T-8's vs T-12's

In a message dated 95-11-13 15:53:01 EST, Hardjono writes:

>Subject: Re: T-8 fluorescents
>So how do you convert T-12 fixture to fit T-8 tube ?
>	1. Ballast:
>		What is a good brand ? Where to get them ? Any mail order ?
Brand - We've* had the best luck with Magnetek and then Motorola. Advance
ballasts have given us fits - both with the failures and the negotiated

Where - Grainger handles them if you have access.
>	2. End caps:
>		Do I need to replace the end caps since T-8 has 1 inch diameter
>		and T-12 has 1.5 inch diameter ?

Although expensive as anything - Pet Warehouse has some inserts but I'm not
sure if they would separate them from the total set. These endcaps look like
an excellent DIY opportunity - $16-19/pr!

>	3. Starter:
>   		Do I need a starter with the electronic ballast ?
Nope - refer to the excellent explanation offered previously about rapid
start, instant start, etc.
>Is there any T-8 tube for 18" fixture ?
Yes - see one of the large mail order places if local shop does not have.

* - the 'we' I refer to above is a collection of facility managers,
engineers, etc. that try to save energy in a very large multi-location
company headquartered in the east. 

For anyone intent on saving the most energy with fluorescents - use the
electronic instant start ballasts. The rapid start ballasts have a small
resistance heater used for starting the lamps which also stays on for as long
as the lamps are on. [ FYI - Although I have not heard of them used in the
aquarium field, there have been some compatibility issues (read premature
failures on a large scale) with the  3" U-bend T-8's normally used in
industrial 2'x2' fixtures when mated with instant start ballasts. To my
knowledge this has not been the case with straight lamps.]

Ron Lane
whirlabout at aol_com