (54W).

so i would have 2x80W
2x140W
4x 54W

which is kind of 650W over a tank of 1.8m. Is that over kill?

I have all the ballasts and globes except for the t12's. Do any of you have experience with t12's and are they a good route to go? I should be able to source from geiseman or Italy.

also what K rating would be good? If i were to go into the lower K rateings (7000-9000K) would that improve growth of sps and i just run these on a photo period of a few hours at a time in the day when i am unlikely to be at the tank that much?

any suggestions guys?
 

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Here's my 3 cents....
Crispin, the lower the K rating will lead to better growth, however it needs to be supplemented with actinics else your tank will look too yellow. 6500 kelvin will give you excellent growth IMO.
If you not going to be around the tank too often, I would think 4 hours would be ideal.
 
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Ok i am trying to get my blond brain around lighting. Sort of getting there. I wanted to increase the lighting in my tank, but I want to keep the hood as its well made and finishes the tank well, so MH is out, for now.

I have two T5's 58'' (80w) and they generate a fair amount of heat, but if placed in the centre under decent reflectors (i have just sourced) and have a fan running that should protect the wood.

I was also thinking of placing two t12 60'' (140w) either side of these so the fans run over them and dissapate heat to the wood work but also under reflectors. I may also place insulation foam between the wood and reflector to improve this.

See pic below, I would mount it like this using "insulating" spacers (green), and have a fan either end sucking off the hot air, remember hot air rises, if you blow into the hood it will only push the heat down onto the water, IMO this would work but, just use a decent size fan.

Outside these (moving towards the edge of the hood as such) i have 2 sets of double ballast t5's 46'' (54W).

so i would have 2x80W
2x140W
4x 54W

which is kind of 650W over a tank of 1.8m. Is that over kill?

No, I'm running 8x 54W on my 1.4m - thats 432watts:whistling:

I have all the ballasts and globes except for the t12's. Do any of you have experience with t12's and are they a good route to go? I should be able to source from geiseman or Italy.

never used so can't say.

also what K rating would be good? If i were to go into the lower K rateings (7000-9000K) would that improve growth of sps and i just run these on a photo period of a few hours at a time in the day when i am unlikely to be at the tank that much?

I would try this, have a enough blue could even sort this out.

any suggestions guys?
could you not get a Mh in with your current hight?
 
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ok that sounds good, thanks guys. I can use the 54w as actinics, and they are double ballasts so it slightly easier. I think i actually have 6 54W, but cant fit all into hood.

mek, could i run the "yellow" t12's for two hours on, break for an hour and then two hours again?

I assume the t12's need their own ballast, so i will look at that, else i hear on the t8 thread running that two ballasts can be wired in parellel, so i will look at the too. But i'll end up having a wack of ballasts lying around.


Lighty i am avoiding a MH for two reasons. the primary is that I want increased light over the whole tank for photography. (actually more imporatant to me than corral growth:p!!) and i know the centre bracing of the tank is too close to the underside of the hood, so i cant do it in hood. I could modify the hood (make a new one) that is "taller" but I already battle to get into the lower parts of the tank with the hood on, so again trying to avoide that :( Also i would like a more white light for photography as the tank comes out too blue in photos, unless using flash which is a stark white light. I am hoping that the t12's will alllow me to shoot without flash on slightly higher shutter speeds for faster moving fish.

and thanks for the heads up on fan direction:) the hood is open to the back and i could cover the tank if i wanted, but fans sucking warm air out might help better :)
 
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i used to run 2x54w 6500k t5s in my tank together with one actinic 54w and 2x 20000k 54w and one actinic blend 50/50 daylight(think fiji purple)54w,this gave me acceptable growth which has slowed alot now that i'm not running 6500k.
 
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Hi guys. Im new here. interesting stuff, i just got a quick question, do u get a 50/50 T5 globe? its for a shallow tank (30cm) with mushrooms.
 
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Cool. Checked it out but i think my fixture's not a T5HO coz its a 3ft but a 21w as apposed to a 39w. what about a reeftek 10000K? would that be enough output and correct spectrum for mushrooms?
 
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He He He, Yes there are different types of T5's.; Aquarium globes only come in the FQ range. The FH range are for commercial applications.

The FQ range (in simple terms) stands for high output fast start. These luminaires were designed for areas where high intensity lighting is required like offices, laboratories, aquariums etc.

The FH range (in simple terms) stands for slow start energy saver. These luminaries were designed for areas like halls, passageways, receptions, hospitals etc where the lights are seldom switched and energy saving is the prime concern.

So a better variety of color temperature globes are in the FQ range (24, 39, 54 & 80W) the FH range is rather limited to the 4500k and 6000k range (14, 21, 28 & 35W)
 
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He He He, Yes there are different types of T5's.; Aquarium globes only come in the FQ range. The FH range are for commercial applications.

The FQ range (in simple terms) stands for high output fast start. These luminaires were designed for areas where high intensity lighting is required like offices, laboratories, aquariums etc.

The FH range (in simple terms) stands for slow start energy saver. These luminaries were designed for areas like halls, passageways, receptions, hospitals etc where the lights are seldom switched and energy saving is the prime concern.

So a better variety of color temperature globes are in the FQ range (24, 39, 54 & 80W) the FH range is rather limited to the 4500k and 6000k range (14, 21, 28 & 35W)
True nemo,i did however at one stage see a FH 21w 20000k tube at my lfs so i'm sure he can find it.....but never seen any pure actinic
 
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Hi guys, uhm I have a question, do you guys know if i can find 600mm x 400mm t5's and if not can i get someone to make them for me?!?
 
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Hi guys, uhm I have a question, do you guys know if i can find 600mm x 400mm t5's and if not can i get someone to make them for me?!?
Why not make one yourself?

Get Aluminium Trading to cut and bend the box/fitting. Then powder coat it white. LCI will supply you the ballasts and head posts.

You will get 6 xT5 globes in a 400 mm fitting without issues.

You could squeeze 8 but the globes will not last as long due to heat.
 

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