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RE: SmartLite retrofit with 6700k bulb (Seattle) and CO2/Bio-Wheel
I have originally used the CSL Britelight retrofit for the Eclipse 1
hood two years ago. I also got one for my Eclipse 3. I ordered them
through an online site and they were supposed to have had CSL (who drop
shipped it to me) swap out the bulb from 10K to 6700K. That did not
happen. It installed very nicely and worked very well. The 10000K
light seemed okay and my plants grew but I had other problems as I was
completely new to plants so I really did not recognize the problem.
Shortly after that I became aware of Aquarium Hobby Supply. Finding
some aspects of their kit compelling (the high grade reflector and high
CRI bulbs) I ordered one of theirs. I did not install it right away and
used the CSL for some time.
I noticed that there was some deformation of the clear plastic light
protector near the socket end of the bulb. It never got very bad,
sucked up towards the light a little at that one point then stopped.
It's been that way for over two years now.
I had to rearrange some of my stuff and move the lighting. This also
required me to redo the ballast so I could hide it underneath an upper
cabinet. I thought it would be a good time to swap the bulbs and use
the AHS kit. So that I could re-use the cord from the ballast to the
Eclipse hood, I took the CSL ballast enclosure apart and discovered that
they use the exact same ballast as AHS.
I also wanted to use the AHS reflector as everyone here has commented on
how good it is. It required trimming to fit inside the Eclipse plastic
cover. I had some sheet metal shears (one that cuts straight) and it
was simple to remove enough to allow it to fit. I left the edge towards
the front of the tank a little longer so that in combination with the
angle the fixture sits in the hood, more light would be thrown towards
the back of the tank. This is one thing I am not fond of with these
hoods - the back of the tank is much darker than the front. It took a
couple of cuts to get the fit just right but it was pretty easy to do in
a few minutes. I regret I did not measure exactly how much I cut off
and it has been a while. Sorry. I also had to drill a couple of holes
to secure the new reflector to the white part of the Eclipse light
fixture. The bulb mounts worked well for two holes and I added another
two as a safety factor. After that I simply changed the bulb.
I doubt if the change I saw could be solely due to a 12.5% increase in
the bulb wattage. I realize the bulbs were about a year old but the
difference is significant. I have since looked at another system that
has 48 watts. I never got it completely mounted in the tank (only held
it over the tank in place) but even it is not as bright as the 36 W AHS
kit (12 less watts).
I will say that the parts and instructions for the CSL Eclipse Retrofit
kit were better and specific to the Eclipse hood retrofit. Even the guy
at AHS said his kits were generic and it was up to me to use it
correctly. If I recall correctly, he said he had just assembled a kit
with all of the parts you need. That is very true and I will add that
he was very, very helpful.
FWIW, regardless of which you choose, buy one of the AHS reflectors.
They are worth every penny and then some.
Regarding the recent threads about the CO2 consumption with an Eclipse
hood or bio-wheel in general, I recently replaced the overhead portion
of my filter with an Eheim Aquaball in-tank filter. My CO2 usage is
down to about 25-30% of what it was with the bio-wheel, maybe even less.
It worked fine with the bio-wheel, it just needed more CO2 and that
stuff is pretty cheap. Just one less thing to do so often.
For those who read my previous post about my CO2 problems, I found a few
bits of rotted leaf debris that blended perfectly with the black outlet
of my CO2 reactor. It works fine now and will be cleaned (particularly
that outlet strainer) more frequently no matter what it looks like.
Thanks again for the help.
Hope this is helpful,
I stopped by a new (to me) pet store in Kirkland yesterday and was
pleased to see that they stocked BriteLite/SmartLite gear. I inquired
about the SmartLite retrofit kit for Eclipse hoods, and specifically if
they could swap out the wacky reef bulb for one suitable for FW plants
and they will do it! Nice, that will save me the hassle and expense of
buying one online and then replacing the bulb.
I won't purchase the kit until May, but I though the tip was worth
on. I believe it was $75.
Denny's Pet World
12534 120th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone: (425) 821-3800
The place was also interesting in that the fish sales staff asked me
away what size tank I had and what kind of fish were in it when I bought
some livestock. That was a nice change.
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