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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang, I need a cheap source of NO lighting... whats currently the best deal for ballasts, endcaps and bulbs, with the bulbs being okay for looking at (CRI good)? Basically for my wife's office tank that needs more light and an emersed crypt setup here at home, I'm really sick of buying aquarium hoods/bulbs and PCF are really too costly an option for me right now...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
dennis said:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3159

check out that link. If you can make a canopy, the shop light ballasts should be the cheapest way to go, they will run NO, ODNO, PC or even T5 if wired correctly. If you go the shop light route, you can use the white case of teh light as a reflector also:)
Thanks Dennis, what about bulbs tho? I would love to use 4x13W T-5s for some of my smaller tanks, but where to get bulbs with a decent color temperature? Or even if I went with standard T8/T12s the only ones I can get cheaply are cool whites or "warm" bulbs..

Jeff
 

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Well, if NO bulbs you seek, Dr Fosters and Smith usually have the GE 9325K bulbs very cheaply, 5-10 dollars depending on size. They are excellent plant bulbs and that price compares to some of the unwanted soft whites from HD or Lowes. T%'s are hard, I have not found a good source yet either:( PC bulbs can be run using the shop light ballasts, The bulbs are more expensive, but they last ALOT longer the teh T8/12 tubes and AH supply has very good prices on them. What exactly are youlooking for, maybe I have some spare parts around.. PM me:)
 

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Hi Jeff,

What size is your wife's tank? I don't recall from our conversations, but I seem to remember it being fairly small. If it is small, there are a lot of choices and the PC bulbs are not nearly as expensive as you might think. If it's larger, the best bulbs are the t8 bulbs run on a shop light with an electronic ballast. Home Depot sells a very cheap shop light ($6) using an electronic ballast. This particular ballast can be stripped and configured for NO, PC, and t5 bulbs. It is also capable of running VHO's, but that's not really ideal because of cost.

Now, as for NO bulbs, the best are t8's that you can buy from a light bulb supply shop. When you go to the supply shop, ask if they have sunlight bulbs (generally these are 5500K to 6500K) and are fairly inexpensive. I used to get mine for my 55G tank at $3 a piece and ran 4 over the tank. Plenty of light for that sized tank. It had very nice color being more blue and yielded good plant growth.

Shoot me some parameters on the tanks in question and I'll see what cheap stuff I can dig up.

Bailin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Texex94 said:
Now, as for NO bulbs, the best are t8's that you can buy from a light bulb supply shop. When you go to the supply shop, ask if they have sunlight bulbs (generally these are 5500K to 6500K) and are fairly inexpensive. I used to get mine for my 55G tank at $3 a piece and ran 4 over the tank. Plenty of light for that sized tank. It had very nice color being more blue and yielded good plant growth.
Okay, two tanks I would like to overhaul a bit, a 20L for emersed crypt growth (30") and a 40 breeder I want to setup as a farm tank, thats 36". For the 30" I was thinking. The GE Aqua Rays look like good NO bulbs, so:

2xT12F20 s seems appropriate for the crypts, the ballast from Home Despot seems like overkill, plus where to get endcaps?

For the 40 breeder I would like
4xT12F30 but be able to switch 2 at once to do this tank "Amano-style". Again the Home Despot ballast seems overkill. Surely someone must be selling cheap electronic ballasts for small T12 setups?

Jeff
 
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