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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read numerous comments on ODNO smaller bulbs (like 20 w, 24in). Comments vary, but some say using electronic ballasts designed for F32T8 48 in. bulbs don't work well, if at all, for ODNO lamps < 32 watts.

There are electronic ballasts made for 1, 2, 3, or 4 F17T8 lamps. Neither the ballasts or F17T8 lamps are commonly available in my area. Anyone tried using electonic ballast designed for F17 lamps to ODNO F20T12 lamps?

What about any "modified" setup variation of "standard" ODNO using F32T8 electronic ballast for one or two F20T12? I think one ODNO 2x F20T12 (or F17T8) and one NO F20T12 would be sufficient. That is, if the ODNO F20T12 percent light increase was similar to an F32T8 ODNO 2x.

Currently have 2 F20T12 on magnetic ballasts on a 20 gal hi. Plant growth is fair. GE, for instance, makes F17T8/ XL/ SPX50/ ECO lamps that are 1300 init lumens, vs the F20T12/C50 lamps w/ only 875 init lumens (almost 50% higher lumens). Wouldn't need to worry about ODNO using one or two, but again, availability is the issue.

I can't justify spending the $$ on PC for this tank now. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You may be right, although I'm pretty sure I've seen discussions of ODNO F20T12 lamps, or F15T8 (which orig were designed for magnetic ballasts). F17T8_24" lamps aren't common items here.
If you are using T12 you can buy HO/VHO setups.
Finding HO / VHO ballasts isn't easy. Finding VO/VHO lamps w/o mail ordering (P.I.A.) or special ordering locally (expensive) is harder - esp for F20T12 (or any 24").

I've seen GE 24", F17T8 aquarium bulb, but don't see it in latest catalog. Don't have specs. Could ODNO one of those on my 20 gal hi, but availability of them is sporadic also. I was trying to do a setup where lamps are easily available.

The Advance electronic ballast I use on a larger tank, will run 3 or 4 F17T8 (or F25T8), or F32T8, so finding a ballast for 24" lamps isn't the problem - availability of 24" T8 lamps is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Painkiller1009,

I'd read the thread you linked to on Planted Tank (couple times, in fact), and skimmed it again now. Don't see any info pertaining to my question on ODNO F20T12.

Didn't see any pertinent info in the GWAPA thread, either. But thanks for the link.

Anyone else dealt w/ ODNO for F20T12's or have links w/ specific info on that size / type of lamps? Seems like if a ballast would run an F17T8, it would also run an F20T12.

What about in your area - how easy is it to find F17T8 lamps, that are suitable for FW plants?

I found this thread http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/planted-tank-faq/175-cheap-lighting-odno-6.html#post1926 on the forum, that in part says:
...the ballast box will tell you what bulbs it can handle, though it will only show the types of bulbs it was designed for suck as f32t8's which are 4footers it will not say f20t12's....even though it CAN and WILL run those lights...
but, I'd like a little more to go on than that.

Also, this http://sammyxp.tripod.com/html/id20.html
which says about ODNO F20T12:
Lighting is provided by ODNO (Overdriven Normal Output) Fluorescent lamps housed in this DIY wooden canopy. With two 24" bulbs in series, they act as one four foot lamp. Each pair of F20T12 bulbs is overdriven 2x.
It doesn't mention what type ballast was used. May be true about wiring the F20's in series - have to check some. Seems like I've seen discussions on wiring smaller lamps in series, but can't find them now.

If that worked, and the only way to ODNO 20w lamps was to wire two in series, that might be more light than I need - if both wound up being ODNO 2x. I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel, so keep those suggestions & comments coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am 99% sure that you can get the ballast and 24" T8 lamp mentioned in the above article from Home Depot or Lowes. (IE ODNO as cheap)
Thanks BlueRam, but I don't find anything anywhere in that thread about 24" F17T8 lamps. Nor ODNO F20T12 lamps, or using ballast designed for F17 or F32 to ODNO F20's. Did I miss it?

The lamp at the link to Lowes is F18T8 ???, Cool White (not cool), 4200 deg K, 62 CRI. Not the best for planted tank. It also says the F18 is 30 watts??? No telling what the lamp really is.
 

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I know you said you can't justify spending money for PC lights, but have you checked out: http://hellolights.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=608

I'm not sure what your final desired setup for the 20 gallon high is, but with that setup, you'll get ~65 watts of decent lighting for $60 + shipping.

If you ODNO two F20T12 bulbs:
2 ballasts x $15 each (approximately) = $30
2 bulbs x $9 each (approximately) = $18
Total: $48

If you ODNO at 2x, you'll get 80 watts from the two bulbs, minus inefficient reflectors and inefficiency of the T12 bulbs...so maybe around 60-65 watts. Maybe even a tad bit less.

But it's up to you and your budget. But I think for the small amount of extra money, you could save yourself some headaches and time in finding those hard-to-locate ballasts and bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi epicfish,

Depending...on what ballast will work ODNO F20T12, or if suitable F17T8's can readily be found, may only need one ballast. Don't know what the <real> useful life of the Coral Life bulb is, but at $25 plus TTL, it better be a looong time. In this area, bulbs wouldn't be $9 ea - more like $3 - 6.

Don't quite understand - the F20T12's are readily available and cheap. All I need is a reliable info source w/ some data on ODNO those w/ what ever ballast. I'm not looking to quadruple light output for this 20 gal (maybe not double it). What you suggest might be ok, but way off the path of what I wanted. Like going to buy ONLY a new belt, and winding up w/ a whole new suit,shirt, tie, shoes.
 

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The 4f32-t8 ballast will work just fine with T-12 lamps. If you want to run 2 24" T12 bulbs wire the 2 yellow wires into the end of one and the 2 blue + 2 red into the end of the other then wire the left over ends into each other. Works just the same with T8's

 

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Thanks BlueRam, but I don't find anything anywhere in that thread about 24" F17T8 lamps. Nor ODNO F20T12 lamps, or using ballast designed for F17 or F32 to ODNO F20's. Did I miss it?

The lamp at the link to Lowes is F18T8 ???, Cool White (not cool), 4200 deg K, 62 CRI. Not the best for planted tank. It also says the F18 is 30 watts??? No telling what the lamp really is.
I am using a mix of 4100K and 6700K T8s both from Home Depot. "Best" is in the eye of the beholder and I tend to stick with the color balance that looks the best to me by mixing bulbs.

BTW, The correct way to compare bulbs is the output (light) not power consumption (Watts). The T8 produces about the same amount of light as a T12 even though the power is less. The T8 will also run significantly cooler.

I am certain that one of the big box hardware stores in your area will stock a 2' T8 in a reasonable color temp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The 4f32-t8 ballast will work just fine with T-12 lamps. ...Works just the same with T8's
Thanks Spinnerbayt / Jeff,
For those not too familiar w/ this, you're indicating wiring the F20 (or F17T8) in series, to make the two "appear" as one larger lamp. I had seen that discussed somewhere. Where did you get your info?

Of course, that dictates using (at minimum) TWO - ODNO 2x, or about 1.5 times the light as 2 NO F20. I don't know if that'll be too much light in my case. It would be an experiment, for sure. Problem is, if it IS too much, there's no dropping back to one ODNO F20, when wiring them in series.

Is that the ONLY way it'll work on F20 or F17 lamps? I'm not so sure.

I assume since many apparently ODNO F40T12's using ballasts designed for F32T8's, that ballasts designed for F17T8's would also ODNO a SINGLE F20T12. So, if anyone's using an F17/F32 ballast to ODNO just ONE F20T12 (not two wired in series), please give a shout out.

In GE's catalog, they show the same ballast for running 4 F32T8, as 4 F17T8. The ballast # is GE432-MAX-N/Ultra.
That was my original question - would a ballast designed for F17T8 "correctly" ODNO (ONE) F20T12, the same way a ballast for F32T8 will ODNO (ONE) F40T12?

BlueRam,
Thanks. Yes, wattage is somewhat irrelevant because lumen output can vary so much from lamp to lamp. Not sure why people are hung up on wattage. I was commenting on the specs listed on Lowes page, where they showed F18 (18 w), then said it was 30w.
I am certain that one of the big box hardware stores in your area will stock a 2' T8 in a reasonable color temp.
That's not been my experience in 24" lamps. For 18" or 48", probably.
 

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If you just want to ODNO 1 24" lamp then use the same ballast (4f32-t8) and wire it just like you normaly would. NO = 1 red or blue wire. 2x = 2 red or blue wires. and so on. The ballast will run it just fine. Just put wire nuts on the leads that you don't use. If your not sure how much light you need then just go get the ballast and lamp you want and start experimenting with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Spinnerbayt (and all),

That's the conclusion I came to (more or less) - that a ballast that will run F17T8's will probably ODNO an F20T12. Guess I'll find out. I doubt the lumen output increase is same as when ODNO T8's, but that's OK.

I'd still like to read some "real" test results for this specific case (ODNO one F20-T12).
 
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