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Re: [APD] Help With My New Tank!! -- or - Final Lighting Questions

Great!  Now all I have to do is wait for these parts
to get shipped...  

Thanks to all who helped me out.  This list has been


--- Bill Wichers <billw at waveform_net> wrote:

> >Hi,
> >
> >After reading and rereading everyone's responses, I
> >have decided to attempt to implement MH cheaply :)
> Good choice. MH is my favorite :-)
> >My only concerns are that I have but 5 inches from
> the
> >water to mount these lights...
> Make sure you put a splash shield between the water
> and the lights. A piece 
> of glass works well, tempered glass is best since
> it's stronger and less 
> likely to break into knife-edged wedges. You'll need
> to make sure you use a 
> fixture that can light a decent-size area from only
> a short distance away, 
> which will probably mean you need to use horizontal
> (instead of pendent) 
> style reflectors.
> >I figured that I could use a bunch of fans to push
> the
> >air out the open back of the canopy.  Sound okay?
> Should work. You can even get fixtures that are set
> up to use in- and 
> out-ducts to allow air to be circulated through the
> fixture itself. 
> Fixtures like that are usually sold for hydroponics
> use. Remember that if 
> you blow the fans across the water surface you will
> increase evaporation 
> from the tank. Best is to rig your fixtures so that
> most, if not all, of 
> the airflow is directed across the lights
> themselves.
> You probably don't need a 'bunch of fans' -- one per
> light is most likely 
> going to be sufficient provided they blow enough
> air. Pick some decent 
> muffin fans of maybe 40-60 CFM or so for a 175w
> light and you should be 
> fine. Make sure to pick *quiet* fans (low dB rating)
> or you're likely to be 
> annoyed with the whine they make.
> >Also, I found that my tank is actually 60inches
> long
> >and 24" deep.  Since the lights must be mounted so
> >low.  Would it be better to use 3 lower watt lights
> or
> >would 2 175watt lights still be okay.
> The standard MH bulbs are 175w, 250w, 400w, and
> 1000w. There are also 1500w 
> and 70 watt bulbs (I have even seen 35 watters), but
> they aren't as common. 
> In your application, 175 watt bulbs are probably
> perfect. Since you said in 
> earlier postings that you wanted some shadow
> effects, the larger spacing is 
> likely to create exactly the effect you are looking
> for. And you can always 
> add another light later...
> >Finally, is there a place where i can get really
> cheap
> >ballasts.  Locally prices are outrageous.
> Yes, try a local electrical supply house. Both
> Magnetek and Advance 
> Transformer make MH ballasts that are sold for
> warehouse and outdoor 
> lighting and are often used in aquarium ballasts
> (electrically aquarium MH 
> setups are the same as commercial MH lighting).
> Advance has a nice kit that 
> includes the ballast, an "ignitor" (really a
> capacitor, but you need it to 
> start the arc in the bulb), a mounting bracket for
> the ballast, and some 
> screws and wire fasteners. I was able to get the
> kits locally for somewhere 
> around $30-35 each. You need an enclosure for the
> ballasts, which should be 
> VENTILATED and METAL. Lots of surplus places have
> suitable enclosures. 
> There are several posts from me in the archives
> dealing with the subject of 
> DIY MH lighting and I list sources for all the big
> parts. My own setup uses 
> a nice ventilated aluminum enclosure that originally
> held an "in-flight 
> phone" from a system used in passenger aircraft. It
> was about $20 and 
> easily holds three 175 watt MH ballasts. One of
> these days I should 
> probably write an article about it and post some
> pictures...
> Note that you should really use 105°C rated wire
> (common hardware store 
> stuff is only rated for 75°C or 90°C).  A good water
> and sunlight resistant 
> wire type to use is type SJE. I have had good luck
> myself with Coleman 
> Cable's "Seoprene 105" cable which is perfect for
> this application and is 
> available in black (many other manufacturers now
> sell this type of cable in 
> a bright yellow color which is obtrusive in an
> aquarium setup). You can 
> probably order it or something similar from the same
> supply house you get 
> the ballasts from. When I got the wire, I had to
> order a 250 foot reel 
> (minimum stock put-up from the manufacturer), but
> many supply houses can 
> cut shorter lengths.
>       -Bill
> >Thanks again!!!
> >
> >Shalom
> *****************************
> Waveform Technology
> UNIX Systems Administrator
> _______________________________________________
> Aquatic-Plants mailing list
> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com

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