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Lighting with T4, T5 and T8 lumlamps

Technical characteristics, applied ballasts, spectral combinations

Aquarium Lighting

Any, even the most primitively organized aquarium, should be considered as an artificial microbiocenosis created by the aquarist himself. Consequently, the aquarist himself is able, to one degree or another, to control the energy flows entering the aquarium (light, temperature, water flow, feeding, etc.). The task of the aquarist is to balance these flows. You can use the formula:

proposed energy -> accumulated energy -> allocated energy

It is important to understand that the processes of dissimilation should not prevail over the synthesis processes in both individual species and the species community of the aquarium as a whole. The primary producers in the trophic chain of the aquarium are chemo and photosynthetic bacteria, lower algae and green plants.

So, how do you properly light your aquarium? Unfortunately, so far I have never met ready-made aquariums for sale in which lighting would be intelligently thought out. As a rule, they either do not have enough lamps, or, worse, the length of the lamps does not correspond to the length of the aquarium. This means that the plant community will not receive the necessary amount of light energy for further transformations. With an aquarium height of 40-50 cm, the luminous flux should be within 30-50 lumens per liter. And no calculations in watts! Luminescent tubes of the same length have different light output:

  • Lamp LB-40 - 2800 lm
  • Hagen Sun Glo - 3100 lm
  • Hagen AquaGlo - 960 lm
  • Sylvania DaylightStar - 3250 lm

A sure sign of proper lighting in the aquarium is when 3-4 hours after the light is turned on, oxygen begins to be released from the intercellular space of plant tissues in the form of optically visible vesicles. By the way, a big misconception is the opinion that the release of atomic oxygen is the beginning of photosynthesis. To do this, it is enough that one quantum of light hits the chlorophyll molecule. In this case, oxygen cleaved from a water molecule during photolysis diffuses into water as a by-product. But first, in the first hours after the lighting is turned on, the released oxygen dissolves in water. And only then, with the supersaturation of the intercellular fluid, it begins to stand out apparently for the eyes. Naturally, this oxygen evolution under normal lighting conditions is possible only with a sufficient amount of CO2, an optimum temperature, and a balanced micro- and macrocell nutrition. Thus, when calculating the lighting, the first thing to do is to calculate the necessary luminous flux in your aquarium.

Now let's talk about the spectral composition of aquarium lighting. In light culture of plants, much attention is paid to the spectral composition of the proposed light. The spectral composition affects all the vital processes of plant organisms, growth, development, photoperiodism, movement, pigment formation, color of plants, etc. You can talk about how the quality of light in the process of photosynthesis affects various biochemical reactions and the direction of photosynthesis itself, talk that plants are more in need of orange-red long-wave radiation than blue-violet short-wave radiation. Comparative studies of the intensity of photosynthesis in some plants under illumination below light saturation showed that the intensity of photosynthesis was maximum in the red and minimum in the blue and green parts of the spectrum. At light saturation, the maximum photosynthesis rates for rays of different wavelengths were almost the same. When lighting was equalized by the number of absorbed quanta, the photosynthesis curves for red, blue, and white were the same.

The advice of "advanced" aquarists on the use of only special phytolamps with a predominance of the red component in the spectrum is not entirely correct. Such advice makes sense only with a clear lack of lighting. In my aquariums I use combinations of Hagen SunGlo and AquaGlo and Sylvania GroLux, AquaStar and DaylightStar lamps. It is the GroLux lamp that has a clearly calibrated composition with maximum peaks in the blue-violet and orange-red parts of the FAI spectrum (physiologically active radiation). The combination of SunGlo with another and lamps similar in spectral data to GroLux also gave interesting results.

After differential spectrometry, it was found that the absorption bands of the pigment systems of most long-stemmed plants in my aquariums are close to the spectral curves of the GroLux lamp.

In general, gradually for myself I came to the following conclusion: in a properly organized aquarium with plants, it is worth using two types of lamps: those that give the maximum luminous flux, to achieve a norm of 30-50 lm / l and phytolamps with a maximum absorption spectrum of plant pigment systems. As the first, I prefer Hagen LifeGLO, SunGlo and Sylvania AquaStar, DaylightStar. Second lamps: Hagen AquaGlo and Sylvania GroLux. But I reject the Hagen FloraGlo phytolamp for myself - despite the good growth of plants under it, it pretty much stimulates the development of algae.

In addition to brightness and spectrum, the third important parameter is the length of daylight. There is a fairly widespread belief that light inhibits plant growth. In fact, light limits only the phase of cell elongation and accelerates their transition to differentiation. Many aquarists still think that plants only grow in the dark. This is not so, and that is why. The increase in the size of a multicellular plant is due solely to the growth of cells in the extension phase. And just light only inhibits cell elongation, but not completely. Mitoses of cells occur continuously and also continuously, albeit at different speeds, an increase in cell size occurs.

In a decorative aquarium, you need to find a compromise between the desire to observe your aquarium as much as possible and the correct rhythm day and night in the life of plants. My aquariums are lit 10-12 hours a day, from 10 to 20-22 hours; the peak of oxygen saturation occurs at 19-21 hours, about 13 mg / l. 100 percent oxygen saturation of the water - approximately 5 hours after the lighting is turned on. All in full accordance with the recommendations of Caspar Horst.

Sufficient daylight hours for most plants in aquariums are 8-10 hours, this is clearly visible by closing the apical points of long-stemmed plants.

Lighting Specifications

A picture that shows how much the light intensity at the bottom of the aqua decreases depending on its depth:

Aquarium Lighting

picture of light penetration into water thickness:

Aquarium Lighting

Color catalog of Osram products in .PDF format:
[ Osram color product catalog in format ] [ Osram color product catalog in format ]

Spectral characteristics of LL from the manufacturer Osram:

LL color coding indices:

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LL compatibility and technical specifications for electronic ballasts for frame size T5 from Osram:

Aquarium Lighting
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The main manufacturers of non-specialized (or non-aquarium) lamps, the linear dimensions of the lamps of the main capacities:

Aquarium Lighting
Aquarium Lighting

Main characteristics of LL size T4 and T5 from the manufacturer Navicator:

Possible malfunctions of the lumlamp:

Aquarium Lighting
Aquarium Lighting

Characteristics of lumlamp from DENERLE:

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Characteristics of lamps from HAGEN:

Aquarium Lighting
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Here are the catalogs for lumlums of 2007 and 2009/2010, as well as the catalog for special lamps for aqua and terra from Sylvania:

Photos of aquariums and the layout of lighting lamps:

01_FloraSet 02_Philips965 02_sp_Philips965 03_Philips950 03_sp_Philips950
01_FloraSet.jpg 02_Philips965.jpg 02_sp_Philips965.jpg 03_Philips950.jpg 03_sp_Philips950.jpg
04_Philips940 04_sp_Philips940 05_Philips930 05_sp_Philips930 06_PhilipsAquarelle
04_Philips940.jpg 04_sp_Philips940.jpg 05_Philips930.jpg 05_sp_Philips930.jpg 06_PhilipsAquarelle.jpg
06_sp_PhilipsAquarelle 07_Philips840 07_sp_Philips840 08_Philips830 08_sp_Philips830
06_sp_PhilipsAquarelle.jpg 07_Philips840.jpg 07_sp_Philips840.jpg 08_Philips830.jpg 08_sp_Philips830.jpg
09_Philips827 09_sp_Philips827 10_WarmWhite 10_sp_WarmWhite 11_SylvaniaAquastar
09_Philips827.jpg 09_sp_Philips827.jpg 10_WarmWhite.jpg 10_sp_WarmWhite.jpg 11_SylvaniaAquastar.jpg
11_sp_SylvaniaAquastar 12_SylvaniaGroLux 12_sp_SylvaniaGroLux 13_AiMBioLux 13_sp_AiMBioLux
11_sp_SylvaniaAquastar.jpg 12_SylvaniaGroLux.jpg 12_sp_SylvaniaGroLux.jpg 13_AiMBioLux.jpg 13_sp_AiMBioLux.jpg
14_AiMDayHiGlow 14_sp_AiMDayHiGlow 15_ArcadiaTropical 15_sp_ArcadiaTropical 16_ArcadiaFreshwater
14_AiMDayHiGlow.jpg 14_sp_AiMDayHiGlow.jpg 15_ArcadiaTropical.jpg 15_sp_ArcadiaTropical.jpg 16_ArcadiaFreshwater.jpg
16_sp_ArcadiaFreshwater 17_ArcadiaMarineWhite 17_sp_ArcadiaMarineWhite 18_HagenMarineGlo 18_sp_HagenMarineGlo
16_sp_ArcadiaFreshwater.jpg 17_ArcadiaMarineWhite.jpg 17_sp_ArcadiaMarineWhite.jpg 18_HagenMarineGlo.jpg 18_sp_HagenMarineGlo.jpg
19_HagenFloraGlo 19_sp_HagenFloraGlo 20_HagenPowerGlo 20_sp_HagenPowerGlo 21_HagenAquaGlo
19_HagenFloraGlo.jpg 19_sp_HagenFloraGlo.jpg 20_HagenPowerGlo.jpg 20_sp_HagenPowerGlo.jpg 21_HagenAquaGlo.jpg
21_sp_HagenAquaGlo 22_HagenLifeGlo 22_sp_HagenLifeGlo 23_HagenSunGlo 23_sp_HagenSunGlo
21_sp_HagenAquaGlo.jpg 22_HagenLifeGlo.jpg 22_sp_HagenLifeGlo.jpg 23_HagenSunGlo.jpg 23_sp_HagenSunGlo.jpg
24_FreshwaterMarine 25_FreshwaterTropical 26_AquaGloSunGlo 27_AquaGloLifeGlo 28_FloraGloSunGlo
24_FreshwaterMarine.jpg 25_FreshwaterTropical.jpg 26_AquaGloSunGlo.jpg 27_AquaGloLifeGlo.jpg 28_FloraGloSunGlo.jpg
29_FloraGloLifeGlo 30_PowerGloLifeGlo 31_PowerGloMarineGlo 32_GroLuxAquastar 33_BioLuxDayHiGlow
29_FloraGloLifeGlo.jpg 30_PowerGloLifeGlo.jpg 31_PowerGloMarineGlo.jpg 32_GroLuxAquastar.jpg 33_BioLuxDayHiGlow.jpg
34_965MarineGlo 35_Aquastar940 36_Aquastar930 37_950940 38_SolarUltraTropic
34_965MarineGlo.jpg 35_Aquastar940.jpg 36_Aquastar930.jpg 37_950940.jpg 38_SolarUltraTropic.jpg
39_SolarUltraNatur 40_SolarUltraMarinDay 41_SUTropicSUNatur 42_SUNaturSUMarinDay 43_Halogeeni
39_SolarUltraNatur.jpg 40_SolarUltraMarinDay.jpg 41_SUTropicSUNatur.jpg 42_SUNaturSUMarinDay.jpg 43_Halogeeni.jpg
44_HPLN80W 45_Philips942HQI 46_AqualineCWHQI 47_AqualineDWHQI 48_OsramDHQI
44_HPLN80W.jpg 45_Philips942HQI.jpg 46_AqualineCWHQI.jpg 47_AqualineDWHQI.jpg 48_OsramDHQI.jpg
49_OsramWDLHQI 50_Arcadia14KHQI
49_OsramWDLHQI.jpg 50_Arcadia14KHQI.jpg