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Ballast heat

Hello everyone--

In the process of setting up an ultra-diy 80 gallon (student budget), 
I've acquired three dual slimline strip lights which utilize Magnetek 
tar ballasts. Due in part to their weight and heat emission, I plan to 
mount them remotely in the tank stand. I want to experiment with using 
the ballasts as a substrate heating element (the stand has a bottomless 
frame; the bottom sheet of tank glass is exposed) and plan to insert an 
adjustable shelf into my DIY stand to hold the ballasts....an arcane way 
of adjusting the amount and degree of heat reaching the tank bottom. 
Given, the ballasts (and the substrate to some degree) would cool down 
at night. But I would imagine that the heat created by the ballasts 
would create convection currents not unlike those produced by heating 
cables during the day. Any thoughts on this admittedly cheap and 
questionable practice? Is there a potential for danger that I've missed? 

Thanks in advance--now taking cover from oncoming attack.

Erik Leung in cloudy/wet/gloomy San Francisco

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