how to get more light cheaply. DIY style =) - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-13-2013, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for the quick follow-up. I'd like to clarify that my problem was under-driving (using a ballast of lower power rating than the bulb) - that would render my bulbs useless within 20-30 hours.

My next project is to create a universal UVC germicidal lamp (for sanitizing air/surface/water) - any experience with those anyone?
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-16-2013, 03:51 AM
i think im going to try this. i do not feel like paying 45 dollars for a new ballest as im changing over to t5 bulbs
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post #23 of 27 Old 03-16-2013, 01:22 PM
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It really is a great idea - thanks to Mikaila31 for putting us onto the path

Just make sure you keep your receipt when you buy your t5, so you can return it if something goes wrong (I got mine at Home Depot and they have a 90 day return policy. I had to use it 3 times before I got the right wattage)
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post #24 of 27 Old 06-02-2013, 09:09 AM
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20 Gallon High Tank DIY single T8 to 2 x CFL HO Light Strip Retrofit:

Used 2 x 23W CFL 6500K lamps, Dual Opposing socket, Aluminium Dryer Tube, and small computer fan on existing strip light fixture. Duct tape and 2 hours time.

Removed single 18" T8 tube fixture from light hood. Fashioned reflector from Dryer tube. Built bracket for dual socket from dryer tube scraps. Cut vent holes in reflector to mirror holes in light hood. Cut hole in light hood on back just left of center to accommodate fan and leverage existing hood power cord. Mounted computer fan with airflow going into the hood to take advantage of convection.

So I went from a single 14W tube to 2 x 23 watts CFL (46 total watts) at 6500K. 3 x's more light! (-;

Total cost $17.26 in parts. Had computer fan and adapter already. Fan scavenged from old PC.

So this is admittedly a little kludgy, what with 2 power cords (one for lamps and one for 12v fan supply). It works tho and lamps are adequately cooled. The lamps rest on the glass from my tank cover, but I'm guessing that will heat sink them a little.

We will see how my plants get along now. The fish seem happier.

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post #25 of 27 Old 06-24-2013, 10:49 PM
I have to say I never thought about doin that, great idea! But i do have one question for you guys out there, I built my own hood and stand for my 50 gallon tank and have a 4 lamp fixture and would like to know what lamps or lamp combo would be best for a moderatly planted set up
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post #26 of 27 Old 06-25-2013, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
What kinda lamps did you build it for(CFLS, T5, T8)? Usually for planted tank you want bulbs that are 6500K or so. It depends more on you preference of color. Usually in home improvement stores these are sold as 'daylight' bulbs and you will have to read the fine print to figure out the kelvin rating if it is listed. Sometimes they are 5000 or 5500K and both of those will work as well as bulbs somewhat above 6500K. It mostly has to do with how colors appear. The plants are not all that picky.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #27 of 27 Old 06-25-2013, 09:27 PM
They are t8s. And should I use them in all four locations or should I mix them and what wattage?
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