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Thread: 30w compact fluorescent

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    Anyone know how far away should a 30W compact fluorescent bulb be from VFT's in a 1.5 gallon terrarium?
    Life is to short not to try everything at least once!

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    I would start with it about 12" away. If it seems to need more light then slowly move it closer. In a very small enclosed space (even with an open top) you can easily cook a plant. With an open top you may also have to be a bit more wary of humidity as well. A hot lamp + open top can equal very dry conditions. You may need to partially cover the lid with clear plastic but leave a bit open so it can "breathe". However a lid can possibly make the tiny terrarium into a makeshift vegetable steamer! I put a 19 watt power compact flourescent over a 2.5 gallon planted aquarium and the temp got over 90*F but the light was only 6" or so above the lid so be prepared to do a bit of experimenting before you find just the right adjustments.

    Good luck! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Hi Swords,

    Ok, I guess I may be leaving the lamp to close to the tank. The Soft White was keeping them alive and growing so far but you guys got me scared into buying a daylight bulb instead, still not sure what wattage would be best but it seems the more light the better so 30w sounds best, was looking at the SUN-A-LUX CF-30 bulb which states CRI-93 and 5500K but no mention of Lumens, I know the softwhite bulb I have now is 25w at 1750Lumens.....I have a choice of 20w,23w,26w, or 30w .....which would be better for this small of a tank?

    Dave
    Life is to short not to try everything at least once!

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    Do you have a thermometer? Put a thermometer in the tank and see what the temps get up to after the lamp is on the tank for almost a full day. If it gets above 90*F for an extended period I would back the light up (raise it). However, if your plant is doing OK as it is there is no real reason to change a currently well working setup, at least not this growing season, make the switch after dormacy when it comes back to life.

    Don't worry too much about spectrum, the daylight spectrum is really of "minor" importance, plants will use light in whatever spectrum they can get it, the most important thing to a plant is quanity of light, quality is second. Most softwhite bulbs have fewer lumens than daylight spectrum which is why I shun them.
    I believe a balanced spectrum light is nice because of several reasons: too much blue/green oriented light can cause etoliation or make the plants "leggy/stalky" (just as if the lights are too far away) and too much yellow/red light will cause "stocky" short and wide growth with too short of internodes between leaves possibly OK when growing in terrariums but using abulb of ballanced spectrum seems to give plants better colors if they are types which produce patterns and colors (like Nepenthes, Cephalotus, etc).

    I would go with that 30 watt Sun A Lux personally as it will be just as appropriate if/when you decide to upgrade to 5 gallon tank.
    Might I ask where you found them for sale? That sounds like a great spectrum! Are they biax, double biax or simple screw in compact flourescents that go into incandescent fixtures? I'd like to try one myself over a small tank as an experiment if they are commonly available in the US.

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    Question

    Hi Swords,

    I found them on the web at the following site:

    http://www.sunalux.com/s_lightbulbs.cfm

    And thanks for all the helpful hints!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Dave G.
    Life is to short not to try everything at least once!

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    Thanks for the link Dave!

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