Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting - NO, VHO, and T5

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Copperband, 15 May 2007.

  1. Copperband

    Copperband

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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".

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Ridwaan

    Ridwaan

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    Thanks Copperband.This lighting info of yours is answering all my questions..Cool
     
  4. turboguppy

    turboguppy

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    now what are all the different types of t5 lights purposes like blue pink white etc etc...
     
  5. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    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.
     
  6. turboguppy

    turboguppy

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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?
     
  7. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Yeah, generally we run combo of all three
     
  8. Andreas

    Andreas

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    thanks for the info copperband!
     
  9. crispin

    crispin

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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?
     
  10. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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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.
     
  11. lIghty

    lIghty

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    could you not get a Mh in with your current hight?
     
  12. crispin

    crispin

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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 :)
     
  13. Falcon

    Falcon

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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.
     
  14. Fishman

    Fishman

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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.
     
  15. mnd123

    mnd123

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    Giesemann do the 60:40 (22000K and 6000K - average output 11000K) think it is called the Aquablue Plus
     
  16. Fishman

    Fishman

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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?
     
  17. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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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)
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2009
  18. Falcon

    Falcon

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    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
     
  19. Dee318i

    Dee318i

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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?!?
     
  20. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    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.
     
  21. Dee318i

    Dee318i

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    Okay kewl, ill try thats thanx
     
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