Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jbrofish8 07-24-2011 09:26 AM

May be a silly question..
This may be a pretty silly question but I just want to be sure and I dont know a lot about electrics..

the hood that comes with my tank uses 2 55w compact fluorescents. Its a red sea max so its kind of a pain to try to find anything else to fit other than their own standard bulbs which are 10k 50/50 actinic lights.

Now, I found a coralife 65w 6700 bulb that will fit (YAY!) and i have it installed and its running perfectly for now.

My question is am I in trouble using 1 55w and 1 65w bulb in this fixture? (silly i know)
Should I just use one or the other?

DKRST 07-24-2011 09:58 AM

From a wattage/energy demand standpoint, as long as you don't exceed the fixture capacity, you should be good in terms of safety. Max wattage demand on the fixture is listed somewhere on it. With CFL's, I really doubt you'll ever come even close to exceeding the fixture max! But CHECK just in case.

Regarding the light balance - I'll leave that to Byron or other experts here!

Jbrofish8 07-24-2011 10:05 AM

thanks for the quick reply!

I really think I may have too much light now, and Im considering taking the 10k bulb out. Can you use a dual fixture like this with just one bulb? (another silly question)

I have a 29g and I think one 65w 6700 bulb will be enough for what I'm wanting to do.

DKRST 07-24-2011 10:14 AM

If the CFL's are the "regular" screw-in kind with some type of transformer/ballast built in, you should be able to unscrew one and run only one without a problem. Best way is to take one out. If the installed single bulb runs at full intensity, you are in good shape. Watch for potential splash+electrical issues with the open socket. Your fixture should have a splash guard, but be careful during water changes, etc.

Safety first - make sure all tanks are hooked to a GFCI breaker, GFCI outlet, or GFCI surge strip!

You'll be happier with the one 6700K bulb.

Jbrofish8 07-24-2011 10:15 AM

Its not a screw it its the 4 prong kind you just sort of slide in!

DKRST 07-24-2011 10:20 AM

Hmmm. Well, try one bulb and see. May work, may not, depends on the light design. If not, here is another option:
1) replace both bulbs with the 6700K (still may be too much light?)
2) Then figure out how to put some fiberglass window screen between the tank water and the bulbs. Each layer cuts light by approx 40%. You may be able to wrap the bulbs, but I wouldn't recommend it. Risk of melting the screening onto your bulb?

Jbrofish8 07-24-2011 10:23 AM

So the only problem I'll really run in to is if the bulb will actually work or not? Its not going to start a fire or something if I just run 1? :P

I do have a plastic screw in shield between the lights and the water and the place where you actually plug in the bulb is under an additional piece of plastic (their a pain in the butt to get in and out).

DKRST 07-24-2011 10:26 AM

Correct - no fire hazard from running one bulb. Just make sure you never exceed the fixtures max rated capacity! If the intensity of one bulb is normal, then one bulb works. If the single bulb is really dim when running, you can still run it that way, but I don't know if that will shorten the bulbs life, and you may get a flicker in the light.

Jbrofish8 07-24-2011 10:38 AM

Okay I took out the 10k bulb and it is running at full intensity from what I can tell. Thanks for the help!

DKRST 07-24-2011 08:19 PM

My pleasure to help, and a belated welcome to the forum.

Nice pooch!

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