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Old 11-11-2002, 04:15 PM   #61
GulfCoastAquarian
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Well, using the Krib's calculations, for a 55gallon tank, with the light 26" from the substrate, two ODNO 48" T8 or T12 bulbs would be just about ideal (for moderate to bright light plants).

I'm running about the same wattage as you, but my lights are directly on top of the tank, so the distance to substrate is less than 20" (2-3" substrate). I think I might move them up an inch or two. The top glass gets pretty warm and it seems I have a little bit of leeway, according to those calculations.

That's realy neat that two 48" ODNO bulbs work out just perfectly for a 55gallon tank (which is pretty common).
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Old 11-11-2002, 05:42 PM   #62
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Great! I'm glad you agree. On a side note; I had the 2x4s laying flat at first and had draped a towel over the open end of the fixture(and all but about an inch of the front). Anyway the tank temp went up quite high, 86 or so. When I stand the 2x4s on edge and leave at least 2" gap between the tank top and the bulbs Ii can maintain the temp at 82. I've been wondering if it would be better to remove the glass??? :hehe:
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:31 PM   #63
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Removing the glass would definitely cool the tank down, but also would cause a good deal of evaporation. It's up to you wich is a priority. Can you find a cheap desk fan to stick behind the tank and blow across the surface of the glass? With the 4" space that the 2x4's provide, you could get a huge amount of airflow.
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Old 11-13-2002, 03:49 AM   #64
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rdns, do you have any pictures of your tanks? I would love to see your plants and your substrate. I've never seen a tank with kitty litter before.

GulfCoastAquarian, you know of any pictures of tanks that jave kitty litter as a substrate? I'm curious what it looks like.
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Old 11-14-2002, 02:24 AM   #65
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Well many thanks Gulf...
I now have light !!! I took apart that 4' T8 shoplight I bought and the ballast was a 2-F32T8 so I just wired that to one bulb. Then I went to HD and bought what I thought was a 4-F32T8 and when I got home the dang thing was a 3-F32T8 !!! Even the same SKU# as the 4- ....
Said the heck with it and installed it to the other bulb !
I cant imagine the light you guys get with 2 - 4 bulb ballasts in there !
Plus I also have a 20 watt PowerGlo(18,000k) bulb over this 30 gallon tank so I have no idea what this adds up to but my plants are lovin it !

Thanks for all your help bro !

Buck
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:54 PM   #66
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The ballast you took out of the shop ballast - is it magnetic or electronic? If it is magnetic, you can't overdrive bulbs with it. As a matter of fact, they are even wired much differently. Much to complex for me to get into right now. Obviously if you've already hooked it up, then it is electronic or it would have smoked in a matter of seconds if it was not.

Be careful when doing this stuff, guys! We're talking about some really high voltages and some potentially hazardous chemical. I should have been more clear on it up front, but please make sure and take precautions. I don't want anyone's house burning down! And always supervise the connections while they run for the first few hours. You never know.
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Old 11-14-2002, 08:51 PM   #67
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That is what my dad was like when I told him what I wanted to do in order to OD my light. He asked me if the bulb would explode, and I told him my goal wasn't to blow up the house!

-Tim
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Old 11-15-2002, 12:06 AM   #68
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It was electronic... lol
My wife was nervous the first day of test... which I was home all day for of course. I can definately see someone getting hurt if they are not sure. I hate electricity as it is... :P

Its runnin great... but now I think I want different bulbs... these are just 4 ' T-8 cool whites... I haent decided yet what to replace them with.
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Old 11-25-2002, 07:19 PM   #69
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decision's, decision's...
I was having enough fun with my lighting decision's (hope i'm spelling that right lol)
now i find this place and ya'all are putting nitrous on light bulbs, I am laffing... and thinking Tim on Home Improvement!
:hehe:
This is a big chunk of "thread" and i started getting lost in the Question/answer/comments

are we doing this with just T8 bulbs or can we use T12's also?

+ an electronic ballast equal to the bulb size. as in, ballast for 2 - 15" lights and useing 1 - 15" light etc.

I'm thinking... 2 -18" bulbs run through 1 - 4 bulb ballast for my 20H

or should i get a 2 bulb ballast and run them inline? (no, i don't know what i'm talking about... just saw something about running "inline" a minute ago)

sounding alot cheaper then the CF set-up

david
P.S. have we tried this on compact's? :hehe:
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Old 11-25-2002, 08:11 PM   #70
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My setup Bwiser is one 4foot t12 bulb running at 4x power using a 4bulb t8 ballast getting around 180'ish WPG with this setup.....and as far as i know this will NOT work on PC's most of them have a ballast on the light themselves that you could say "prohibits" to much power from going to the light.....and for your question about ballast you can use the same ballast i am using a f36t8 ballast.....but you only run it at 2x power.....(there is a thread about OD'ing 18" bulbs, check that out for full info) and that way with that ballast you always have room for expansion
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Old 11-25-2002, 08:14 PM   #71
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and sorry for the full length link forget how to make an actual link (been awhile since ive made any =(....)


http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=208
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Old 11-26-2002, 06:45 AM   #72
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i just got one of those 18" lights from homedepot called lights of america. i am using a plant light bulb i got at petsmart. i think its 15watts. is there someway i can tweek this? my freakin 24" fixture broke somehow dunno. just started to smell and not work.
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Old 11-26-2002, 06:49 AM   #73
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Check my previous post about Over Driving normal output lights.....with OD'ing your 15w light you should be able to get some 50watts out of that light.....but read the post about od'ing 18" before doing anything alot of helpful info there
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Old 11-26-2002, 08:32 AM   #74
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did a search and i didnt find anything
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Old 11-26-2002, 12:53 PM   #75
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Haha, yeah I was thinking Tim from Home Improvement, too, when I started doing this. But that is exactly my nature. I'm a Mechanical Engineer and I am always tinkering with our appliances, much to my wife's chagrin.

The lights of america strip has a magnetic ballast. If you want to overdrive that 15w bulb, you'll need an electronic ballast.
Always get a ballast for driving four 32 watt T8 bulbs. (4F32T8)
1) They don't make an electronic ballast for F40 T12 bulbs since those bulbs aren't used in industrial applications, where efficiency is key. (And 32w T8 bulbs are WAY more efficient than T12's)
2) Get the four bulb ballast even if you're not sure about driving the bulb 4x or even 3x. You can at least drive two bulbs 2x a piece.

I've got a 20H just like you, but I'm using it as a nano reef. I made the mistake of buying only a 2 bulb F32T8 ballast and now I want more light. Overdriving two 18" bulbs in series with both outputs of a 2F32T8 ballast just don't make them warm at all. I should have gotten the 4x. The 2x is only driving these bulbs 35%-40% more than normal. Using all four outputs might bring that closer to doubling the output (bringing two 15w bulbs to a total of 60 watts).

Here's a picture of the hood I made for the reef.
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