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Re: Light bulb advice/"photos using trichromatic tubes"

On Fri, 13 Oct 2000 george_booth at agilent_com wrote:

> Says she:  "I want to order some new bulbs for the aquariums - at least two
> new ones for each of the two 100s. Sylvania makes both a Grolux 8500K and a
> Luxline 6000K, GE makes an Aqua Ray - K value unknown, and there is also a
> brand called Zoo Med that has a 5500K, 8500K, 10,000K or a trichromatic
> available.  Any recommendations from reading APD?"

Hi George! Be aware that the ZooMeds (and I beleive the Luxline) are all
T-8's so you'll be forced to toss your old ballasts and finally join the
ELITE group of 20th century hobbyists.  I heard there's some new nifty
technology called compact fluorescents that might be coming out soon too.

But seriously, here's my input to the whole "better bulbs/better
tanks/better photos" debat:  After using the Osram/Sylvania "750" T-8's
(CRI somewhere in the 70's I think?) for several years, I can say that
they work great for growing plants, but pictures taken with them tend to
look a little flat... too "greenish" with not enough red and blue end.  A
friend of mine uses these as well and the available-light pictures of his
tanks are also a little flat (you'll see one picture in the showcase when
we open the doors). I finally realized this was happening when I saw Neil
Frank's talk a year ago and how well BALANCED the photos looked -- I think
he told me that he uses Tritons.  Up to my switch to T-8's, I had used
Spectralites, sort of a vitalite clone, and had gotten very good pictures.

To add a little confusion to the "tri-chromatic" debate, 750's (along with
virtually all other lights made today) ARE "tri-chromatic".  See Hoa
Nguyen's pictures at
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/2637/spectra.html for more info.

I think much of the photo response has to do with the relative sizes of
the peaks compared to the green one, and the the amount of that little bit
of smearing between the peaks.

So now I've moved to SPX50's, which have CRI of 86 and cost $3 each...

  - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com