36w in 55w ballast??
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
Dwayne
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36w in 55w ballast??


Hello,

I have 6 x 55w AH Supply bulbs on my 4x2x2 tank. I want to reduce the wattage as I am sick of competing against the algae.

Can I replace the 55w bulbs with 36w bulbs? I have 3 x 55w ballast that run the 6 x bulbs. I have read on other posts that if I change the bulbs to 36w the ballast will run them just like 55w bulbs, that is the ballast will deliver 55w to the 36w bulbs.

I have looked at the AH Supply site and the 36w and 55w kits both have the same ballast.

Thanks,
Dave.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:52 AM   #2
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
Can I replace the 55w bulbs with 36w bulbs? I have 3 x 55w ballast that run the 6 x bulbs. I have read on other posts that if I change the bulbs to 36w the ballast will run them just like 55w bulbs, that is the ballast will deliver 55w to the 36w bulbs.
You can run the smaller bulb but the coverage is going to be bad. If you have 3 ballasts, just unplug banks of lights until you are happier. If this is a 4" tank you could run 2 lamps for example.
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:05 PM   #4
Left C
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Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
...I have looked at the AH Supply site and the 36w and 55w kits both have the same ballast.

Thanks,
Dave.
They do use the same Workhorse ballast. It's rated for 54 watts. I've used 36w bulbs in it w/o problems.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:13 PM   #5
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Not a problem, I have done it.
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:19 PM   #6
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How did you set up the lights? How many plugs do you have coming from the ballasts? If you have it set up with 3 plugs, assuming 2 bulbs per ballast you can stagger the lights you just need 3 timers.
  1. Have one set turn on.
  2. Two hours later turn on the second set.
  3. Two hours later turn on the third set.
  4. Two hours later turn off the first set.
  5. Two hours later turn off the second set.
  6. Two hours later turn off the last set.

This gives you a 10 hour photoperiod with a dawn to dusk effect. All the bulbs get the same amount of wear, six hours a day. You use less electricity. Your lights produce less heat which helps with cooling costs in the summer. Your plants get a noon time effect. You'll have less algae as you aren't pouring light into the tank after the plants have shut down for the day leaving all the energy and nutrients to the algae.
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