Jump to content
steve24cro

Lighting: Compact Fluoroescents

Recommended Posts

i am thinking about lighting my tank (tropical) which is a 3ft tank 20 inch deep, so pretty standard and its heavily planted. I was condiering compact fluroescents?? and i am wondering has anyone had any experience with compacts before??

Are they good value compared to standard fluroescents? Ive been told they are stronger than standard fluros, but i am wondering if they are any good for plant growth?? thanx for any help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't used compacts but have a 2 foot light on a three foot tank with no ill effects.

Hope this helps...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

Compact Flourescents are a lot more powerful and definately alot more efficient for plant growth than flouro's. They penetrate depth alot more than flouros. Two main choices for on the market are Aquaone and Aqualina(Australian made). The Aqualina range is far more powerful per foot of tank length than the aquaones and they sit directly on the glass whereas the Aquaones are elevated. The thing about the Aqualina compact is they are so powerful. The tubes are also alot shorter in length. One 3 foot Aqualina has 2x36w compact tubes. This is 72 watts, however due to the efficiency of the compact tubes, it is more like 100w when compared to flouros. So one 3 ft fitting will most likely be more effective than 3 x 30w flouros. This is enough to grow virtually any plant. Although CO2 becomes necessary with higher lighting. Depending on what plants you have, you could consider going for either the 60cm (2 ft) Aqualina (one x 55w tube) or the 75cm (2.5ft) fitting, as it will reflect a little sidewards in a 50cm high tank.

Also, the compact tubes are cheaper and last longer than flouro tubes. Test's have shown that power compacts are comparable (nearly) to metal halide for depth penetration.

regards,

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanx daniel, that was very informative! thats one big question i wanted to ask, which is better aqualina or aqua one? u got any more info on them, and also is there a range of tubes developed for plant growth, coz i know theres white, blue and pink or something???

ANy help there, and any other info you know on the brands would help thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

Before I go on, I need to know what plants you intend to grow ? Are you using CO2 ?

Your answers to the questions will determine what strength of lighting you need. The Aqualina compacts may actually be too strong for your needs ! What is the tank size 3'L x 20"H x ? Is is heavily planted ? There are dedicated plant tubes off course. Usually bright white 7100k or a combination bulb 50/50 6500k and 10000k. It depends on the manufacturer making the bulb.

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well i am just keeping all different plants, maybe 6 kinds and my tank is 20 inches wide if that helps, i thought compacts fluros mught reach the bottom of plants better, or would it be just as good to go for 3 or 4 fluros tubes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Daniel said, it depends on what plant you want to keep. Half a dozen different plants isnt very descriptive, do you plan to keep anubias, swords, crypts........?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

One Aqualina compact is equal in power and intensity to 3 or 4 flouros. Do you want to replace 3 or 4 flouros every 6-9 months at $30 per bulb or would you rather replace one or two compact tubes at $12-$25 (depending on tube size) per tube every 18-24 months ? The power compact will work out much cheaper, in fact tube replacement will work out to something like 10-20% of the price of a flouro set up per annum. This is a saving of 80-90%. Much cheaper !!

As Searly said, it depends on what plants you keep ? If you keep the really low light plants like Anubias, most crypts, many Swords these plants require half or even a third the amount of lighting as the higher light dependant plants. What plants are you trying to grow ?

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where can you get these Aqualina Compacts from?

I was looking at some Hagen GloMat 2 Electronic Balasts... but I think they are just for standard fluros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hagen Glomats are for standard flouros.

Lams Aquariums at Parramatta have the Aqualina'a in stock.

Edited by Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn it!

I was at Lams on Saturday arvo! Doh!

It is hard to find anything about Compact Fluro's in Australia.

There is a Good US online store for them with DIY kits and they are really cheap! -Link

But probably only do 110V sad.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a Good US online store for them with DIY kits and they are really cheap! -Link

But probably only do 110V sad.gif

Unfortunately so; I have already emailed them some time ago as I was hoping to conver a 4' hood to PL lighting. BTW, anyone know of a source of electronic balasts for PL lighting? Mu current electromagnetic ones for my AquaOne is rather noisy...

BTW, anyone know of conversion kits in Oz? I'd like to convery my hood from using 3' tubes to PL; I think I should be able to replace each 3' tube with 2 34W PL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

light up australia sells compact fluro balasts, starters etc. You just have to go there and by the parts seperately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this the compact fluorescent you are talking about, here at Age of Aquariums? Hm, the wattages seem different to what you were talking about ... maybe Ben could get what you want in for you if he doesn't have it already?

Edited by fiona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fiona,

The link you provided is for the Aqualina NOrmal flourescent fixtures. Ben will be getting the Aqualina Compact Flourescents in later this month. The wattages are nearly 3 times as much. As usual, he will have 'smart' prices !

PHL,

You are thinking of replacing 3 x 30watt Normal flouros, with 3 x(2x36watt) compacts. This is 216 watts of campact lighting vs 90 watts of flouro lighting. With the extra intensity of compact flouros you will be tripling your intensity ? I don't think you will need anywhere near this much unless your tank is about 70cm high and 70cm wide.

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are thinking of replacing 3 x 30watt Normal flouros, with 3 x(2x36watt) compacts. This is 216 watts of campact lighting vs 90 watts of flouro lighting. With the extra intensity of compact flouros you will be tripling your intensity ? I don't think you will need anywhere near this much unless your tank is about 70cm high and 70cm wide.

I'd just be replacing 2 x 30W with 2 x (2x36W), which would give me enough light to grow Glosso, and also all the red plants I want (currently my Pogostemons are green, not red as they were). FWIW, it's a CO2 injected planted tank.

BTW, your mailbox is full.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Compact Fluros...

I have looked in Sydney and there are 2 Brands sold (at LAMS Paramatta). Aqua One and Aqualina - both expensive

Here are the prices I got:

Aqua One : 4ft (2x 2ft CF) On Special $179 inc tubes

Aqualina: 2ft (1x 2ft CF tubes) $117.50 no tubes

Aqualina: 4ft (2x 2ft CF tubes) $180.50 no tubes

CF Tubes ~$25 each for 65000K Temp rating.

I looked at the output and the Aqualina is way better - very bright!. But these prices are very high for Technology that is cheaper then normal fluros!

I even looked at Bunnings for CF Ballasts to make my own light hood... no cant find anything... lighting stores also did not have any info on them!

The only comapny I can find anything to do with Compact Fluro Parts is http://www.pjwhite.com.au/

Here are the Parts Cheap as chips in the US:

http://www.ahsupply.com/

More:

http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/Lobos/

http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/96hood/

EDIT:

I have just these:

www.crompton.com.au

I saw them at Bunnings on the weekend - but did not know what their Kelvin rating was... This page confirms that they are good for plants ie: 6500K, and they are very Cheap ~$20-40 and you can link up to 6 with one powercord... Might have to look into these as they are very thin design only about 2cm x 4cm x Length (including the balast). Lengths are short like 8in to 18in.

They are designed to be placed in cupboards or in shelving to add light. But at 6500K they are good for plants!

Has any one tried these... I might have to give 1-2 or go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the Aqualina 2' unit last week at Lams. It does seem pricey, especially compared to buying bare batten fixtures to bolt into hoods, but the lower profile of the fixture and the lower heat rejection (imo) with higher light output suits my need (as I perceive it anyway).

It's a lovely unit and well made. I got the 10K/6K5 lamp for it and it's quite pleasing and the plants are seemingly growing more aggressively (no CO2 yet).

The only thing I don't like is that the colour of the light is bluer than I had hoped, which looks kind of funny in the tannin-stained water in that system. It just looks - um - odd... compared to the super-white light from the NEC BR-HG lamps I use elsewhere.

I would have liked to try the DIY route but this tank has no hood (or space for it) to hide my cruddy wiring skills. biggrin.gif Maybe next time around...

Cheers - OziOscar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just been doing a little research about these Compact Fluros.

Finding out who has got them and how much.

Ben at AoA did email me and said that they would have Compact Fluros In March.

Hopefully Ben will come to the party and offer us the best deals. smile.gif

Auburn Aquariums told me today that they will be getting some shortly.

I was told, that the Main reason that Compact Fluros are not in Australia yet, was that to bring them into Australia they need to be cerified, and that amounts to $$$. Auburn Aq is getting them form a guy who got another guy (an Electical Engineer) to design and build them. From what he described they sound like the Aqualina's.... costs... around $200-250 for a 4ft but $$ not finalised.

The cost are roughly the same for 4ft std fluro dual tubes and a 4ft Compat fluro with 2x 55W. But the compacts can give a better light output especialy for marine and plant growth. CF Tubes are 6500, 10k, Actinic and Combinations of 6500/actinic and 10k/actinic. and should run 10 hours a day for 3 years.

Bunnings have nothing!

I was looking at the Crompton Thin Single Compact Fluros... Their Web Site states 6500k tubes... but the Crompton News Article states only 4000k. These did looked really promising. The helpful guy at bunnings said that Bunnings (and even lighting stores) don't do anything above 5000k, Compact or Std! (the normal Fluro tubes that are marked for fish tanks are cool white or daylight and probably not over 5000k). He said to find a wholesaler as they will be able to get Compact Fluros.

I'm gonna hit a JR Turk store to see what compact fluros they can get. Balasts and caps etc.

Mind you this is to find out if a DIY Compact Fluro hood is an option. Hopfully I have not stepped on anyones toes with all this pricing and stuff I'm doing. If I have... I'm Sorry.

Edited by Gigitt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be even nicer if there is a retrofit kit such as AH Supply's. I'd be interested in how you go with Turks; I have three (Turk, L&M and can't remember the other above Turk in Artarmon) close-by, and when I asked (admittedly nearly 12 mths ago), they didn't have anything, and haven't had the time to try since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopfully I have not stepped on anyones toes with all this pricing and stuff I'm doing. If I have... I'm Sorry.

dont be sorry! all that info is great! i am also looking for a compact fluro for my 2 foot reef tank. Aquaria (online) sell the 2 foot aqualina's for $108 (excluding tubes) and the 4 foot aqualina is $190 (excluding tubes) they also sell many different tubes.

they deliver free if order is over $55

Here is a list of their lighting goods.

aquaria online

HTH

Harry

Edited by Mbuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopfully I have not stepped on anyones toes with all this pricing and stuff I'm doing. If I have... I'm Sorry.

dont be sorry! all that info is great! i am also looking for a compact fluro for my 2 foot reef tank. Aquaria (online) sell the 2 foot aqualina's for $108 (excluding tubes) and the 4 foot aqualina is $190 (excluding tubes) they also sell many different tubes.

they deliver free if order is over $55

Here is a list of their lighting goods.

aquaria online

HTH

Harry

LAMS is still a bit cheaper on the 4ft Aqualina range and on the Tubes.

But I dont know what brands LAMS sell... but they do sell 6500k tubes which Aquaria don't

So I spose If you don't live in Sydney then this is still a great deal.

I'm going to try and build 2x 2ftx18x18 tanks... so these 2ft Aualinas look promising as they are cheaper.

Edited by Gigitt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Age of Aquariums will just about have the Aqualina compact's in stock by now (Ben said late Feb/early March stock arrival) at much better prices than aquaria.com.

Edited by Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dumb question - I am currently running a 4' heavily planted CO2 supplemented tank with 2 x fluro tubes. I am interested in replacing these tubes with a single compact tube - but can I put the compact tube in the fluro housing? Or are the "connections" different (that's a technical expression)? Do I need new ballasts etc?

Thanx,

L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dumb question - I am currently running a 4' heavily planted CO2 supplemented tank with 2 x fluro tubes. I am interested in replacing these tubes with a single compact tube - but can I put the compact tube in the fluro housing? Or are the "connections" different (that's a technical expression)? Do I need new ballasts etc?

Thanx,

L

ATM there is no DIY kit for Compact Fluros.

There are only complete units starting to surface at a few places.

I visited JR Turk on Sat, but they could not help me as their distubuters were all closed. I have to ring during the week.

But he did say that they can get ballasts (65W) for about $20. Clips and end caps he was not sure about, especially the waterproof end caps that www.ahsupply.com use (I showed him a printout of the site). He also said that they might have problems sourcing the 6500k and 10000K tubes - but then again you can buy these from the Fish shops that supply complete CF Light hoods.

For a DIY Compact Fluro kit you will need these:

- Ballast

- Power cable from wall to ballast

- End Cap with lead from ballast with the correct connector for the tubes you are going to use (2 pin flat, 2 pin square, 4 pin flat, 4 pin square etc)

- CF Tube

- Clips to hold the tube in place (55W are 2ft long)

- Reflecting shroud

- Mounting hardware - screws, nuts, bolts etc

NB: Some Ballasts might be able to support 2x 55W tubes - this would save space and can mean you can make a 1row 4ft setup or a 2row 2ft setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×