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I have a 24" heavily planted 15 gallon tank. It currently has an 18" DIY hood with two daylight spec. 27 watt PC bulbs, and this is not enough light. I need to up the light or fix the spec, but don't have a lot of funds. However, I do have two 30" coralife T5 dual strip lights. I took one apart and it can be easily cut down as the entire thing is one piece and has endcaps that cover the previously cut ends. I want to cut it down both of them to 24." add 24" bulbs, and put them on the tank. The existing ballast runs 18watts and the 24" bulbs are rated at 14watts.
I know that you can overdrive T8 and T12 bulbs a lot and be ok (although they'll need to be replaced quicker). I will only be overdriving the bulbs by four extra watts (albeit 1/3 the overall). I believe that this will be fine and I know that it will work, but I was wanting to know if anyone could foresee any problems with this setup before the bulbs come in next week.
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