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Old 06-27-2006, 04:44 AM   #1
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Lighting an 80 gal

Hi iv been doing a little research on PC lights i have a new 80 Gal
tank that i want to have nothing but live plants what i want to know is
what type of ballast? iv seen places that say any ballast will work.
well i have 2 T8 shop lights laying around can i use them ballasts?
also how many watts should i be looking into? The tank is 19 in. tall

also where would i get thes PC lamps and is there a wiring schematic
that i can use as a reference i do have an electronics background
so no schematic is over my head.

if you need anymore info lt me know

Thanks
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Old 06-27-2006, 12:23 PM   #2
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Hey welcome to AA. 8)

Okay hit the lights! Um, trying to use a ballast that was originally used for T-8's isnt going to work if you want to use PC's. The reason, some one chime in if Im wrong, is that the ballast doesn't have enough juice to fire and then maintain the PC's. However if looking to do a DIY lighting setup a lot of companies sell retrofit kits that have everything you need. IE the reflector, bulb holder, bulb, wiring, and ballast. Makes it convienant just to hook up. Or you can buy all your pieces individually and have fun! I've heard really good things about Ice Cap Ballast's. The company says you can hook up NO, VHO, HO, and PC's to it as long as you follow there total length and watt rule.

http://www.hellolights.com/index.html
Nice link for electrical DIY.

As far as the light requirments for the tank, you will probably at least want 1 wpg maybe 2wpg for a low light tank, and anywhere from 2 to 4.5 wpg for a high light tank.
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:51 PM   #3
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Thank you Lol sounds funny AA sounds like rehab for a fish problem
anyways i like that ice cap 660 was looking at the specs
says

P.C.* or 4 Pin Compact up to 4 96 watts or less so this is saying i can
use 4 96 watt bulbs with this One ballast? Also i was looking at the PC bulbs
is that one bulb? Or One unit holding Two bulbs?

Another thing iv never seen until i looked at the DIY forums is the Moonlights
are they only for saltwater tanks? are they just for looks or do they serve a purpose? I have a freshwater tank and like to use them in it.

thanks again
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Old 06-27-2006, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
P.C.* or 4 Pin Compact up to 4 96 watts or less so this is saying i can
use 4 96 watt bulbs with this One ballast?
Should be a yes on that one!

Quote:
Also i was looking at the PC bulbs
is that one bulb?
Yes, even though they have two glass strips they are still considered one bulb.

Quote:
Another thing iv never seen until i looked at the DIY forums is the Moonlights
are they only for saltwater tanks? are they just for looks or do they serve a purpose? I have a freshwater tank and like to use them in it.
I dont know if moonlights started out as a saltwater thing or not, but a lot of people use
them in freshwater aquariums aswell. I used them for asthetic purposes at night to see the tank and not to disturb my fish to much!

Quote:
Thank you Lol sounds funny AA sounds like rehab for a fish problem
Somtimes it can be. You just have to watch out for Dr. Ivana Phistank. 8)
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:26 AM   #5
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Well i just realised that my ballasts are of the T12 kind
not that that make a difference but im going to make my
new hood with them until i can afford the IceCap 660.
Im also going to build the moon light into it thinking of
automating it use a photocell to turn on the moon lights
when the timer turns the main lights off

Also is this the type of bulb that im looking for?

http://www.petmeister.com/item2277.htm

thanks much


*EDIT* also i know this isent the section to ask but would
you happen to have a website that you trust that i can get Live
Plants from? I have the names of the plants id like to get
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:56 PM   #6
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Also is this the type of bulb that im looking for?
I dont really understand your question? What do you mean, as far as PC's or moonlights? That bulb that comes up in your link is a PC, what length and wattage I dont know. But it is a 50/50 type bulb meaning that its 50% growth light, for lack of a better term, and 50% actinic spectrum. A lot of people generally dont use the actinic spectrum for planted tanks unless there trying to cut back on wattage output of there light unit.
Moonlights on the other hand are those super small LED lightbulbs that put out anywhere from 3/4 to 1-1/5 watt of light.

Heres a good sight for plants and such!
http://www.liveaquaria.com/default.cfm

You can also look at the links page on this websight for other sights that sell plants and such. All should be top notch. I will say that the above sight I have done business with there hard goods and there service is really good.
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Thank you Lol sounds funny AA sounds like rehab for a fish problem
Just wait, you'll see! LOL!!!

BTW, WELCOME TO AA!!!
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:17 PM   #8
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Thanks roka64

And yes i was talking about the PC bulb found this one instead

http://www.petmeister.com/item2278.htm

as for the moon lights ill just get some LED's and resistors from
radioshack lol.
After i get everything ill post some pics if you would like to see.
Now my only problem is where to find something shinny for the reflector
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:40 PM   #9
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I believe lemonheadmerch is correct and you should stick to T12 or (better) T8 bulbs. Suggest working on improving or adding a reflector, and using T8 daylight bulbs ftom Home Depot. In terms of lumen output (lighting sticky in FW planted), 80w T8 is comparable to 96w CF.

Barter/Trade forum often has offers of plants for cost of shipping. azgardens.com is in your state but some dislike them. AA member Lowcoaster also offers plants on AquaBid, and is highly regarded.
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