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vthondaboi
07/20/2009, 10:29 PM
To start with by no means am I a pro when it comes to measuring stuff the "correct" way. I did turn off my pumps when testing though. Hopefully next week I can test some other fixtures I have laying around.

My Aquactinics Solar Flare is about 2 years old. It uses IC reflectors, ballasts and fans. For reference, I just cleaned the acrylic splash guard about 2 weeks ago. The bulbs are less than two weeks old. I'm using the following, which are all UVL, will try out some ATIs when I get a chance:
2 - Super Actinics
2 - Actinic White
2 - 75.25

Higher #s are the ones that I took off the acrylic cover for. Not sure why the readings are so high on the bottom, perhaps reflection of the glass?

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_x6-Ebwu6u4I/SmUyM-Q60MI/AAAAAAAAADk/xN9i5caBsD0/s576/tech%20T5%20with%20cover.JPG
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_x6-Ebwu6u4I/SmUyNc-zgeI/AAAAAAAAADo/BP5F7hrq0Rk/s576/tech%20T5%20without%20cover.JPG

Overall I'm kind of disappointed as I thought that this was one of the very best T5 fixtures out on the market.

What prompted me to do this is a thread I saw a while back on RC. That tank using a Tek fixture had some amazing PAR values. http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthrea ... id=1332562

mordibv
07/20/2009, 11:08 PM
IMHO it's not the fixture . U got the right hardware . I would do a retake on the bulbs .
Grim's Par Readings From the vesting page .

EG : ATI Blue Plus - 311 but u use a the SA bulb @ 210

I do not know the numbers on a UV 454 bulb but have tried them , it is very similar to a blue plus .

ATI Aqua Blue Special 336 but u use a AW bulb @ 293 not much variance here .

The 75/25 bulb is @254 but I used a KZ Fiji Purple @330 .

The top two Ati's would be used in pairs so that's 4 bulbs and the Fiji Purple would be the 5th .BTW this bulb is a favorite of mine for reds and purple .

The six bulb is a toss up with either a Aqua Sun , another Special or Blus plus depending if you like the blue look or brighter look .

So if you went the above suggestions your par numbers would definitely be higher

In a nustshell if you are happy with the color of the tank and corals are growing well . Burn the bulbs for their life span and try some different ones the next go around .

HTH .

I have used lots of t-5's in the past but due to a cube build I went back to MH 20k . I will still use the blue plus and fiji purple for the cube .

JRechcygl
07/21/2009, 07:59 AM
I have ND 60" lamps over my 180 and honestly my levels were higher than that....
Either A. You didn't hold the sensor vertical...B. UVL lamps REALLY are that inferior to Giesemann C. Overdriving does absolutely nothing to T5 lamps PAR out put....

For example I had 270 dead center 24" down... I had 190 and 131 on both ends on the sandbed and had 400 12" down dead center...
Mind you this is 8 60" lamps normal driven

mordibv
07/21/2009, 08:33 AM
Unless something has changed recently ATI and Geisemann are the same bulb . Just different names . I have used 4 Hagen glo ballasts with reflectors and an Ice Cap 660 pre-wired.Ime overdriving does increase par . Bulbs do fry earlier even if cooling is used . There are a few threads around that show how an icecap and t-5's are putting out a lot of par .
It can be bested by the likes of ATI PM but when you compare pricing and support that Ice Cap provides it makes it very apealing - the bragging rigts of the ATI PM . LOL

HTH

JRechcygl
07/21/2009, 09:58 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15388879#post15388879 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mordibv
Unless something has changed recently ATI and Geisemann are the same bulb . Just different names . I have used 4 Hagen glo ballasts with reflectors and an Ice Cap 660 pre-wired.Ime overdriving does increase par . Bulbs do fry earlier even if cooling is used . There are a few threads around that show how an icecap and t-5's are putting out a lot of par .
It can be bested by the likes of ATI PM but when you compare pricing and support that Ice Cap provides it makes it very apealing - the bragging rigts of the ATI PM . LOL

HTH
Do you have any solid numbers both pre and post IC ballasts?
Funny how not even IC is getting back to all the questions in regards to PAR increase as compare to the energy increase % and degraded life of lamps+ heat.

Like stated my numbers on a 24" tall tank taken 4 seperate times, by me and other person, all show that a WH ballast is capable of driving good PAR thoughout the tank, contrary to what many have said about deeper tanks. A photon of light is a photon of light isn't it?

I think that the OD lamps is another misconception that needs to be addressed in our hobby and until more people start testing their IC lamps it will be slow going...

vthondaboi
07/21/2009, 10:29 AM
Before my new bulbs, my old ones were working for around two years before I replaced them. They didn't go out as I suspected, but rather a ballast did and IC replaced it quickly. They even extend their three year warranty to four for the Solar Flare.

When I get a chance to get my old bulbs I'll test them to compare and hook up a Kill-a-watt also.

JRechcygl
07/21/2009, 10:38 AM
Great. Thank you

mordibv
07/21/2009, 02:00 PM
I will see if I can find the thread or threads .

mordibv
07/21/2009, 02:09 PM
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1583242

This is a good thread and here is one on the Ice Cap forum . Look what Grims states . Yep .Ice Cap doesn't say too much . I have personally seen light output ot the lamps act buggy with too much cooling . After I replaced the ballast I never saw the issue again .

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1632991

The Grim Reefer
07/21/2009, 02:25 PM
1) ATI and Giesemann are not the same lamps. Giesemann are made by NARVA which made ATI lamps a very long time ago. D&D picked up the line when ATI left and then Giesemann got involved somehow. ATI lamps are made by Sylvania.

I measured a Solar Flare in my 22" tall tank with the fixture sitting right on top. The first lamp was partially blocked by the trim and the last 2 lamps were partially blocked by the rock which went nearly to the surface at that time. With all that we got PAR in the 370's. Just the dusk/dawn pair was doing in the 120's. Thing is we didn't let the fixture run that long before taking the readings so it is possible the heat build up is decreasing output.


QUESTIONS

You got higher numbers with the shield off. How long did you let it run after pulling the shield? The shield itself doesn't block much light if it is clean. Does yours have any discoloration?

From the looks of your rockwork I suspect you are also having a bit of the light blocked before it gets to the sensor but I would have expected better numbers.

If you can try taking a par reading with the shield on after the fixture has been running an hour or so and then remove it and see what the PAR does when you first take it off and watch it for the next half hour or so. Also make sure the fans are both running. If the PAR starts increasing the longer the shield is off I suspect there are some cooling issues.


Another thing is if you move the lamps out of the horizontal position let them run a few hours before measuring them.

Thanks. Maybe we can figure out how to boost the output.

mordibv
07/21/2009, 03:28 PM
I did say changed recently . I guess it's been a bit . I still have old t5 bulbs that were purchased as ATI blue plus from (REEF GEEK years ago ) but had D&D on the bulbs . I guess I didn't realize how many years I was on the T-5 bandwagon . LOL
Grimm .. Hope you can help him get it fgured out .

vthondaboi
07/21/2009, 03:55 PM
I let it run for about 15 mintes after I took out the shield then started testing.

For the tests with the shields on, the lights were already running for about an hour.

fans were running for both tests, I suspect the fans work better when the shield is on because it blows out and not in.

The Grim Reefer
07/21/2009, 04:56 PM
If you take readings as you slide the shield out you will see how much light it is cutting. My guess would be the fans should be more effective with the shield in place but if you had that much more PAR after 15 minutes with no shield either that shield is blocking a tremendous amount of light of the cooling isn't working.

I have contacted a local with a flare and we are going to play.

I plan on trying a couple things on his fixture.

JRechcygl
07/21/2009, 05:12 PM
THATS why Grim is the man...

James77
07/21/2009, 05:42 PM
I'd be curious top find how effective the cooling is on the sides of the fixture. The 2 fans and exhaust on the opposite end are right in the center, so it would seem the sides would not get the optimum cooling that the center would.

IE using the same bulbs across the entire fixture, and see if there is a substantial difference in PAR.

The Grim Reefer
07/21/2009, 05:47 PM
You get better results cooling the end of the lamps. I am thinking flip the fans so the blow cool air in right at the lamp ends but I assume cool air is being drawn in the opposite end of the fixture so I dunno.

James77
07/21/2009, 05:52 PM
It just seems that the cooling would be uneven having only 2 openings right in the center as opposed to havng the air drawn in across the whole end of the fixture. I picture hot air being trapped at the sides of the fixture.

May be nothing significant at all, but Ive always wondered that.