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Reef tank light question

Posted by JaxFl_Dude z9 Fl (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 28, 05 at 21:15

I have a 36" 4 bulb 95watt each VHO light canopy on my old reef tank that I want to turn into a terrarium. I just found this forum and my question is, if I buy 4 36" 30 watt bulbs would that be considered overdriving since the ballast is for a 95watt bulb? Or would this even be safe? Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Reef tank light question

95W and 36 inches? That doesn't sound right. Is this a compact fluorescent (bent tube) lamp? Can you give use the exact model number?


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RE: Reef tank light question

Its a VHO bulb or Very High Output flourescent. Used to grow living corals in a saltwater aquarium. The ballasts are big. The old bulbs in it are Coralife 10,000k VHO super daylight 36" 95watt t12. Which brings up another question. Would these bulbs be any good for plants? I figure they are trying to mimic daylight for the corals so why not plants. From what I remember the bulbs were 20-25 bucks a piece so I might just do 2 instead of 4.


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RE: Reef tank light question

Weird bulb! 10,000K bulbs are not really much good for plants. You might be able to use them mixed with at least the same wattage of warm white bulbs, but be careful about the UV.

And it has its own weird ballast too. Its electronic, there is just the chance it will be able to run some other bulbs. It is unlikely that it would run a standard 30W tube overdriven in any useful way. Most likely it wouldn't work at all or would damage the bulb and maybe the ballast.

You can use your existing ballast (maybe) to overdrive two bulbs instead of normally driving four bulbs, but you won't be saving money. The bulb life goes down, two overdriven bulbs give you less light than four regularly driven bulbs and are less efficient. The only reason to overdrive is when you can't squeeze enough regular bulbs into the available space to get the light you need. And remember these bulbs are not trying to mimic daylight on the earth's surface, they are trying to mimic daylight several feet down in seawater, plus a healthy extra dose of violet/UV for fluorescence.


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