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  L# strip light needs new ballast
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Subscribestrip light needs new ballast
aldergal
Small Fry
Posts: 6
Kudos: 5
Votes: 0
Registered: 15-Jun-2011
female usa
Hi, well after three years of enjoying this site i decided to join. This is a hobby where advice from experienced folks is needed. My Allglass brand, twin T-8 stopped working....it had been dim for the last year..it was only three years old.I took it to lfs and he checked if it was the switch by directly wireing to ballast,,,,still didn't work ...he (owner of pet store) said he could not order this ballast,,,,that his distributor doesn't have it....so....I stop by Electric supply shop and a man there said he had a ballast to run the two T-8 48" bulbs....The things I was wondering were..It's just $14 for this ballast...I am a little worried about will it produce a lot of heat or make a lot of noise....it is a fresh water 55 tank and it has glass tops over it. I plan to go to have the ballast put in this Wed. Is there a reason that I should not do this? Central aquadics said I could not order it directly from them....thanks for any imput on this .....
Post InfoPosted 19-Jun-2011 01:40Profile PM Edit Report 
CukeRooster
Small Fry
Posts: 5
Kudos: 7
Votes: 32
Registered: 16-Jun-2011
male usa us-iowa
I don't know personally, but I would have to wager that if the new ballast is like the old one (similar wattage and so on) there should be no problems replacing it.

55 Gal.

2 x B/N
2 x Ram Cichlid
3 x Platy
Post InfoPosted 19-Jun-2011 14:04Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DeletedPosted 20-Jun-2011 02:42
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aldergal
Small Fry
Posts: 6
Kudos: 5
Votes: 0
Registered: 15-Jun-2011
female usa
i am going to try calling another lfs about ordering the ballast
Post InfoPosted 20-Jun-2011 02:53Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
aldergal
Small Fry
Posts: 6
Kudos: 5
Votes: 0
Registered: 15-Jun-2011
female usa
Well the other lfs could not order the ballast either so I did take it to the electrical supply and he put a new ballast in...$16...a lot less money than a new fixture....I asked him if it would put off a lot of heat or make noise...he said no ....so....it works....he put some bulbs in to check....now to watch my plants recover from the lack of light....I took a lot of giant val out of the tank because it was breaking apart....one little broad leafed plants is barely alive, the hornwort is ok...it had been dim for the last year...i don't know if that is from the ballst or the bulbs...I have one florasun 5000k it says with peak emissions in the blue and red...and i have oneall glass spectrum 8000K....I tried to post pics but they didn't show ....
Post InfoPosted 22-Jun-2011 19:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited 23-Jun-2011 13:37
Hi,
I'm glad you opted to simply replace the ballast instead of
purchasing a whole light fixture. It's much easier on the
pocket!

Couple of things... If the bulbs are that old (a year or
more) and the ballast has been going bad all that time, the
plants have been slowly adapting to the changes, and, in
the case of the giant val, using up stored energy.

When you changed out the ballast, you increased the voltage
to the bulbs and they are burning a bit brighter. However,
they are old bulbs and should be replaced every year.
All fluorescent bulbs start out at a given rating,
and then over time age, shift frequency and give
off less and less light. That is why we change them
out each year. Pick an occasion, Christmas, a birthday,
or holiday, and every year at that time, change the bulbs.

From your comments, its way past time. With T-8 bulbs,
it is not necessary to purchase "plant "growth" bulbs"
for good plant growth. You can go to any hardware
store and purchase any bulb that has
"Sunlight" or "Daylight" in its name. Warm white,
or reading light bulbs are not suited for plant growth.
These bulbs are generally much less expensive
than the "Grow or Sunlight" bulbs found at your
local LFS and work just as well.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 23-Jun-2011 13:33Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
CukeRooster
Small Fry
Posts: 5
Kudos: 7
Votes: 32
Registered: 16-Jun-2011
male usa us-iowa
Sorry to hear about the plants. Bulbs lose there effectiveness over time so that may have played a part. I'm glad you were just able to get a replacement ballast, it shouldn't give you any problems. Defiantly cheaper than a new fixture, even a junk one. Hope your plants make a recovery!

55 Gal.

2 x B/N
2 x Ram Cichlid
3 x Platy
Post InfoPosted 23-Jun-2011 13:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DeletedPosted 25-Jun-2011 01:46
This post has been deleted
aldergal
Small Fry
Posts: 6
Kudos: 5
Votes: 0
Registered: 15-Jun-2011
female usa
I put some pics in photobucket...the 10 gal has some crypts
and some giant val...I would like to move some of the crypts to the 55 once I get all the algae out of the 10 gal and off the crypts.....it is an algae that grows in the gravel and I use a tooth brush to remove it and gravel comes out with the algae...it is on the stems of the crypts. The pic of the 55 is with the strip light of a ten gal....while I was trying to get the ballast situation fixed
Post InfoPosted 25-Jun-2011 02:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited 25-Jun-2011 14:22
Hi,
It sounds like you might have an outbreak of BGA algae.
It's a slime like quality algae and is actually not an
algae but rather a cynobacteria.

Here is a link to help you identify the type of
bacteria it is and one specifically for the BGA....

http://www.otocinclus.com/articles/algae.html

and

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/cyanobacteria

or

http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2006/07/blue-green-algae-in-aquariums.html

If it is BGA, we generally have to first kill it off,
by blackening out the tank (no light on, in, or around,
the tank at all- a complete black out) by wrapping the
tank with a thick, opaque blanket for three to five days.
Then, unwrapping the tank and performing a 90% water change
along with a through vacuuming of the gravel. That is
followed by another 75% water change a couple of days later.
Once you kill off the "algae" you have to eliminate the
pollution all the dead algae causes, hence the massive
water changes.

Another option for BGA is to use the medication Erythromycin.

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/cyanobacteria.html#0

You can get this from your LFS or perhaps
less expensively, from your family doctor.
It is a bacterial infection and Erythromycin
is frequently prescribed for us when we have infections.

Hope this helps...

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 25-Jun-2011 14:21Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Piranha Bait
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Registered: 16-Nov-2003
male canada ca-ontario
Welcome aboard and to the planted side

Flourescent tubes for plants, it's recommended to replace them every 6 months. The light is no longer at max output plus the amount of light lost accelerates at that point. Generates more heat which = wasted energy/hydro. Also contributes to algae issues.

Light up a new and 6 month old tube side by side you will see what I mean re light intensity and heat. You might not be running your lights 8-11 hrs per day on a timer though.

I've seen old tubes and bulbs melt the top of plastic light fixtures. Definately don't go longer than a year.

I am guilty of going a year sometimes. On a budget like everyone else and also a bad habit of procrastinating !

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 30-Jun-2011 14:27Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
aldergal
Small Fry
Posts: 6
Kudos: 5
Votes: 0
Registered: 15-Jun-2011
female usa
thanks for the replies, the light looks so much brighter after new ballast...brighter even than when i bought the bulbs new, I knew something was wrong when i put new bulbs in and it was no more brighter than the year old bulbs...but customer service could not help me figure out why....so a bad ballast can make a fixture dimmer despite what I was told by customer service
Cukerooster ,,,thanks I am sure the val will recover haha...the little broad leafed plantlo oks better all ready....so glad I didn't have to spend big bucks.....

Frank thanks...i looked at the link and thank goodness it's not BGA...that sounds terrible....I am pretty sure the ten gal has tread algae from too much iron...the fert tabs I was using had iron...cause cyrpts like the iron...and the cyrpts are growing great, but hopefully as the iron goes down and I keep clean it out with the tooth brush it will clear....I might bleach just one and try putting it in the 55 gal...and see if it makes it ok

DaMossman....wow...ok I thought bulbs were good for a year..I didn't know about the increase inheat output... interesting. If I see more algae or plants not doing as well as I like then that would be something to try....actually I bought 4 bulbs a year ago so I have two new ones alreay but I haven't put them in yet...I ordered them on line...so I just got 4 to keep from having to order them again...save that shipping cost.

this is the code for photo bucket if anyone wants to see the tanks ...I hope this works....http://s1182.photobucket.com/albums/x443/aldergal/
it has pic before new ballast with a ten gal strip light on the 55....and after I got the strip twin t8 back on it and the ten gal....hope someone checks it out

again thanks to all!!...it was kinda stressful at the time for the light to just totally stop working and to not know what to do about it..my tank is looking better every day now...and cleaning out the organic debris from the filters

sorry this was so long...just didn't have time to reply sooner
Post InfoPosted 09-Jul-2011 02:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Piranha Bait
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male canada ca-ontario
I don't think I've ever changed mine on time, I'd probably grow algae no matter what I did !

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 30-Aug-2011 12:56Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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