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Fluorescent lighting problem
Sam Dotson wrote
>I have a 55gal aquarium setup using 4
48" T12 fluorescent tubes. There are
>2 Tritons and 2 PennPlax Ultra Tri Lux.
I am using two "standard" rapid
>start ballasts from Advance Transformer
rated for 2, 40watt 48" T12 tubes.
>Recently the lights have begun having a
problem starting. I can move all of
>the tubes to a "cheapie" fixture in the
garage and they start fine. I can
>move the "cheapie" tubes in the garage,
to the tank, and they start fine. I
>finally mixed 1 Triton with 1 cheapie
tube, and they also start fine in the
>Do Tritons and other lights become
harder to start as they get older?
>there are no metal reflectors used. I
have simply painted the inside of the
>lid with a VERY white paint to act as a
reflector. nothing is grounded in
You did not say how old the lamps were
but they may just be close to the end
of their life. The set up you have means
that all the tubes are within an 1 1/2"
of each other. I think that this will
cause your lamps to fail prematurely
Every manufacturer recommends that lamps
be placed within 1" of a grounded metal
reflector. I don't know why but I assume
it is because the magnetic field
the lamps somehow interferes with their
performance. Perhaps you can buy a 12"
48" piece of white aluminum at Home
Depot and screw the clips through it to
hold it up.
Then you can ground the aluminum as it
should be. I don't know if it will help
but it won't
cost much to try.
Wayne's DIY Aquarium Setup at