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Thread: Terrarium lighting 101

  1. #9

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    Hmmmm .... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] I guess I am asking the question wrong....What I need to know is does anyone know how best to light the 1.5 gallon terrarium filled with VFT's that is sold on this site.

    What Brand Light that will fit in a desk lamp?
    How many Watts?
    How many Lumens?
    How far from the top of the terrarium should it be?

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

  2. #10

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    hmm, well now, i'd like to shed a little "light" on this subject here, its not actually the bright beams of light itself that the plants are eating up, its the UV rays that are coming from them, the weaker the bulbs get from getting a higher position can be compinsated by just adding on a bulb and so on. my 125 gal terrarium, well, we all know how tall a 125 gallon tank is(regular one, not a high one), i started with 4 40 watt bulbs, theres a higher lvl in the back and the front wasnt getting as much light, so i made another fixture, and added 2 more bulbs in front, thats 80 more watts, oh yeah, just so you can know the output, i'll label the bulbs. 4foot, 40 watt G.E. sunshine bulbs, i havent tried any other lights yet, cept one G.E. plant & aquarium, no good, puts out more of the red spectrum. it isnt how you have to set your lights up for the plants, but for the space, think about it, there are corals in the ocean that never see daylight, but they live off of uv rays, the light isnt whats important, its the correct amount, and the right mixture of UV rays that will make them live, so, make your lighting like you would want it achieved in the middle or the top of your tank, the same at the bottom, plan from the bottom up, i learned all this from having saltwaqter reef tanks( hence, where the tank for my cp's came from, and the lighting that i made too, hehe) i was asking questions about lighting here, then i said, wait! i already know these answers! it is the intensity through out your whole tank, not just above it, i had xenia sp. mass producing like crazy from using this theory, if you have plants that need shade, buy light loving shade plants to go with em, cheaper to buy plants, then to keep messing with lighting [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] any comments on this? just my opinion [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    follow your desires, even the spur of the moment has its purpose in life!

  3. #11
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    I need to mention that I have now dis-assembled a lighting unit that the Flourex compact flourescent bulb comes in. It seems I was mistaken about being able to use these bulbs in a regular screw in socket, you do need the "500 watt worklight" kit to run the bulbs- because of soem extra electronics that are inside the housing however the whole lighting unit is still only $24.99. and is easily disassembled to mount in a lighting canopy.

  4. #12

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    Hello all!

    Im a new member so ill try not to appear too arrogant.
    But it seems to me like some of you need to do some further research on several subjects.

    "Lumens is a means of measuring light intensity and tells you how much
    actual light will be output from the bulb."

    Correction: Lumens is a measure of light intensity visable to the human eye. The measure of lumens is heavily weighted on the green spectrum, which happens to be the most useless portion of light for plants as they reflect green light and absorb Red and blue light.

    "The wattage of a bulb simply tells
    you how much electrical power it takes to run the bulb and is NOT a very good
    indicator of how suitable the bulb is for plant growth."

    Correction: The wattage of a bulb does tell you how much electricity it consumes and thus its output. The wattage of a bulb is the sinlge most important factor when choosing a bulb, for if no one knew what wattage bulb they were buying people would be constantly trying to modify their growing conditions to suit the variying wattages of bulbs they were buying.

    I think most everyone knows you cant grow plants with an incandescent, not to mention a Mercurey Vapor! these lamps are made to light stadiums and parking lots not a greenhouse! or indoor grow room for that matter.

    It must also be noted that while Power Compact Flouro's have a higher intensity they also produce a signifigantly higher amount of heat which must be dealt with.

    HID or high intensity discharge is a term used for the entire group, ie. MH, (Metal Halide), HPS (High Pressure Sodium), MV(Mercury Vapor, These lights are not suitable for plant growth as they produce a color that is far too red for any plant to use alone.)

    "These
    forms of lighting come in wattage's ranging from 175 watts to 1000 watts"

    There are HPS and MH lamps available in wattages as low as 50 watts. And are quite suitable for small enclosed spaces.

    "When using these
    types of lights for a large terrraium/grow closet, etc. you will also need to
    buy the following: timers, fans, humidistat and thermostat (two stage
    thermostat if you are growing highlands and need to cool the room at night)"

    I feel a timer is prerequisite, not to mention a fan for air movement within the environment. Humidistats and thermostats really are NOT necessities if one is observant and employs the use of a hygrometer and thermometer with min and max capabilities(these are available at Radio Shack)
    If you are growing highland plants in you terrarium and you are haviing success then more power to you but to be realistic these plant really arent suitable. the conditions in most terreria are much too hot and stagnant to grow these plants succesfully.

    "I should also add that when firing up a few metal halides may get you a visit
    from your neighborhood DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) due to the spike in
    power usage, so long as you're just growing CPs you don't have anything to
    worry about, but you should be aware of the possible knock on the door!"

    This is nonsense! I have been growing with HIDs for over 10 years and not once have I ever had anyone question my power consuption. To begin most HIDs dont consume anymore than your computer! so are you saying that we should all be expecting a knock on our door? how about those of use with 2 or more computers? How about those of use that use and arc welder or 56inch HDTV or how about those of us large power tools like table saws, routing tables, jointers planers etc. etc. As you see i can got on an on ! I will tell you though that i have one friend that was contacted by local law enforcement when he first got his green house up and running in 1980!
    But that is a greenhouse and represents a major draw of electrical consumption. Not a 250w, 400w, or even 1000w MH, HPS.
    I hope this clears up some confusion.

    Peace
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Peace

  5. #13

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    I had been looking for plans to make a light stand my dad had made for his biology class back in 1990 or so. He no longer has the plans, but I found them on the company website for the plants that were being grown in his class. These are the Fast-Grow plants used in schools to experiement with.

    The light stand plans are at: http://www.fastplants.org/instructio...g_systems.html

    I am going to build some to place over my tanks. Currently I have the tubes resting on the tops and I know this is a broken light waiting to happen.

    Nick
    Nick

    Careful where you crawl, it might be a trap!

    http://www.carnivorium.com
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  6. #14

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    Lover of Mexican Pinguicula

  7. #15

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    OUCH!!

    My wallet just exploded.

    Peace [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Peace

  8. #16

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    well its worth it. one shelf for seeds and cuttings. one shelf for terrariums and another for plants. I like it so you can have the lights at different higths for different things.

    mike
    Lover of Mexican Pinguicula

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