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Thread: Grow shelf and Lighting question

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    wmgorum's Avatar
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    Grow shelf and Lighting question

    Hey Y'all,

    I'm in the process of building a growshelf for some of my plants. I've been looking at the forums and I really like the wire shelves people are using. I've kept aquariums for MANY years and knowing that the 4' bulbs for my 75 gallon are easier to find than the 3' bulbs for my 135 gallon, I decided to buy a 4 foot shelf.

    I found a hydroponics store in the area and picked up a nice roll of mylar that I'm going to use around the shelf to reflect the light back on to the plants. I'm planning on fastening that onto one side of a shower curtain to make it a little more durable. I'm anticipating that there will be some water building up on the mylar from condensation and misting and our friend gravity will pull it down. This leads to my first question:

    1) Has anyone tried to use anything to catch water underneath their growshelves? Boot trays? Oil pans? Etc? Any suggestions?

    I've done several searches through the forums and I've gone through so many posts that my eyes are starting to cross. I didn't have to work this hard to write one of my college research papers for my linguistics classes.

    2) While I was at the hydroponics store, I saw these nifty little T5 flourescent light fixtures. I've tried to do some research on them as well and I haven't been able to find a good comparison between the T5's, T8's, and T12's. Is the added expense of T5's worth the difference in light output? I've read so much on lighting that my brain is sore...

  2. #2
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgorum View Post
    1) Has anyone tried to use anything to catch water underneath their growshelves? Boot trays? Oil pans? Etc? Any suggestions?
    I use glass lasagna containers.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgorum View Post
    1) Has anyone tried to use anything to catch water underneath their growshelves? Boot trays? Oil pans? Etc? Any suggestions?

    I've done several searches through the forums and I've gone through so many posts that my eyes are starting to cross. I didn't have to work this hard to write one of my college research papers for my linguistics classes.

    2)I've tried to do some research on them as well and I haven't been able to find a good comparison between the T5's, T8's, and T12's. Is the added expense of T5's worth the difference in light output?
    T5's are definately the sexiest of all those; however, I just use T12's and they work fine. It all depends on your budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgorum View Post
    I've done several searches through the forums and I've gone through so many posts that my eyes are starting to cross.
    Isn't it great?

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    OMG h8 pings MrFlyTrap2's Avatar
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    For the water issue, you can see a few of the different things that I use to deal with it. I didn't go with a 'universal' tray that took up the entire shelf since I have a lot of different plants that like to do different things. Some like the extra humidity of sitting above water, some like sitting in it, some just don't care. I found the steralite tubs at walmart to be very cheap, come in different sizes, and I wouldn't mind cutting it up if I needed to.

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=109483
    My Grow List

    "It is only by studying nature that can we ever hope to defeat it."

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    wmgorum's Avatar
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    Hmm, xvart, so I hear you say that the difference is not enough to justify the added expense? Budget is not an issue. My original plan was to use compact flourescents, but because of the reading I've been doing, I've seen the trend is to use T12's instead of other things. I want to get as much light as possible, but keep heat to a minimum (don't we all). I'm going to be using this for U. alpina, a Heliamphora hybrid, and some Sarracenia seedlings for the moment. Later this winter, I'll be moving my Nepenthes and tropical Drosera in from ouside.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    He's saying T12's work fine, and that's not the same as saying they are as good as T5's. When people are talking about T5's, they aren't JUST talking about the size; they are also talking about the intensity. T5's in this context are HO, whereas regular T12's are NO. T12's also come in VHO but no one ever talks about those. In fact, I think I'm the only one I've ever read about who used VHO. I can say they were good, but if I had a time machine and could go back in time I'd go PC instead.


    If you just don't care about the cost, go with an 8 lamp T5 fixture. You won't regret it if you have the money and don't mind spending it. Otherwise, get as many PC's over your area as you can fit.

    Here is an 8 lamp tek light. 400 bucks. Last unit on the page.
    http://homeharvest.com/teklighthigho...uorescents.htm



    If heat wasn't an issue, or you had a big room to disperse the heat, I'd say go with metal halide over everything else. A big factor with T5's is the sexiness of them, too. Everyone like tiny little lights (really surprisingly thin if you've ever seen them in person. They look really breakable ) so that's a big reason why they cost so much.

    Adding mylar to the sides will also really up your light levels, too. I even have mylar on the BOTTOM of my terrarium.

  6. #6
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Yes, Clint was correct. T5's are definitely better than T12's; but at this point in my horticultural career I personally can't justify the added expense of the lights to my budget. T12's work fine for me. I would much rather have T5's!

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Are T12's adequate for D. ordensis & paradoxa? Coincidently, I was planning on buying a pair of those.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Of course they are. Just put them close to the lamps. They won't mind the head at all.

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