Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Lights

How often are you supposed to replace your light bulbs? After a year I started to suspect that perhaps my problems are not entirely due to elevated nitrate levels but instead due to reduced lumen levels. I have an Odyssea 260W power compact fluorescent fixture. I decided I needed to supplement my lighting so I decided to purchase some 4 23W 6500K spiral compact fluorescent fixtures from Lowes along with 4 the clip on shop fixtures. Unfortunately a metal halide fixture is not in the budget at this time. I mounted these on the back of the tank. The additional light that these provided was very significant. In fact they seemed brighter than the bulbs on my PC fluorescent fixture. So I searched the Internet and found replacement bulbs from Aquatraders. The Odyssea replacement bulbs were about $7 each in 4 packs. I purchased 4 12000K bulbs and 4 Actinics. I received the bulbs in a little under a week last Wednesday the 29th and installed them.

I replaced the right half only and did a comparison. There is no comparison between the old and the new. The old 12000K bulb was much more yellow than the new bulb. The old actinic was much dimmer and so much less purple than the new. I replaced the other half and reset the timers to reduce the on time to avoid shocking and bleaching the coral by changing the light intensity too quickly.

I know have 4 timers. The bulbs are turned on and off at different times to try to replicate the changing light intensity throughout the day.
Timer 1 - Actinics - On 9:00 am, Off 9:00 pm
Timer 2 - 12000Ks - On 10:00 am, Off 8:00 pm
Timer 3 - 6500Ks - On 12:00 pm, Off 4:00 pm
Timer 4 - Fuge 6500k - On 6:00 pm - Off 9:00 am reverse light cycle.