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Old 11-19-2006, 09:29 PM   #1
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Anyone make a DIY T-8 set up?

Still looking at various options to light my tank (as to which I'm getting zero help).

Has anyone put together their own T-5 setup piece by piece? Those retrofit kits are pretty darn expensive and it looks like it could be put together for much less.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:25 PM   #2
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This should probably go in the DIY section I would think, but T-5 is a good option and so would T-8's.

If you are looking for a cheap alternative here is a PM I sent someone yesterday in reference to purchasing shotlights from home depot:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
I don't have a link to the exact light, sorry. What I do is buy two of them and take the ballast out of one of them and put it into the other and run one bulb per ballast. So instead of 64 watts per shoplight, I am getting 110 watts. Here is what I used to do the mode:

http://www.geocities.com/teeley2/overdrv1.html

It cost me 22 bucks total (including bulbs) to put 110 watts of T-8 over my 75 gal tank. (I am now using twice as much) That is the same as 154 watts of T-12 (T-8's put out more light then a T-12) or 2.05 WPG of lumen output for 22 bucks.

Be forwarned. Just because it's cheap to put so much light over your tank, don't mean you should do so. I lot of bad things happen to those who do so without the proper ferts and CO2.

HTH
Granted there is no reflector and the shoplight is made to light a room, but for the money, you get a fair amount of light into the tank. ie money per watt is pretty good.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
This should probably go in the DIY section I would think, but T-5 is a good option and so would T-8's.
.
I wasn't 100% sure where to put it. Kind of fit bother areas. But I will also post it there just in case no one checks here.

Thanks for the link. I'll look into that.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:37 PM   #4
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What size tank are we talking about Burks?

What are you looking at doing with it?
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
What size tank are we tank about Burks?

What are you looking at doing with it?
Doh! I always forget something in my posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by From my other topic
36x18x16 (40g breeder). Basically it will be used as a large plant grow out tank for the first few months.

Powerhead for circulation
Substrate - Regular small gravel.
Ferts - Greg Watson's following the EI dosing exactly.
No Filter
DIY Yeast CO2 + Excel
Plants - Different mosses, Rotala macrandra, Sunset Hygro, Ludwigia inclinata.

I don't plan on having any shrimp/fish for a few months after setting this up.
Basically it will be used to grow out some plants and try a few things out. And yes I will be going pressurized CO2 but not until I get everything going really well. The plants will help pay for that.

I had thought about:

1x96w AH Supply - Lots of light but sub-par coverage. It's a wide tank.
2x96w AH Supply - TONS of light but maybe a bit too much.
2x55w AH Supply - Ability to stagger the lights but will still get low areas of light. Not a big fan of that.

These T-5 lights really catch my eye and seem to be a good choice. The bulb life is really nice as well and I'll be able to get full coverage.

May be going at it the wrong way....who knows.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:02 PM   #6
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what kind of light do you have on it now?
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
what kind of light do you have on it now?
Nothing. Still planning stuff out. Tank is sitting empty (except when my cats sleep in it).

My apologies rich..........kind of.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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Those AH supply setups look nice, but what are you going to put them in?

(Just brain storming here) If you can get ahold of a twin tube 36" strip light, I would just 2 x ODNO the fixture using those shop light ballasts from home depot. Only costs 16 dollars (for two shoplights) and would put the 36" twin tube @ 102 watts or a T-12 lumen equivalent of 143 watts, for a total of 3.6 WPG. You can grow a lot of plants at 3.6 WPG. Plus the T-8 bulbs are very cheap at home depot.

Just giving you options.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:12 AM   #9
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I'm going to build a canopy to match the stand I'm also building with my dad. I like the look of those and it hides that ugly black trim. With any set up I was going to use the canopy so DIY lighting fit perfectly.

I'm completely open to ideas. That's why I ask these types of questions, can't think of everything. I'm going to read that article you mentioned above tomorrow. Just haven't found time to do so today.

Hows the fire risk on these over driven bulbs? Are there T-8 bulbs out there that don't give off that nasty yellow? I've seen pictures of 48" bulbs that were rated at 6500k (little lower than I wanted) but would work.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:38 AM   #10
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The fire risk? I have 4 T-8 48" bulbs running at 2 x ODNO and I do not have any kind of forced air cirulation running on either of the fixtures. I can touch the bulbs (not for very long mind you).

Here is a pic of my tank running 4 of those 6500K bulbs at 2 x ODNO:


To me, I do not see any yellow at all. Of coarse photos and seeing it in person are two different things. I really like the 6500K bulbs.

EDIT: IF you are going to make a canopy, Then I would really look into ripping the ballast out of the shoplight and using them. They shoplights also come with the bulb ends and everything you would need to wire up the fixture. All you would need is a reflector.
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