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Old 12-11-2003, 12:14 PM   #1
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DIY Actinics?

Hey everyone I started soft corals thanks to a friend of mine who was convinced that having a refugium type tank couldn't compare to soft corals, so got me some and voila here I am! I want to add an actinic to the set up that I already have... two 65 watt CF bulbs from LoA. The lights have about 22-23 inches space between them. I was looking at some of the 55w/65w 03 actinic bulbs and was wonnnndering if I could just buy a bulb, a straight end cap, and power it using a quicktronic ballast (like a 2X32) or something? Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:05 PM   #2
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not sure about the ballest/light working together !!
but concerned ya mislead on the benefits to a refugium as its adds to your tank system and not that its in your main tank and what ya want to keep in it !!!
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:22 PM   #3
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nono.. I was going to have a main tank of just macro algae...but decided onn soft corals instead.
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:51 PM   #4
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hummm tank full of macro wouldnt that be pretty much a refugium ?? hheheh but got ya
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Old 12-12-2003, 01:08 AM   #5
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I see no problems with your plan...

expect the bulbs to have a 'useable' life of about 9 months, given the severe nature in which a 'cheap' ballast like the quicktronic starts them
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:39 AM   #6
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what ballast would you suggest then for the actinic bulb?
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:22 AM   #7
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the quicktronic is fine ... spectral shift will get you after 12 months anyway, so it's not worth spending extra $$$ on a fancy ballast to squeeze a few months out of a bulb.

-----

for powercompact, or any bulb that is HO or VHO, research shows the "Programmed Rapid Start" is the best way to insure consistant lighting of the bulb and maintaining bulb life.

PRS works by first pre-heating the filimants of the bulb and then ramping up the arc voltage, instead of just slamming 600v across the bulb to fire the arc... instead starts slow and works up. by slow, it's usually less than 2 seconds, but that is forever compared to a high voltage instant start ballast, like the quicktronic

since a powercompact is a small bulb, with small filaments, they 'may' not take the same amount of abuse a big T12 vho bulb with a heavy duty filament will... so instead of lasting almost 3 years (20000 hours), they'll last maybe a year and a half... but this is where spectral shift gets you anway, having the colors degrade to the point where it's not longer useful to the animals that rely on it for survival.
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:01 PM   #8
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Okay cool sounds good then. Do you suggest the VHO or the power compact for an actinic?
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Old 12-12-2003, 03:38 PM   #9
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if budget is your primary concern, power compact

if apperance is your primary concern, you're already in trouble with the 6500k LoA lights
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:00 PM   #10
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you don't think any actinics can save it.. I was thinking of getting two 55 watt actinics (power compacts) on it...
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