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[APD] Re: Custom Sealife Britelite

I'm a little confused about this. When I put the lighting together using AH supply kit, I recall the wiring was different for 40 w or 55 w lamps. I don't remember exactly how the wiring differed, but assume the ballasts are pushed a little higher. You can't get 55 w out of the fixture if you wired it for 40. I "think" a 55 W bulb would then only produce the equivalent of a 40W, and likewise, if you tried to push the 40W to run higher (55W if you had it wired that way), you'd probably burn it out quickly? I do recall, since they are wired in parallel, they had to be equal.

The Custom Sealife is rated and wired to run 65w watt bulbs. You could put a 55 watt bulb in, but you'd get a tad less lighting out of it. I talked to a rep for a while a few years ago about this. He very kindly sent me two 65 w bulbs free (back when they were around) because I couldn't find replacement 65s.

For others not aware when reading the below, AH Supply uses the straight pin configuration. Custom Sealife strip is square pin, and the ballasts were wired in series.

Trying to decipher the information below, it's important to take into account how much lighting you actually get out when you swap bulbs, as well as optimum bulb life. These bulbs can be expensive, though I just found some pretty cheap ones listed on Ebay.

As an aside, as I was limping through trying to provide lighting in the meantime (and I have an Indian Red sword on the dark side of the tank that has been at a standstill and doesn't look much like an Indian Red ;-) -- I let it go for a few weeks with the lighting burned out. Wasn't sure what I was doing with that tank, or the hood. Then I tried throwing different strips that I could wedge there, or prop on the outside. I got beautiful violet color leaf growth during that time. It's making me think of some possibilities besides just throwing on a 65 ballast and fixing the strip, though that would be easiest. 130 W gave me a _relatively_ maintenance-free, algae free tank. I had settled on plants that could handle the environment. Surprised to find that Egeria Najas will grow in the dark very well after that strip went. But not much else! ButI like the effect of different temperature bulbs over the tank, and tapering off at the end of the lighting cycle. Made me think of building a hood, and using several of these fixtures, timed to go off independently (maybe 3 different power sources). I've never seen that color on the Indian Sword, and thinking the combo of the light bulbs might give me a cheap home-made upgrade to a better lighting system.

Thanks for the input here.



That's some generally good advice since some ballasts can handle driving two lamps slightly differently but some can't, depending on whther they are driving the bulbs in parallel or serial or whether the lamps are driven by separate supplies inside a single ballast. I believe the 65w bulbs just run with a slightly lower DC resistance than the 55w and that's the only significant diff. The diff in watt rating is less than the diff in actual watt output for a given bulb when used with diff ballasts.

Square-array pins vs straight-row pins is a diff matter.
The startting requirements are diff and the ballasting
requiremetns are diff so diff ballasts are needed (or if
the ballasts allow for wiring in diff ways, diff wireing
schema are required.

Get real, get plants,
Scott H.
--- "Richard J. Sexton" <richard at aquaria_net> wrote:

At 04:28 AM 8/2/2005 -0700, you wrote:
>If the pins array is the same, you can use a 65w on a
>ballast without any problems.

Yup. But you can't mix them if it's a twin tube fixture.
tubes must be the same wattage.

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