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What I need: Hardware and wiring guidance to rig the following to a single power cord: 2x15 watt T8 tubes (18 inches long) and 1x40 watt incandescent or halogen bulb. What electonic ballast do I order, and how do I wire it up? Any special warnings? If you really want to show off, you can include a light timer and blue "moonlight" LED into the wiring guidance such that all the white lights are on for 12 hours and the moonlight is on the opposite schedule.

Why: I'm expirimenting with growing some plants in my wife's baby turtle tank. They can be pretty destructive, but so far they are ignoring several plant types, so long as these plants are positioned away from their favorite play position (exit of the HOB filter). I need more than the single 15 watt Repti-Sun 5.0 T8 light for the plants, but I need to retain this bulb for the turtles (high UVB concentration = D3 formulation for shell growth). I also need to retain the incandescent or halogen for the basking spot.

What I already have: Slimline single bulb strip light with a Repti-Sun 5.0 15 watt T8 (18 inches). 40 watt halogen desk lamp.

Other options: Yes, there exist some already made combo hoods that would be almost perfect, but they are expensive. Looking for a DIY wiring option.
 

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I think I would run this from a power supply, not just one wire.
A timer for the moonlights. (one outlet)
A timer for the day lights. If you want the various day lights on and off a different times this means more timers. (1 outlet for T-8, one for heat/UV that the turtles need)
Another couple of outlets would be useful for whatever filter and water heater you are running.
The T8 needs a ballast/starter that is right for the bulb(s) you are using. Sounds like a little one.
Incandescent does not need a ballast, of course.

I use the Intermatic timers. They control only one outlet, but you can plug an adapter into the timer and plug in several things if you want the same timing on all of them. Be careful that the watts and amps do not exceed the capacity of the timer. Intermatics are labeled for 15 amps, more than enough for several aquarium lights, but check the turtle's UV/heat devices; heaters pull more amps than standard lighting.
 

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IMO the best thing to do about ballasts etc. is to order a retrofit kit (expensive, but easy) or talk to from friendly neighborhood hardware store employee to set you up with the type of ballast(s) you would need (slightly cheaper, to be sure, but a little more difficult). Ballasts can be a little confusing, so having some one who knows what they are doing would make things a lot easier.

Have fun!
 

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armedbiggiet said:
How big is your fish tank?
I have a five gallon NPT lit by one compact fluorescent 10 watt "aquarium" bulb.
I also have a forty-six gallon "Euro" (bow front) style tank lit with a Current USA Nova Extreme T5 HO Freshwater fixture...
But no DIY lighting... yet. Although I seriously considered it, I was having some difficulty finding T5 HO lighting in my local area...

... If you were talking to me. :D
 

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Did anyone else notice that the original post was made in Jan '05? :biggrin:
 
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