Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 12-17-2003, 11:11 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison Wi
Posts: 110
Floresent ballast

I'm thinking about starting up one of these reef tanks. Let me 1st say that you guys are getting royally hosed on your equipment. I can't believe how over priced this stuff is!!! A sump is a plastic box with a pump in it and they are going for $500? The thing better automatically add spanish doubloons to the reef for that price!

So, anyway, I'll just make most of this stuff myself. I'm blessed to have been born into a family of Engineers and plumbers. But I can't build a light bulb...

The one thing I'm wondering about is: I can go to the hardware store and get a florescent ballast thats 2x34 watts for $10... I know because I have 12 of them in my basement. If the wattage is the same and the pins are the same, shouldn't I be able to pop in a 10000k light? There's no way I'm gonna pay $200 for a light fixture. I just refuse to be ripped off for something so silly.
__________________

__________________
Pain Devine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2003, 11:28 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Greenwood, SC
Posts: 1,089
Send a message via AIM to Electrobes
Well I am running metal halides plus will be running Power Compact actinics. I was also in your position about not wanting to spend a boatload of money on such things. So I did complete a DIY lighting system using a 26 bucks ballast from Lowes and even cheaper bulbs. And as I found out.. things aren't so simple.. but then again maybe they are. I am about to test this ballast on a true PC bulb (not the one I bought at Lowes) that is meant for the aquarium. Hopefully it work. PLus you have to remember that those expensive ballast most liekly run the bulb differently (dunno much electronics so i can't specify). It may be harsh on the bulb to the point of limiting its life expectancy, etc.
__________________

__________________
Electrobes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2003, 11:29 PM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
Posts: 4,071
Send a message via Yahoo to loganj
It's a little more complicated than that, but...yes you can DIY your lighting and save tons of $$. The ballasts that I like for PC bulbs...you are talking PC and not NO bulbs?...is the Sylvania Quicktronic. I have never found them for $10 though. You'll be better off to use an electronic ballast...less heat and longer bulb life due to the higher frequency.
BUT, what do you intend to keep in the tank? What size tank is it? All this matters when you're planning the lighting system. What you may run into, if it's a large tank, is that it's cheaper to buy one or two high output ballasts than a bunch of smaller ones.
As far as getting ripped off, you'll find that there is an active group of DIY folks here who will attempt, usually successfully, to build about anything. Post your ideas about building the equipment for your tank and we'll try to help you avoid some of the problems we have encountered. And...$200 is actually pretty cheap for a reef lighting system Welcome to AA.com!
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
loganj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2003, 12:32 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison Wi
Posts: 110
Well, space is a factor for me. I figured I'd get 2 Acrylic 15 gallon tanks. Top one would be the reef tank with 2 small fish and small (no stingy tentical) corals. I'd diy an overflow and PVC it down to the lower tank which would be what you guys call a refugium (I call it a plant-a-tarium... hehehe) with a pump leading back up to the reef tank. From what I've read it's debatable wether I need a protein skimmer for such a small setup so I figure I'll go with the middle ground and get an el-cheapo. They've got $20 ones at the petstore. If it sucks, I'll just make one with the tons of PVC my plumber uncle has laying around. But this all means I need 2 lights... arghhhh... lol

If your wondering why I'd make the refugium the same size as the main tank... it's cause I plan on building a display case for them. Continuity of size.

By the way... The refugium is a refuge from predators... but what predators? am I right in assuming they mean snails and shrimp? So I could put a fish or 2 down there to make it more interesting? I don't think the fish would be eating the plants or allege.
__________________
Pain Devine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2003, 12:43 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 2,725
It is not as much a refuge from predators as it is just a place to hold more water volume. Your inverts should be able to live happily in your tank, as they will be the cleanup crew. The only things I have ever heard of housed in a fuge are problem hitchhiker crabs that might harm the tank.
RogerMcAllen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2003, 01:42 AM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
Posts: 4,071
Send a message via Yahoo to loganj
On a 15 gal tank, depending on the length of the tank, you should be able to keep some of the low light corals with a 2x32w PC setup. The ballast Electrobes mentioned...the Advance or the Sylvania...will run these bulbs as well as anything other ballast will. I should warn you, if this is your first tank, that smaller tanks can be more difficult to maintain because water parameters change faster. I hope you're going to post pics of this setup...sounds like it'll be nice.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
loganj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2003, 01:50 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison Wi
Posts: 110
Ya, I know of the pitfalls of a small setup. But there's nothing I can do about it. I rent. I may have to move someday (but I really like it here so it wont be for a while). Moving a 15 gallon tank would be a pain but still possible. Moving a 50 or 100 gallon tank... well... I might as well flush everything and start over cause it's all gonna die anyway... haha

In fact... theres a 3 acre pond here. All the rentals are placed around it. I've been trying to talk the Landlord into stocking it with fish but he's afraid of allege growth. I should direct him here. hehe
__________________

__________________
Pain Devine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ballast

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what is a ballast? fishmonkey General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 7 07-23-2009 01:02 PM
MH ballast tamra&steven General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 02-22-2009 10:01 AM
Ballast help hyewiz General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 3 09-15-2007 12:03 PM
MH Ballast JohnNLuc General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 4 09-21-2005 05:10 PM
Can i use this ballast? DragonForce DIY Projects 4 09-21-2005 04:22 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.