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Old 06-16-2011, 12:57 AM   #1
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Diy lights

I bought this setup with electronic Coralife Ballast unit so the light are setup on plastic clips on the wood. I was wondering if it would be possible to pick up a regular electronic ballast at my local hd and mount two more lights on the wood or would I have to get one specifically for aquarium use.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:04 AM   #2
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Yes you can get two more fixtures. I am guessing they are t8? Just get the end clips that the light screws into... A ballast( t8 120v I believe not sure on that) then just wire the ballast to the power cord. Or you could just make it have another cord if you wan to get fancy with the lights and do a dawn and dusk time set.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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The coralife is an old setup using t-12. Thats why I was looking into ballast in hd. Plus much cheaper then getting a new light fixture and I don't have to replace my top. Also the last person didnt paint the inside of it so I was thinking of painting the inside white for better reflection and to help with evaporation on the wood. I'm not the greatest DIY person but I enjoy learning and practicing.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:16 AM   #4
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What I would do personally is swap out the t12 for t8 or t5 allot more light intensity and the bulbs last longer. You should buy 2 t8 ballast to power the 4 lamps. Then just wire it all up yourself. Cheep and simple. Instead of painting get a cover for your tank. The glass type. You can retro fit some reflectors around your lights if you want.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:25 AM   #5
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I preferred the easy access to the tank through not having a glass top but now that I know I can I plan on picking the ballast up tomorrow to replace the ones I have. Are the lightbulbs from petshops trully needed or can I just use some daylight bulbs in the 6500-10k color range.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:32 AM   #6
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Plants grow best under 6500k lighting. If you can find some 6500k lights then I would go for it. There is no difference from them and the ones the pet store sells. Just make sure they say natural daylight. If you want a more blue is but still white look you could do two 6500 k lights in the middle and 2 10000k lights in the outside slots. This will give you a very bright but clear/ tint look to your tank.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:35 AM   #7
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You just need to match the wattage of the new ballast to your current or new bulbs.

Here's the kits I like to use and they have the best reflectors on the market IMO/E and research.

Www.ahsupply.com
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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Ahh great. Thank you for all the info
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #9
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So going over the site it still seems I can get all the things I would possibly need thru hd as long as it's I'n stock. And the it's all on if i can truly do it myself. Lol. Wanted a challenge other then buying something I could just as easily make.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:49 AM   #10
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On another note with the two t-12 at 40w each and a hue of 6500 I'm growing low light plants I'n my 55g so other then adding reflectors I figured I could just add two t-8s to bring the plants I can grow medium-high. But I prefer to stick to just dosing excel for carbon which I've read is possible as long as it's done on a schedule. I also use roottabs and the comprehensive fert.
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