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Re: Perfect-A-Lamp or Tri-phosphor???

"Ben" <bbrown at fred_net> wrote:

> Continuing my search for the best 36" flourescent tube for my 46 gallon 
> planted tank, I've been told by a local cichlid breeder and experienced LFS
> owner the following: "Don't replace the Perfect-A-Light with a tri-phosphor.
> The Perfect-a-Light is a great bulb for enhancing the fish's color." Well,
> if I get a tri-phosphor it'll either be a Triton or Ultra Tri-Lux. That, or
> a Perfect-A-Light. There isn't any info on Perfect-A-Lights in the
> archives... anybody know any reviews or spectral photographs of these bulbs?
> thanks everybody.

A while ago I contacted Perfecto to ask for the Perfect-A-Light specs. They
answered they don't have the spectrum chart (!) but they knew it is
manufactured by Osram and is *not* specifically designed for plants. Then
I found the spectrum at [Redacted] (go
to the end of the page). If this curve is reliable, this bulb is basicaly
a gro-lux bulb. The spectrum looks similar to the Osram/Sylvania GroLux, but
with wider emission lines (due to spectrophotometer resolution ?) and somewhat
less red emission. This lack of red may be just to cut the cost down, since the 
red phosophor is the most expensive. The bulb is included in the light 
comparison at http://www.aquabotanic.com/lightcompare.htm. It is not a 
particularly bright or efficient bulb, but I agree with the advice of your 
LFS that it is good for enhancing fish colors. Should be good for plants 
too, as far as a gro-lux bulb is. I used to have one of these bulbs (30 watt)
mixed with 2 55 watt PCs (5400 and 6500 K) and found the result very pleasing.
When it burned out I replaced it with a Hagen AquaGlo, which has a similar 
spectrum and  creates a similar effect.

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD