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Old 12-07-2009, 05:46 AM
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Default Power Compacts, HO T5s and HEAT

Q for all you serious dendrobatophiles--this question is only about lights and heat. Does anyone use power compacts--the fixtures with pins on only one end--on dart frog terraria? If so, can it be done WITHOUT suspending the fixture over the tank, just letting it sit on the top? (Yes, I have seen the mounting brackets--NOT an option on my tank, or in in my home).

I ask because I know serious reefers who do use them --and they all advise me to take into account that power compacts are hotter than T12s or T5s, and may be too hot for smaller epiphyes mounted near the tops of tanks, especially in the summer. (I live with a serious PETA/greenie/treehugger--no way I could leave an AC on when we're not home...)

In other words, a small orchid, peperomia and tillandsia mounted only 3-4" below a 65W power compact in for 13 hours a day in July is just askin for trouble. As such, they would recommend a double HO 24W T5 unit.

(Oh, for the curious: I have lizards, hylids and hyperoliids, not pdfs---so my crew can handle the summer heat. Yes I do use an in-tank fan in the summer.)

I thank you in advance for your advice.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Power Compacts, HO T5s and HEAT

I'm using a couple of the DIY power compact kits from AH Supply, and I mounted them inside the plastic canopies of 20G aquariums. They're doing fine just sitting on the top glass, though if any leaves actually rest on the glass they can get a bit scorched. I find that the majority of the heat from these comes from the ballasts- mine are mounted outside the hood, and the heat seems to dissipate alright. I've got temps of about 78-79F during the day with these lights on.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Power Compacts, HO T5s and HEAT

The only experience I've had with the Power Compacts directly on top is that a 96 watt on a 20 gallon will bring inside temps up to 82 and scorch any plants near the top of the tank. My ballast is external as well.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Power Compacts, HO T5s and HEAT

Thank you for your replies. When you say the "ballast is external" do you mean external to the tank, or external to the light fixture itself?

I ask because I know that some power compacts have built in fans, which I think should dissipate some heat.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Power Compacts, HO T5s and HEAT

In my case the ballast is mounted to the outside of the canopy. I was thinking of attaching a heatsink and fan to try and remove more heat from one of the ballasts to try and bring the temperature in the tank a little further down, but haven't gotten to it yet.
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