Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #381

The switch to 32 watt fluorescent lamps has nothing at all to do with safety.
It is a Federal Law. It is part of an Energy Conservation Program. The new,
32 watt fl. lamps are very efficient, and give the same amount of light as
the 40 watt ones, but they  _will not work at all on "standard" or "magnetic"
ballasts._  It is now a Federal crime to manufacture or import 40 watt
fluorescent tubes into the USA. If they aren't already in this country, they
can't be obtained (legally) any more. SO - - buy up a supply or be prepared
to do a lot of fixture replacing! 

So - - If your hood, etc., has "Electronic" ballasts (NOT the super expensive
ones advertized in Aquarium Magazines - there are "Ordinary Electronic
Ballasts" for sale all over the US, and they will work just fine with 32 watt
 bulbs. BUT, if you have a big investment in "magnetic ballast" fixtures,
within a year or so you will be replacing all of them, because you will not
be able to find any 40 watt tubes to purchase. 

I am in the process of completely re-ballasting a small Public Aquarium in
Des Moines, Iowa to keep ahead of the situation. By the way, there is a false
statement running about that says 40 watt ballasts will NOT properly light 24
inch 40-watt HO fluorescents. Not true. The Electronic Ballasts available at
Menards, etc., work just fine. 

Ballasts are nothing more nor less than CURRENT regulators. They keep the arc
in the lighted tube from drawing more current than it is designed to. If your
Ballast shorts out, your tube instantly dies, with a loud "pop." It does not
explode, it just makes a "pop" which is the starter filiaments in the ends
destroying themselves by burning up.

"The trouble with most folks ain't that they is ignorant - its just that they
know so danged much that just ain't so." - Will Rodgers.