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RE: power compact fictures in Europe
Pieter is looking for power compact fluorescent lighting and he asks:
"Hello, I'm an aquatic plant enthousiast from Europe (Belgium).
I have read a lot about the possibilities of getting a large amount of
light above my tank. I came to the conclusion that one of the easiest and
cheapest methods is to follow the PC route. The problem is that I can't
find any online stores like AH supply over here. Is there a possibilty they
ship over here? Are there stores I overlooked?
An other way would be to buy the ballasts and the lamps separate. This I
can do but where can I find the waterproof fixtures?
Any help would be very appreciated."
Pieter, Can you contact AH Supply? Here is their URL:
<http://www.ahsupply.com/>. I'm sure there are a number of aquarium
lighting suppliers in Europe. Although, I'm not sure if Dupla or Dennerle
or maybe Eheim makes power compact lighting fixtures. It sounds like you
may be interested in making your own fixture. I do not use the water
resistant endcaps in my own fixture/light hoods which are made of wood. I
do use a glass or plastic tank cover and the back of the hood is as open as
possible to allow for ventilation and cooling by convection. If you use
electronic ballasts (this may be the only option for PC lamps and is the
best anyway) then the heat buildup shouldn't be too bad provided you have
ventilation. In addition to keeping the back of the hood open, I sometimes
add vents in the top directly over the base of the tube or the ballast;
whichever seems to run hotter after a few trial runs on the aquarium. These
vents are (in the USA) called "soffit vents" and are
used to provide ventilation in the attic of a house. I use the kind that
are 2 inch circular aluminum. Of course, there is always the option of
installing a fan if you need serious ventilation but the point is If you
provide enough ventilation and don't allow water to be splashed on the
lamps then you probably don't need the special water resistant endcaps.