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Re: More Zoo Med Stuff

On Fri, 4 Aug 2000, Cavan wrote:

> Erik and Ivo, are you saying that the Zoo Med bulbs
> are the "real" T8 bulbs (slightly lower wattage per
> bulb that length than for T12s) that only work with an
> electronic ballast? 

YES YES YES! My initial reaction when I saw them at our auction this year
was "naw, they're just the 'old' T-8's in diameter only," becuase they
donated 36" tubes. But someone (the guy who bought them all!) said
otherwise, so I actually CALLED Zoo-Med to get the scooop.  Yes, they're
meant to be run with an electronic T-8 ballast.  I think the deal with
running them with a T-12 ballast is that they "sorta" work, but not as
well.  I gather the main difference between the ballasts is the current
pumped through the tubes. 

> You can get an electronic ballast for around 20 bucks?

Yes.  See my other postings, and Ivo's.  Go to Home Depot if you can't do
anything else.  Go to a commercial place otherwise.  But go get one!  By
the way, I've found it's only a buck or two different if you get the
four-lamp ballast, so take this into consideration.

> How good are these in relation to Ice Cap and other
> expen$ive ballasts?  Will the ones you mention work
> with T12 bulbs as well, or only T8s? 

They work just as well, if not better, than the IceCap ballasts.  They
have something ridiculous like 95% efficiency in the ballast.  The
difference, I gather, with the Icecap ballasts is that they can drive all
sorts of lights and combinations, wheras a T-8 ballast is meant to drive
T-8's only.  Most of them allow you to use 2-foot, 3-foot or 4-foot lamps,
but check the ballast to be sure. 

> How good are the bulbs themselves as far as things we
> usually look for?  5500k, 6500k, or 8500k(I already
> have a Triton.  Does this make any difference)
> Thanks again guys. 

That's another cool thing about the Zoo-Med bulbs... they have something
like 6 different spectra out there to choose from.  Three of them seem
appropriate for planted tanks, and three seem more reef-oriented.  They
have the kelvin rating on the box (and probably in the literature).

  - Erik
  No, I don't work for Zoo-Med.  Didn't even win any of their bulbs
  in last club auction OR at the ACA.  Just happy to finally start to see
  T-8's finally go mainstream and join the ranks of such household
  items as SAE's and CO2 injection. :)

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com