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Old 02-10-2008, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default NOW it's getting costly - ?

All,
Got the AH supply retrofit 2x96w CF setup, with two of their 96w bulbs at 36 inches each. Now, the aquarium is a 90 which is 48 inches long. Here is where the problem comes in, the bulbs don't match end to end because there is overlap. Due to the MOST AWEFULLY written instructions I have ever read in my life, I figured the only way these two bulbs are going to fit in that tiny area is if they're mounted a little canted to the front for one bulb and the rear for another.

Now, I leave to run around town, come back and BANG - the glass top is really screwed. I guess those bulbs get REALLY hot and one hung down a little too low and it split the glass top in two. Now - What's going on. How in the world do you mount 2 36 inch bulbs in a 48 inch space without overlap. I'm really smart, but also thoroughly confused and a little frustrated...

thanks for the assist -
Rob
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

Hi Rob! I can't give you answers cause I'm in the same boat. I too have a 90 gal. that I want to have plants in. I actually live with an electrician that has no intentions of helping me. Interesting...but maybe we don't go there. I will be watching this thread and hope someone can help us with our delemma. Just wanted to say that I have the same quandry!

Shar
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

Call them (AHS). They're the specialists! lol
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

This is why those of us with 48" long tanks use 2x65 watt or 4x65 watt setups.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

The AH Supply website gives the dimensions of each of their kits, so you know when you order them, how much room you need. I assume you are fitting these into an existing light fixture? If so it was probably a single tube fixture. That does present a few problems. And, those lights do produce some heat, so enclosing them without good air circulation is a bad idea. I use a little fan in my fixture to keep them cooler, and more importantly, to keep them from heating the tank water so much. If you have room for a little fan, either visit a Radio Shack place for one, or to get a better quality and better price, visit some website stores to find one. A fan makes a big difference.

I don't have any glass between my lights and the water. No problems to date.

EDIT: You can use 55 watt bulbs in that kit if you wish. Same ballast. (To be absolutely sure, email AHS)
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

AHsupply is a good company. Call them up and they will help you with whatever you need. They have very good customer support.

Also as far as the glass breaking. If the bulbs heated up and then a fish splashed cold tank water onto the hot glass it could break from the thermal change.

I'd go with smaller bulbs for the tank like indiboi suggested. If you have multiple tanks or ever need to switch the light fixtures to a smaller tank its a good idea to standardize the type of bulb you use. So use smaller bulb sizes like 55W as you can use this bulb with many different sized tanks. 2x55w for a 55g, or 90g. 3x55w for a 125 gal, 1x55 w for a 20, 30, or 40g tank. 55w are pretty useful for nearly any size tank.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

Is it the bulbs that generate so much heat or the ballast itself? I believe mounting the ballast external to the fixture, or even on the outside of the fixture itself should alleviate quite a bit of the heat issue.

Dave
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

It was the stock 48 inch fixture, single bulb. I completely agree about using smaller bulbs that may be the answer. It's bizarre... I managed to mess with it like there is no tomorrow and finagle (sp??) it so the bulbs won't touch the next glass top, but it's still a FAR cry from how the instructions said to set it up. I'm going out of town this week and won't have internet so I'll catch up with you next week and tell you all how my wife got along with this problem. Nice - leaving the wife with my fish tank problem...
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

So I got replacement glass today, a whole new glass top. The bulbs are NOT touching the glass. Ten minutes with the new glass - CRACK! At this rate, I'll need to replace the glass top 3 times daily. For the moment - I have wedged 2x4 pieces under the ends to hold the light fixture 2 inches above the glass - we'll see if we can bust the other one out...
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: NOW it's getting costly - ?

Does your tank not have a center brace? Is your glass canopy all one piece or is it two individual pieces? If it's all one piece you're probably looking with an overall structural integrity issue more than a canopy heating issue...

My old 90gal is a custom tank without a center brace. It's 52" long. After extensive consultation and research with both glass and acrylic manufacturers (and I mean I talked with at least 4-5 manufacturers on the phone about my setup) I decided I was not going to go with a canopy on this tank because everyone agreed that there wouldn't be enough structural integrity w/out a center brace, and retrofitting a center brace was going to cost an arm and a leg.

If that's not the case in your tank, maybe adding some fans to your canopy would help?

If your wooden blocks don't work, have you considered trying to suspend the fixture from the ceiling like a metal halide?
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