DIY Dual T8 light 18" bulbs - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Dual T8 light 18" bulbs

Hi all, was wondering if it's possible to modify a standard single strip T8 fixture for 10 gallon for use with two bulbs. I am already looking for a ballast that works for 2 15-18w T8 bulbs, but they seem uncommon. Am I going about this the wrong way?

Edit: Nvm I've found a suitable ballast, but deciding on whether DIY is the best option.

Last edited by Gametheory; 05-05-2014 at 05:00 PM. Reason: found an item
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 05:36 PM
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I have a compulsion to DIY and do my own filters. My thoughts lean towards LED if I think DIY light however(for my 10g tanks)because I should be able to dial in an almost
exact PAR AND spectrum range for it that way...plus be able to space the light bulbs
in a much better way than those narrow strips you get from a factory job.
But till my rich Uncle gets out the poor house to grant me lots of $$$ to do it/w...
I just use two of the "Lights of America" under-the-counter light strips from Walmart
on one of the tanks. That gives me two 18" T8 bulbs. One at the front facing the
back and the other at the back facing the front. Almos a guarantee you'll have algae issues if you are not careful which bulbs you use if no CO2 is used. I use none and
I only need to clean my glass every three weeks. The actual date on/of this picture is 5/1/14...the second one is taken from where I sit at my computer and I just took it
to show you. Obviously there is more light in this room but this is without a flash.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=57746
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=57946

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:38 AM
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To be honest, on my ten gallon I just use a standard stock incandescent hood (Aqueon's for mine), with two 13 Watt CFL bulbs and I'm getting plenty of light in it. Sylvania make's Micro Mini's, and if you really wanted too, you could probably go with bigger CFLs (23 watt), but I personally get a good amount of algae, with only 7 hours of light, and my plants are growing very quickly. I think CFL's would probably be easier then shop lights on such a small tank.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
I have a compulsion to DIY and do my own filters. My thoughts lean towards LED if I think DIY light however(for my 10g tanks)because I should be able to dial in an almost
exact PAR AND spectrum range for it that way...plus be able to space the light bulbs
in a much better way than those narrow strips you get from a factory job.
But till my rich Uncle gets out the poor house to grant me lots of $$$ to do it/w...
I just use two of the "Lights of America" under-the-counter light strips from Walmart
on one of the tanks. That gives me two 18" T8 bulbs. One at the front facing the
back and the other at the back facing the front. Almos a guarantee you'll have algae issues if you are not careful which bulbs you use if no CO2 is used. I use none and
I only need to clean my glass every three weeks. The actual date on/of this picture is 5/1/14...the second one is taken from where I sit at my computer and I just took it
to show you. Obviously there is more light in this room but this is without a flash.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=57746
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=57946
That's actually a great idea and you're plants look pretty well off with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Soprano
To be honest, on my ten gallon I just use a standard stock incandescent hood (Aqueon's for mine), with two 13 Watt CFL bulbs and I'm getting plenty of light in it. Sylvania make's Micro Mini's, and if you really wanted too, you could probably go with bigger CFLs (23 watt), but I personally get a good amount of algae, with only 7 hours of light, and my plants are growing very quickly. I think CFL's would probably be easier then shop lights on such a small tank.
Yea CFLs was an option I was considering, but then I found out yesterday that some companies are beginning to manufacture T8 LED lamps =O, so if I stick with T8's there's a chance it'd be futureproof.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 11:56 PM
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It looks fairly simple but making sure its safe is a whole different story. I shortened a 48" fixture to 18" bulbs, bought a new ballast for correct wattage and it "worked" fine. The reason I did this is to take advantage of the pre grounded system. You NEED a ground plug. If not..... get good insurance. However after spending $45+ for the correct equipment (remember the fixture/frame is not included in this price), I realized that I could get an LED for my tank for a little bit more $. Im running Finnex fugeray and planted plus but im in a hi-tech setup now aswell. Either way, $20 at most more than a diy t8 is worth Waaaaay more in peace of mind while lights run all day while I work. Besides the other facts like; looks so much neater both the fixture and the tank lit up, with both fixtures im only using like 20watts total and not replacing bulbs. Good luck!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellabelly View Post
It looks fairly simple but making sure its safe is a whole different story. I shortened a 48" fixture to 18" bulbs, bought a new ballast for correct wattage and it "worked" fine. The reason I did this is to take advantage of the pre grounded system. You NEED a ground plug. If not..... get good insurance. However after spending $45+ for the correct equipment (remember the fixture/frame is not included in this price), I realized that I could get an LED for my tank for a little bit more $. Im running Finnex fugeray and planted plus but im in a hi-tech setup now aswell. Either way, $20 at most more than a diy t8 is worth Waaaaay more in peace of mind while lights run all day while I work. Besides the other facts like; looks so much neater both the fixture and the tank lit up, with both fixtures im only using like 20watts total and not replacing bulbs. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice, I'll hold off on the DIY for now. Last thing I need to do is burn the house down when I'm out lol
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