View Full Version : Need help with a new light i got from craigslist..

10/24/2014, 11:29 PM
Hey guys.. I cant find any good freshwater forums... they are all dead and I seem to find a lot of pop ups on google searches with this forum..

Anyway, I purchased a 10 year old Perfecto brand 44G Pentagon with stand and light for $100 on craigslist..

The light I got from him seems to be an older 2007 give or take 2-3 years light fixture but it seems pretty high end and very bright.. I think I scored for $100 for a tank stand and this kind of lighting. It looks like it has 4 T5's.. and by the brightness and wattage on them its deff some form of High output lights.. But they have a single 4 plug end.. Ive never seen that before. From what I dug up they are Compact Florescent lights.. called Sunpac bulbs. Each 1 is a mated pair.. so 2 pairs for 4 lights 65 watts each pair for 130 watts total.. They are only like 21 inches long too lol.. that's a lot of power for short lights.

The only thing the fixture says on it is Current and Orbit.. One set of lights is a 6700k and 10k, the other is a 420 and 460nm Actinic.... Since this will be a fresh water tank I doubt ill use the actinic.. or will actinic be used by plants? Ive never used that on my other tanks I always have pink bulbs or 6700k bulbs..

How high end is this fixture ? Is comparable to T5 HO's or is it worse or what ? Also I noticed the fan only comes on when I flip the switch for the actinic lights.. I thought maybe the wiring or something was bad for the other switch for the 6700k and 10k.. I took it apart and the fan is only wired into one of the ballasts.. So I guess this means the fixture doesn't need a fan with only 1 of the ballasts on ? It seems to get very hot without the fan on.. Since I don't use the actinic atm im using the other one hense no fan.. I measured it with a infared therm and it reads 260f for the light bulb, and on the ballast itself its 110-120f.. The ballast says 165f maximum.. So it doesn't have much room till the max temp.. Do you think it should be ok though ? Obviously im probably paranoid cleared it was designed like this.. but still.



10/25/2014, 12:03 AM
Id say 100$ was a pretty good deal. Ive never used actinic for a planted tank and Ive never known anyone who did. If it were me I would remove the lower spectrum bulbs and place the two higher ones in the positions that are connected to the ballast with the fan connected to it. The two lights in that tank should be fine for plants. I would also try to center the fixture at an angle across the top instead of running along just one side like that.

10/25/2014, 12:11 AM
Nice score you can still buy the bulbs but you will have to do some searching around. The light is nice not the best but definitely a good one. The Current company is in San Diego Ca, and is still in business. The fans probably comes on when the MH comes on.

10/25/2014, 02:30 AM
what is MH ?

The fan like I said I took it apart is only wired to one ballast.. No idea why... Its a bit noisy sounds like a dry bearing or something... I might order a new fan for it.. I thought I could use a computer fan since its the same size but its an AC fan my computer 80mm fans are DC.

Yea I thought about positioning it in the middle.. It will be sitting on the ^ point of the tank with the arm but I think itll be fine.

I didn't just get the tank and light and stand for $100.. The guy gave me all his fish tank supplies.. He gave me an emperor 280 filter, 3 Air bubble pumps, 3 150 watt heaters, and 4 power heads. Along with other various things including a 50 foot long hose that you screw into your sink to suck the gravel and fill the tank with.. Only issue is the Emperor filter is NOISYYY sounds like a garbage disposal with rocks in it... I cleaned it really good and still noisy.. The impeller looks ok I think it might be missing a part or something im not sure. No one sell them locally so I can open a box and look. 1 of the heater is broken, 2 power heads are broken, the other 2 are noisy as hell and 1 is wayyy too powerful.. I mean like creates some serious waves in the tank lol, and all 3 air pumps are too noisy.. they are those older larger duel air pumps.. the noisy ones.. So I bought a $13 top 10g air pump.. those are the quietest ive ever found.

I decided to buy a Top Fin Internal 40 filter. I love these Internal Filters from top fin.. They are so quiet like literally no kidding you have to put your head against the glass.. Its got a 3 stage filtration too, 2 foamy sponges you can put carbon or whatever inside, and a separate section for whatever else you want, it came with those porous stones.. I put food in the water and watched to see if it sucked it up well and it does very good.. I have replaced 4 of my 8 tanks HOB's with these things in the last few months.. I don't even hear my fish tanks anymore.. Plus its exit for water is out a tube so it acts as a power head.. so no need for power heads anymore..

Yea the tank was made in 2004 so 10 years... 10 years is half or 3/4 of the life for the tank seals but they look in good shape and its a perfecto tank which are high quality.. I have 2 a 30g and 27g hex which are 22 and 14 years old original seals.

The single 65 watt fixture your right is probably enough.. But lets assume I want more lighting and I want to use the other side... I found bulbs online from Current USA which made this fixture.. They are pretty cheap $20, that's basically $10 a tube.

They don't have many options though like T5's or T8's.. No pink bulbs.. My other freshwater tanks I use 1 daylight and 3 pink bulbs and my plants grow crazy... All they have are 420/460 actinic, 6700/10k, 460/460 actinic, and 6700/6700k.. Right now mine has the first 2 combos the 420/460 and 6700/10k.. Im thinking of getting the 6700/6700. I don't think I need to replace my 6700/10k The fixture might be 6 or so years old.. but only the actinic lights are dark and grey on the ends.. The 6700 is bright white and no greying on the ends (signs of an old bulb) so I don't think he ever used the white lights

On a scale 1-10 though do you know what this light would be considered lighting wise.. Like I said I don't know anything about these weird compact 4 pin florescent tubes.. I have no idea what the lumens are and they don't even have charts for the color spectrums.. Unlike t5 brands... If I use all 4 lights im guessing this would be considered a real high light tank right ?

10/25/2014, 07:04 AM
The Planted Tank is a great freshwater forum (plantedtank.net). I have a 55 planted and use bulbs with 6700k and also 8000k for a more white light, 10k will be very white but I'm not sure how that spectrum will benefit plants - I have reef lights that are 10k. Your 6700k bulbs should be perfect - don't use the actinic ones. 4 bulbs may be too much light for freshwater unless you add CO2 :/ I had a Coralife compact fluorescent (65 watts x 2) on the 55 at one time and plants grew like crazy under it, so no worries there.

10/25/2014, 10:10 AM
Sorry my bad I thought it was MH / PC light.

10/25/2014, 11:34 PM
No it isn't a Metal Halide , Its got two PC lamps and LEDS in the middle for moon lighting. The 2 PC lamps are like duel bulbs I guess that's what Power Compact bulbs are.. Hense 4 lights when both are on..

10/25/2014, 11:42 PM
The Planted Tank is a great freshwater forum (plantedtank.net). I have a 55 planted and use bulbs with 6700k and also 8000k for a more white light, 10k will be very white but I'm not sure how that spectrum will benefit plants - I have reef lights that are 10k. Your 6700k bulbs should be perfect - don't use the actinic ones. 4 bulbs may be too much light for freshwater unless you add CO2 :/ I had a Coralife compact fluorescent (65 watts x 2) on the 55 at one time and plants grew like crazy under it, so no worries there.

65 watts x2 is 130 watts of lighting... Or do you mean yours is just 65 watts total.. Because my PC lights in this are 65 watts for each PC fixture.. but as you know each fixture is 2 bulbs.. So if I turn on both fixtures I will have 2x 65 watts for 130 watts total.

I don't think 130 is too much, as my 55g which is only 21 inches tall, the easy to stay red plants like Altenthera renekie actually turned green using only 1 duel T5NO lamp... and that's 56 watts of power.. Only until I got a second lamp.. for 4 T5 Normal output lamps total of 112 watts did they go back to being dark red...

My 27g Hex is using 2xt5's and 2xt8 for 62 watts I cant keep any of the plants red like my red Ludwigia until they reach about half way up the tank.. Once they get up there they turn red. That tank is 25 inches tall. The 44g Hex is 25 inches tall, so if I only have 1 lamp on for 65 watts.. Im sure everything till grow just fine.. but only grow green.. But you might be right that 130 watts could require CO2.. but then I dose liquid co2 anyway everyday.

I looked up the Lumens these PC lights put out.. Supposedly they put out around 4800 Lumens each.. So that's about 9600 Lumens if I used both. They are about 200-300 lumens short from T5HO lights.. so they pretty much are like T5HO's, but shorter

10/26/2014, 09:14 AM
Ah, I thought a you had a 4x65 watt hood. The added depth of your tank helps so that 130 watts should be ok, especially if you're dosing CO2. I think the old school way of thinking says that 3-4 watts per gallon is high light, but the added depth isn't taken into consideration with that formula.

Sounds like you got a great deal there :) I was able to find great deals on bulbs on eBay. Best of luck!

10/27/2014, 09:20 PM
PC and T5 are almost identical except the PC bulbs loop which makes them really hard to get a good reflector to get the light out.

While not high end by todays standards I think you did well. Now, if you want to do better, you can pour some salt into it :)