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What kind of lighting do you have on your Dart tank?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built a wooden hood for a 20H in which I had a pair of Alanis Tincs and used a new ballast to overdrive two 18" light bulbs. I have one 10000K and a 6500K in it now, but I think another 6500K would do better than the 10. More usable light for the plants.

I built the hood and started the bulbs for the first time about a month ago. When I first plugged them in, I stood back and plugged in an extension cord because I wasnt really sure what would happen. I even had my wife drive home at lunch and check the temperature the first day it operated. Temperature was fine. Warm, but fine. The bulbs get hot, but not too hot to hold a finger on them.

I noticed that it takes about 3 minutes for the bulbs to reach full brightness after starting cold, but I dont know why that is. They are so bright, you dont really want to look right at the bulbs. They have been running for one month now with no problems and my moss is growing MUCH faster than it was. The frogs stayed hid for a day or two, but then came to play in the sun!

I can tell you right now that I think overdriving bulbs to grow plants better is definately a good thing in this case. I will probably overdrive every lighting system I have from now on, to be honest! I'm planning to overdrive the lights on my 150 gallon Extra High soon. It will have 6 48" tubes with three ballasts on the back of the hood. SHOULD be enough light, dont you think? I think it should push about 400 to 480 watts after overdriving that many bulbs, which should illuminate the tank as I want it.

I'd recommend everyone do some reading on overdriving bulbs if you havent done so already. They put off some good light for what you pay for them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
man, your frogs are going to get a tan!

The only think i would worry about would be keeping the humidity even with all that light. if it's too tight, the humidity might get too high, or the light might burn off too much water and the air would be dry. just a thought
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
no problem man!

I have the top covered partly with glass. It runs between 75% and 90% humidity and it stays at 76 degrees constantly since I have a water heater in the water set at 76 degrees which is pumped up the falls!

BUT, if you didnt account for the xtra heat, you might have a problem.
 

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I also make my 20g high hoods.

Can you tell me what type of ballasts your run with the bulbs? And the # of bulbs you run? That would help alot. The only problem i see is having to replace the bulbs more often, and not letting the ballasts get too hot.

Also, do you see a difference of kelvin rating from overdriving? IE- if you run 6000K, do you see 10000K (just an example)?

Thanks,
M.N
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
nope

a 6500 k bulb overdriven puts out 6500 k. That is the wavelenght of the bulb which cannot, for our purposes, change much. It simply puts out more lumens and uses more watts.

The electronic ballast I'm using was a $27 one from Lowes and it doesnt even get hot, just warm. I wouldnt honestly even describe it as warm, just lukewarm! You have to feel around on it to feel any temperature increase on the ballast itself. IT was designed to run 4 bulbs, but I have it on 2.

The bulbs' life is shortened by half or so. A bulbs normal life is 3 years, shortened to 1.5 maybe by overdriving. The great thing is, you are supposed to replace your bulbs every 6 months anyway to keep good light quality and still get what you want from the bulb (wavelength, lumens....). So, in my opinion, it is a no loss situation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I voted for CF because those are over most of my tanks, and the only lights I use over display tanks. I am even adding UV light over some of my egg-feeder tanks, because of the results a friend is getting with them. Most people will say UV isn't needed, but nobay truely knows, and maybe that is the reason some darts are hard to breed, just thoughts now....
Sorry for going OT.
 

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I have to agree with overdriving normal output fluorscents. I have my two 48" tubes on my tank overdriven. One is a 6500K full spectrum and one is a 3000K Plant and Aquarium tube. Overdriving them really increased their lumen output and made a noticable difference in the plant growth.

Tim

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I use "Commercial Electric TM daylight 75watt light output Spiral Lamp Compact fluorescent 19watts @ 6500k"

These lights have been tested by the Denver Zoo and from what I hear they put out the same UV full-spectrum light as 5.0 reptile lights. But they only cost $7.97 each @ home depot. Though my Glass Lids are NOT UV Permeable the bright white light they produce have a great effect on plants. Watch close enough and you can see the creeping fig growing.

As for adverse effects on frogs, none yet and have been using them for 14 months on all my frogs. In fact my first pair of breeding Leucs. Have been laying a clutch of eggs every 9-15 days for 9 or 10 months through 2 dry cycles, 3 new Vivariums and a move from across town. I wonder when or if they will ever slow down or stop!! Oh yeah and even a few 50 degree nighttime temperature drops for a few days until I bought a radiant heater for the room in my new home. This temperature did kill 10 Tads. Closest to the outside wall :cry: . All frogs lived :p . I hate learning things the hard way!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Overdriven?

Could someone give me a simple explanation of overdriven lights? How do you do it? What equipment do you need? Etc. Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
sfd

Basically you take an electronic ballast and run the bulbs in series, meaning a ballast meant for 4 bulbs, will run 2 overdriven. Do a search on yahoo for overdriving them and follow a wiring diagram. It looks much harder than it is.
 

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Dr. Frye,

The basic idea of overdriving fluorscent lights is using a ballast that would drive multiple tubes and wiring it to drive a single tube.

I purchased a 48", two tube "shop light" from Home Depot for under $8.00, removed the electric ballast and rewired my 48", single tube, All Glass light fixture. I don't have a way to measure the lighting output, but it did make a significant difference.

Here is link to a thread with more information and diagrams.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=194

Tim
 

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After many trips to home depot and lowes I have foudn these lights and covnerted my imitator hood to hold 2 of them. So far I can say they are working well, my firball is starting to turn red again, and the other plants are growing well.


Leucca said:
I use "Commercial Electric TM daylight 75watt light output Spiral Lamp Compact fluorescent 19watts @ 6500k"

These lights have been tested by the Denver Zoo and from what I hear they put out the same UV full-spectrum light as 5.0 reptile lights. But they only cost $7.97 each @ home depot. Though my Glass Lids are NOT UV Permeable the bright white light they produce have a great effect on plants. Watch close enough and you can see the creeping fig growing.

As for adverse effects on frogs, none yet and have been using them for 14 months on all my frogs. In fact my first pair of breeding Leucs. Have been laying a clutch of eggs every 9-15 days for 9 or 10 months through 2 dry cycles, 3 new Vivariums and a move from across town. I wonder when or if they will ever slow down or stop!! Oh yeah and even a few 50 degree nighttime temperature drops for a few days until I bought a radiant heater for the room in my new home. This temperature did kill 10 Tads. Closest to the outside wall :cry: . All frogs lived :p . I hate learning things the hard way!!
 
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