It got me thinking just the other day about electricity consumption with a planted aquarium. Now we use a lot of lights with our plants as you might expect. We also use LED lights because of their lower electric consumption but have some T5s which use a fair bit more as you might guess. Quite how much I don’t know but it got me thinking about consumption and when hobbyists have their lights on and for how long.
Our electric meter has day and night time setting and night time is almost half the price of the day time. I then quite literally had a light bulb moment…
wouldn’t it be better to use electricity at night when the price is cheaper than during the day?
Although not always practical, we have started running some of our lights at night (between 11pm – 7am), thereby cutting our costs.
Do you think this is a good idea for you at home and your planted tank?
Lets say you arrive home at 6pm, so you could have lights come on then, and go off at 2am in the morning, this way you too could be using cheaper electric (assuming you have the same set up as us), and run your lighting for the normal 8 hours a day.
What do you think? I would live to hear your thoughts.
If you’re a serious hobbyist who appreciates quality products for your planted aquarium then the Giesemann T5 Powerchrome range of lamps are just the ticket for you. Giesemann, for those of you not familiar with the brand are German with a phenomenal reputation for quality and these lights will not disappoint. We supply two different types which emit different lights colours – this is the primary difference between the two.
Aquaflora – a perfect lamp for increasing plant growth in your aquarium. These lamps emit colours which not only highlight the colours of your fish but also the plants. The brightness of these lamps is incredible and as soon as you place them in your aquarium, you will notice a big difference immediately. Plants which haven’t pearled before may suddenly pearl if you are using CO2.
Midday – A stunning 6000k lamp which produces a very natural light. Easy on the eye, this lamp is specifically designed for plant growth and similar to the Aquaflora, once installed you will be amazed at how bright the lamp in.
Should I mix the lamps? We recommend if you have 2 T5s lamps you should use 1 x Midday and 1 x Aquaflora for the best effect in bringing out colours of your fish and plants, along with incredible plant growth.
How often should I replace them? Like all lamps their output decreases from the minute you turn them on. A typical life span of a T5 lamp for a planted aquarium is 12 months – you may think that there is no difference in the output but there is. Without a light meter you would never know this. To the naked eye, you wouldn’t notice any difference either particularly as you look at your aquarium every day so any light decrease happens very gradually and is subtle. The difference is your plants will notice a big difference and if you looked at a new tube compared to one which is 12 months old, then you would see how one has aged. So if you change every 12 months, your plants remain happy and continue to grow as expected. Slow plant growth can be attributed to limited light output.
I’ve heard I shouldn’t change all my lamps together – is this true? Absolutely, and for the reasons mentioned above, lights deteriorate over time. If you replace all your lamps together the new lamps will be much brighter than the old one’s and this can stimulate algae growth as your plants will have adjusted to the old light levels over time. So when it comes to changing them, replace them one month apart to avoid mjaor disruption and algae outbreaks.
Can I use these T5s on my set up? Providing you are already using T5s then yes. Make sure you use lamps of the same length and you’ll be fine.