T-8's, Trading Post and Cold Weather

Subject: T8 vs. T-12

>      Excuse my naivete, but what is a T-8 and what is a T-12? Do
>      special fixtures for T-8? Sounds like I should only get T-8
>      do I know this when I'm buying them in the store?

T-8's are 1" in diameter instead of 1 1/2".  They run on an 
electronic ballast, and will not run (efficiently) in a fixture 
with a regular ballast.  Fortunately, the ballasts aren't 
expensive either, and can be retrofitted into a standard fixture 
pretty easily.  

The bad news is that you can't walk into any old hardware store 
and find them. (yet)  They are used primarily for energy efficient 
commercial lighting.  You need to find a place that supplies 
lighting for COMMERCIAL purposes.  Phillips and GE both produce 
comparable bulbs, but the ones I use are GE SPX50 bulbs. I pay $5 
each for them.  

They are brighter than the comparable T-12 bulb, there is less 
drop-off (20% over the entire life of the bulb), they run on less 
electricity (a 48" bulb is 32W, and the ballast runs at -5%, so 
the whole unit is _much_ less expensive to run. The SPX50 has a 
spectral curve similar to a Vita Lite, and is a 5000K bulb.


Subject: Trading post


> >The killiefish group recently started posting eggs and fish for
> >trade, but limited posting to Friday only. Perhaps we could do 
> >similar here, with Shaji's OK of course. 
> This topic has been discussed before, with the consensus that it
> OK to post "for sale" and "want" messages.  The charter for the
> mailing list currently says that trades between hobbyists are
> permitted, but that advertisements from commercial-scale operati
> are not allowed.  The restriction on commercial ads comes primar
> from my personal preference, and I'm willing to change it if tha
> what this list wants.

I like the hobbyist postings, but agree I'd rather not have a lot 
of commercial postings.
> The "Friday for ads" idea is great, I'm all for trying it out.

The trouble is, that I'm most likely to post an ad on what ever 
day I do my tanks.  If I had to wait till the end of the week to 
post, then wait till the beginning of the week to mail them out, 
I'd probably just take them to the pet store.  Unless there get to 
be so many postings that it's annoying, I'd rather see it stay the 
way it is.

> I wonder whether there is enough interest in trades to justify t
> setting up of a trading post.  I remember someone from Fishroom
> offering to set one up, but the response was less than overwhelm
> The trades section of The Aquatic Gardener also did not do well.
> unless there is a steady stream of ads (many more than are curre
> appearing), a plant trading post separate from the newsgroups an
> mailing list is not likely to succeed.

Again, I agree.  I get the Digest right in my mail box.  I don't 
really have enougfh time to go scouting about on the Internet 
much.  I wouldn't see anything listed in a separate spot, and I 
certainly wouldn't post there regularly.

> I've left a few plants outdoors in my patio this year as an
> experiment.  After several nights of near-freezing weather, the 
> are still alive, and have not melted. A bunch of Limnobium (frog
> is yellowing, but is still alive.  Java moss does not seem to b
> affected at all.  It seems at least some tropical plants may be 
> more hardy than expected.

I had a similar surprise this year.  I gave a very large 
"Radicans" Sword to a friend to use in his garden pond last year. 
I explained that it was a tropical plant, and that it would most 
likely die during the winter.  Hah!  This sping, what came popping 
back up? He had a beautiful display of flowers, and nipped off 
several babies to keep in his indoor tank for the winter,  In the 
mean time, he has placed the Sword's pot back in the deepest part 
of the pond for the winter.  We'll see if last winter was a fluke 
or if Echinodorus really _are_ hardy in zone 5!<g>

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA