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[APD] RE: Spiral and multiple-tube small fluorescents.

I agree, the spiral CF's you buy at Home Depot can work great.  Its all
about the reflector if you ask me.   

Putting these lights in a stip light fixture would not get you much.  

Build a wooden canopy / fixture, paint it flat white.  Put the spirals
alternating each other, but the trick is not to have them close to the top
of the fixture you build.   If the spirals are to close to the top, and to
close to each other, then the light will be more likley to reflect back at
the spiral bulb, which is pretty bulky and hard to get light through.   If
you have more space above the bulbs, and a little more space between them,
then more of the light will be reflected back into the aquarium.

The other thing to realize about these bulbs is the wattage.   They say, the
same as a 65 watt bulb!!  Well, read closer, they are more like 20 watt
bulbs, not 65.

The big disadvantage of these, is if you have a big tank, it may take a lot
of them to get decent light penetration.   

I would not use a watts/gallon rating with these bulbs, but rather a
lumens/gallon.   Also that is a bit off because of the shape and space the
bulbs take up compared to a standard flourescent or CF.   A standard 40w
bulb, say it has 3000 lumens (no idea what they may be)...well that is 3000,
over the length of the bulb I would think?   While the spiral flouro is over
a much smaller area.   

The biggest bulb (27 watt?)  is a VERY bright bulb, but it also does not
spread its light as far as a 40w flouro would.

If you have enough of them though I would think you'd get very good results.

X     X     X     X     X

   X     X     X     X

The above X's, assuming stay formatted, is how I would allign these bulbs
over an aquarium.  Assume the X's are in a box that represents the canopy,
and are attached to opposite sides of it.    Over a 75 gallon tank, that may
require 9-11 bulbs, at $15 each...+ sockets and wire (I also found a liquid
electrical tape which was nice), but it will also be putting out around
25,000 lumens.   Also you can find these bulbs in 6100k as well as lower I
belive around 3000k which are much more red, so you can alternate, mix and
match, etc to get a color you like.   Your also looking at around $200 in
parts for a tank this size.   I would recommend using this for smaller tanks
rather then big ones.   I plan to build a setup like this for my 20L soon.

Good ventilation is also important as already mentioned...Since the ballast
is attached to the base of the bulb, they to tend to get hotter then a CF
bulb, where the ballast is usually remote.



>Message: 7
>Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 17:07:40 -0500 
>From: "Petrie, Walter" <WPetrie at ThomasNelson_com>
>Subject: [APD] RE: Spiral and multiple-tube small fluorescents. 
>To: "'aquatic-plants at actwin_com'" <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>

>First, do all 6500K lights have that same bluish appearance, or does it
vary by brand, and type of light PC vs. CF vs Normal fluorescent?

>6500K is a blueish type light regardless of the brand of bulb you buy,
although I imagine that there could be a slight >variance between brands.
This is definitely true with 6500K Metal Halide bulbs. 

>TCP makes a light that is 5100K that is very close to many full spectrum
bulbs. (I found mine at an industrial lighting >supply shop in Nashville,

>Someone mentioned earlier not to buy spiral tube flourescents. I'm not one
to say that these bulbs are a waste of money >because they work well for me.
However, you could be wasting your money if you put them in a standard strip
light fixture >without a cooling fan because they do have the tendency to
die quickly  when they get too hot. I guess this is  why the >manufacturer
prints on the box "Not to be used in fully enclosed fixtures" (i.e. aquarium

>I've built a well ventellated wooden hood w/cooling fan and I am using two
150 watt bulbs. They each put out 2800 lumens >and are almost painful to
look at.  When installed in a properly ventillated fixture, they will last
over 2 years.

>Are they as efficient as Power compacts? No. 

>Do they cost less than PC? Yes (approx $60 for the entire hood fan and

>Will plants grow and thrive under these lights? Yes

>Nothing against PCs. They are a great product. I'm just wanting to save a
little money here and there.
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