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Not changing t5 light bulbs?


linbeg

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This is a dumb question, but i was wondering what would happen if you don't change your t5 light bulbs after an extended period of time, lets say 2 years. What would be the consequences? Or would the lighting just become dimmer and dimmer?

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This is a dumb question, but i was wondering what would happen if you don't change your t5 light bulbs after an extended period of time, lets say 2 years. What would be the consequences? Or would the lighting just become dimmer and dimmer?
As devil said you will fight algae non stop!
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I ran a test on some 24" t5hos a month ago, these were 6500k plant max bulbs. The one year old bulbs had noticeably red shifted and registered only 75% as high of a PAR reading as the new bulbs.

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in most aquarium fixtures t5s will not even last 2 years. Heat kills t5 bulbs and t5s get extremely hot. we have fixtures at work (not an aquarium type place unless you count the pool) that are essentially jut a t5 bulb hanging by the ends and they still get extremely hot and need change about once a year.

 

plus what the others have said

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lights will become dimmer and dimmer so it will turn your SPS corals brown and eventually die because they are getting enough light

 

another thing is the color temperature of the bulb will shift and produce wavelength not beneficial to the corals and, like others say, encourage algae growth.

 

the longest ill say in before changing bulbs is 12 months.

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This is a dumb question, but i was wondering what would happen if you don't change your t5 light bulbs after an extended period of time, lets say 2 years. What would be the consequences? Or would the lighting just become dimmer and dimmer?

 

I think the biggest issue is the spectrum shift, or quite simply the loss of blue light. If you use a PAR meter you will see a slow drop over months as the bulbs age. If your bulbs are properly cooled they will last longer, but the PAR will slowly drop. As best I understand it this drop in PAR is due to the loss of the blue end of the spectrum, which corals benefit from the most. Algae loves the red end of the spectrum, so naturally as coral growth slows due to lack of blue algae growth picks up.

 

So ... you will hear stories about people who never change their bulbs and everything is just fine. Are these true? Certainly. The aging bulbs won't kill the tank, they just make things less ideal. If everything else in the tank is great then you might be able to get away with it, but like everything in this hobby ... everything is fine right up until it isn't.

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jedimasterben

The loss in PAR is due to degradation of the phosphors (I believe it is mercury used to get the 'blue' in the lamps), but it affects the spectral composition much more significantly than PAR.

 

Depending on running temperature of the 'cold spot' on the bulbs, they will last from 6-9 months. If run on an improper ballast that over or underdrives them or does not start them properly (such as the Workhorse series, Icecap series), or the bulbs are dimmed, the phosphors will degrade faster.

 

While algae grows best under red-dominant light, they'll grow only as long as nutrients allow.

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Actively cooled fixtures like from ATI and some other makers make it so that you can stretch to 12 months but I just swap at 10 because it's not so expensive compared to my livestock.

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