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Old 02-21-2007, 05:59 PM   #1
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Compact Fluorescent DYI

What does everyone think of this:
http://www.aquariumlife.net/projects...ighting/55.asp

I'd like to turn up the light on my 20gallon tank to help my plants out a little - ON THE CHEAP. Will these types of compact fluorescent lights provide the type of light that plants need?

Or can anyone provide a list of materials needed to build a compact fluorescent hood - like balast and sockets. Essentially I don't know the details of what makes compact fluorecent different from a regular set up.

thanks.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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I just wanted to mention that purrbox turned me on to a really good deal on refurbished equipment at tricitytropical.com if you're willing to do refurbished. I got a refurb satellite 24" fixture for $35 there that I'm waiting on to be delivered today or tomorrow!
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:45 PM   #3
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That setup would probably work. I would take it a few steps further by:

1) Enclosing the unit so water cannot get splashed into the electrical to lower the risk of getting shocked. However, enclosing it may result in the need for a fan to cool the unit.
2) Using something other than foil as a reflector. Foil is better than nothing, but not very good at reflecting. Wherever it was I read about the use of foil challenged one to shine a laser pointer at foil and witness for yourself how much of the light is diffused instead of reflected. You can pick up a cheap door mirror for $5 and a glass cutter for a few bucks at Home Depot. Just cut it to fit and glue it in. (Going to do this on my next one).

You might be just as well off over-driving a pair of T8s. It would also be on the cheap using $7 shop-lights from Home Depot. I did my 48" non-over-driven hood for under $50 (including bulbs). That also includes purchasing the wood as well. If you have the wood already, expect to pay under $30 for all your hardware.

Somebody else would have to tell you which way would be better.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #4
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i used a similar process for lighting on the cheap. i used existing fixtures and screw in style 26W daylight bulbs(6500k). Walmat has them as 26W daylight bulbs, the one i was at had them in 2 packs for 6.44.

it's working well right now, the plants are growing., i thought of overdriving, but all of the plans for that process used 48" bulbs which wasn't optimal for my 30gallon tank. i might check out those refurb lights neilan mentioned on the next tank i set up.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:59 PM   #5
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I also have a small 20gal hex tank that I can't easily find a hood for. I thought the screw in lights would work nicely for that.

Any tips on a balast for compact fluorescent bars? Do they take a special low wattage balast or what. And where can I get one?
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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I used the same lights as kennef mentions above in this projecthttp://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=91209

I don't have a pic of the actual lights yet but they seem to work well for an odd space....


Quote:
What does everyone think of this:
http://www.aquariumlife.net/projects...ighting/55.asp
the bulbs will work but the fixture is far from safe...you should use an actual socket
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=91209
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=95417
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh
I just wanted to mention that purrbox turned me on to a really good deal on refurbished equipment at tricitytropical.com if you're willing to do refurbished. I got a refurb satellite 24" fixture for $35 there that I'm waiting on to be delivered today or tomorrow!
A good bet right there. Cheap AND safe.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
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tricitytropical.com is a dead end.

is it out of business or was it a typo?
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:09 AM   #9
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Sorry about that, it was a typo. It's tricitytropicals.com. Try this link

http://www.tricitytropicals.com/inde...TS&Category=40
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:14 PM   #10
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I'll just add to the foil part. Buy a 99 cent can of high gloss white spray paint from Lowes/Home Depot. It will be 100x better than tin foil. Even if you somehow iron the tin foil flat, it won't be as effective. Mirror (as mentioned) is probably a step better than white paint.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the screw-in PC's just don't perform like a standard tube; probably because of the surface area of the bulb, if I am remembering correctly. I'll try and dig up where I found the info, but it may be a shot in the dark.
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