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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible to convert a T5NO to HO by swapping out the ballast, if so will any ballast that is meant for the corresponding HO bulbs work. For example, I have a 30" coralife NO fixture with 18w 24" bulbs, could I swap the ballast for one that supports 24w 24" bulbs and be good to go?


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I knew I would have to change ballast and bulbs, I wasn't aware about the bulb ends, I thought that all t5s, NO HO & VHO, all used the same contacts, can anybody verify? I can't find anything on the web


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Go to an electrical supply house and tell them you need a
Sunpark T5120-2/24HO MPF or equivalent, both in spec and in size. They will have a book or two to dig in and will likely have what you need in the back.

You'll either need wirenuts of the appropriate size (or watertight connectors) and the confidence that you can re-wire the endcaps. It may be worthwhile to just take your fixture with you and get four new tombstone endcaps, which should be under a dollar each and then you won't need the wirenuts :)

You'll find a wiring diagram either on the ballast or on a paper inside the box. Follow it exactly. If you do not understand it, find someone who does.

Then put the fixture housing back together and add 2 new bulbs.

EDIT: Don't spend much more than $20 for the ballast. You can buy the Sunpark online for $16 https://p11.secure.hostingprod.com/...id=90&osCsid=aefd78de3fd661c2a40e57babb569238
 

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Another choice is to check out Fulham Workhorse ballast. They have a selection chart on their website to chose the right model and wiring charts. Should run < $25 on line.

I believe the black Coralife t5 fixtures come with 'quick disconnect' ballast and fans that use Molex connectors. I would not replace the end cups but splice the wires.

If i could do it then so can you :)

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went to school for electrical construction, so I'm confident I can require it, I just wanted to make sure that it was doable first...now the fixture doesn't have a fan stock...with the HO ballast should I look into rigging up a fan, and if so should it be over the ballast or the bulbs?


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I went to school for electrical construction, so I'm confident I can require it, I just wanted to make sure that it was doable first...now the fixture doesn't have a fan stock...with the HO ballast should I look into rigging up a fan, and if so should it be over the ballast or the bulbs?


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Then you'll have little issue. It's an easy, straightforward process provided you understand the three-wire diagram.

If you have it open, and have a fan to put in place, that's always a good idea. I would run the fan across the lamps, which will put out more heat than the ballast. While a lot of t5HO aquarium fixtures do have a fan, most commercial fixtures don't. The lamps and ballast(s) were designed to take a higher temp. than the fixture can output, but a fan will extend the life of the ballast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Then you'll have little issue. It's an easy, straightforward process provided you understand the three-wire diagram.



If you have it open, and have a fan to put in place, that's always a good idea. I would run the fan across the lamps, which will put out more heat than the ballast. While a lot of t5HO aquarium fixtures do have a fan, most commercial fixtures don't. The lamps and ballast(s) were designed to take a higher temp. than the fixture can output, but a fan will extend the life of the ballast.

Thanks! So from what I'm gathering here, I can use any 2x24w ballast and just swap them and get the appropriate bulbs, then I'm in business?


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Thanks! So from what I'm gathering here, I can use any 2x24w ballast and just swap them and get the appropriate bulbs, then I'm in business?


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I hate to use the word "any" :p

You just need a ballast for two 24watt t5HO lamps. There are a lot of options out there, but I think the two best are both in this thread.

If you just want to upgrade your existing light, the Sunpark ballasts are great. They are the OEM ballasts for several manufacturers, and they are specifically designed for aquarium fixtures (1" x 1" x 11" in size). The drawback is that they are built to only drive certain lamps (in this case one or two 24watt t5HO).

If you like to DIY, you can't go wrong with a Fulham Workhorse. For a few dollars more you'll have a ballast that will run several different combinations of lamps in different sizes. They are a bit bigger though, and may require some engineering to get them to fit. You'll also need to understand the schematic and wiring diagrams supplied, which are a bit more complicated — but tons of info is on the web to hook them up. And when you want to change things around, you don't necessarily need to buy a new ballast.

Just be sure the ballast you buy is rated for the lamps you want to drive, and is PCB-free so it doesn't get hot and leak nasty, toxic tar from the seams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hate to use the word "any" :p



You just need a ballast for two 24watt t5HO lamps. There are a lot of options out there, but I think the two best are both in this thread.



If you just want to upgrade your existing light, the Sunpark ballasts are great. They are the OEM ballasts for several manufacturers, and they are specifically designed for aquarium fixtures (1' x 1" x 11" in size).

Wait so what are the dimensions on this ballast 12" long by 1" tall I'm assuming by 11"? That can't be width can it


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