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Old 01-25-2003, 08:35 PM   #1
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Stupid lighting question

this may sound dumb but, is there a difference in "fish tank" lighting fixtures and "standard florecent" fixtures? I'm just talking about standard 40 W florecent lighting.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:06 PM   #2
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The ballast will be the same. They are just normal output flourescent ballasts. The difference is in the endcaps. You'll want to get ya some nice water resistant ones like these from HelloLights.

Hmmmm and DrsFoster&Smith has the Coralife 1 1/2" push-in T-12s that are very nice as well. They carry a brand named Triton too, but I don't know anything about them.

So you have several options!
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:06 PM   #3
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not in my experience. I used a shoplight fixture for a long time.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:08 PM   #4
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Well...there are some differences. The "fish tank" lights are usually designed to fit the top of a tank. The bulbs, of course, are different. As far as actual operation...no, not much difference. The less expensive fixtures use a small ballast with a starter. The better ones may have an instant start electronic ballast. Some shop lights will have an energy saving ballast that will only light the 32w T-8 bulbs...won't light the 40w T-12 that are usually found on aquarium lights. If you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to attempt to answer them.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:24 PM   #5
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A 40 watt remote ballast from Home Depot with rapid start (no starter needed) will run 2 t-12 normal output 40 watt bulbs. Thats everything from a shop light to a actinic 03.

If you are looking to DIY a small canopy for a refugium or a fish only tank, these inexpensive parts will work fine. =)

If you are looking to purchase any ol' complete 40 watt light fixture and plug it in, then Logan's concerns are valid. You will definitly have to spend some time and make sure the fixture you get can run the bulbs you want.
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Old 01-26-2003, 12:18 AM   #6
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i got a "shop light" fixture that will handle 40 W bulbs. it is for a fish only tank. so the only thing that i should change would be the end caps?
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Old 01-26-2003, 04:30 AM   #7
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Ohhh ok. I was thinking you were looking at DIYing a fixture using a standard normal output remote ballast.

But yeah, upgrading the endcaps will make sure water can't creep up into the fittings and short them out. =)

Have you ever seen those Lights Of America flood lights at home depot? (LOA model #9266) They have a 65watt model that puts out 500 watts of Incandecent light! The fixture itself is water resistant and the best part is the color temp of the bulb is 6500K.

Ok, its overkill for your tank... but I really want someone to try them and tell me about it! =P
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Old 01-26-2003, 06:00 AM   #8
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The 500 watts is an equivalency rating and is not valid for figuring how much light you need for a tank. You still only get 65 watts from them. They also get quite hot. It's going to be difficult to upgrade the endcaps on a shoplight to waterproof ones due to the way the fixture is constructed. Does your tank have a canopy? If so, you could order some VHO endcaps, get a reflector, and use the ballast from the shoplight to run 2 40w bulbs. Also, this is probably a magnetic ballast which will get pretty hot so you might want to mount the ballast somewhere other than in the canopy. If you're just looking to hang the light over the tank, then I'd probably use it as is. We have been using shoplights on tanks at the store for years and I have only had to recently start replacing endcaps due to corrosion. The endcaps are about $3.00 for a pair. Give us some more details about how you would like to light the tank and maybe we can offer some other ideas on the best way to do it.
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Old 01-26-2003, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Have you ever seen those Lights Of America flood lights at home depot? (LOA model #9266) They have a 65watt model that puts out 500 watts of Incandecent light! The fixture itself is water resistant and the best part is the color temp of the bulb is 6500K.
I bought bulbs online that screw into regular household sockets. 6500k.
We went to Lowes, bought 2 pieces of aluminum heater ducting. Bought a fixture
that held two bulbs....entire hood, with bulbs was under 40.00 We could have
put 4 bulbs in the hood, we may in fact, do that. But right now I am testing this
lighting on the 30. (MK, this is where I put the little pink shroom and I think it is
getting happier)
oh, as far as heat goes, the temp in the tank has not raised any.
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Old 01-26-2003, 11:50 AM   #10
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i do have a canopy and all i did was went to lowes and got a complete florecent fixture with reflectors i then just mounted the fixture to the hood of my canopy.i have not noticed any problems with the heat issue. the only thing that i did notice was that the bulbs flicker a little bit every once in a while, any idea what might cause that?
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