Downgrading light intensity for planted tanks

pepetj

I've noticed that T5HO linear fluorescent bulbs are a bit shorter than T5 (Normal Output) for similar sized lamps assemblies.

I found an easy and fast way of replacing T5HO lamps with the slightly longer T5 ones to downgrade light intensity. Too much light is more difficult to manage than lower (yet sufficient) light planted tanks.

Loose the screws of the end lamp connectors in the lamp assembly. No need to remove them, just loose them so it can move backwards a bit.

I have yet to find a lamp assembly model that this solution doesn't work.

I've performed this in some brands/models that didn't offer the needed flexibility to just swap one lamp type with the other (most brands/models don't need our intervention since they come with a spring system that allows the swap from T5HO to T5).

In multiple linear bulbs units (like dual or quad) unless you confirm you indeed have two or more independent ballast and not a single ballast capable of running multiple lamps, all lamp bulbs should be the same type, either T5HO or T5 for the unit to work safely so don't combine one or more T5HO with one or more T5 (normal output) unless you know what you're doing.

Multiple on-off switch doesn't necessarily means the lamp unit runs with independent ballasts for each fluorescent bulb.

If you try this you're doing it at your own risk. Better to consult a qualified technician if in doubt. We're dealing with electrical equipment and we should consider the fire hazards involved.

I've solved serious algae issues with this downgrade.

Pepetj
Santo Domingo
 

Dang

You really have me thinking...I've been struggling with dust algae and now hairgrass staghorn on my plants. I have 2 39 watt bulbs t5 high output.
 

pepetj

I had tons of brown beard algae as well with 2x 24W T5HO. Since I downgraded to 2x 14W T5HE (High Efficiency, Normal Output) it has receded noticeably. I still have it there but not as before.

I dosed Excel in that tank to kill BBA yet it always returned. Now I still have some but given some time I might get rid of this nasty, ugly algae that covered the heater, the RedSea CO2 reactor, most Java Fern, Vallisneria gigantea, Anubias barterI and hybrid Echinodorus sp. It was all over the place in an otherwise healthy tank (parameters wise; plants kept growing yet BBA growth was unstoppable).

Pepetj
Santo Domingo
 

Dang

Did you get those online?
 

AirstoND

Did you have a pwrhead?

I had tons of brown beard algae as well with 2x 24W T5HO. Since I downgraded to 2x 14W T5HE (High Efficiency, Normal Output) it has receded noticeably. I still have it there but not as before.

I dosed Excel in that tank to kill BBA yet it always returned. Now I still have some but given some time I might get rid of this nasty, ugly algae that covered the heater, the RedSea CO2 reactor, most Java Fern, Vallisneria gigantea, Anubias barterI and hybrid Echinodorus sp. It was all over the place in an otherwise healthy tank (parameters wise; plants kept growing yet BBA growth was unstoppable).

Pepetj
Santo Domingo

Pepetj, did you have a pwrhead circulating water, with no stagnant spots. Before a pwrhead I had green spot algae in stagnant areas. I setup up the pwrhead with the HOB to create a clockwise(or counterclockwise) water rotation flow.
 

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