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Thread: Heat from ballasts

  1. #1

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    Question for fluorescent adherents: I'm making a terraruim 16 cu. ft. (4' long x 2' x 2') that'll be lighted with 40-watt 4' tubes. I'm hoping to fit as many as I can find in there, as many as 8 or more, but it occurs to me that it might get too hot. Should I put the ballasts outside the terrarium (I'm wiring it myself and discarding the reflectors)? It'll be plexiglass on the front and is mylar-covered wood on the back and sides... haven't worked out the ventilation and humidity yet. Obviously if I end up venting it aggressively to deal with heat buildup I'll let too much of our seriously dessicated air in and humidity will suffer... this'll be a home for several neps (maxima, ventrata, ventricosa, gracilis) and some dews.
    How many bulbs with or without ballasts get too hot? I know it's relative but any experience, suggestions or speculations welcome.
    Ben Rodman
    Brewing in Lyons, Colorado
    Groovin\' and jivin\' and diggin\' the skin I\'m in!

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    they won't heat it up to dangerous levels. ime, the ballasts dont get that hot, the bulbs do.

    i run 4 vho lights above my terr (really 4 no run on a vho ballast an 3x power) and they heat my terr to 93 degrees in the day. it's not stable, it fluctuates between 89-92 throughout the day. i have a glass top, and above the glass i put an electronic thermometer and it read 112 F.

    as you can see, if your so worried about heat, glass really blocks alot.

  3. #3

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    So are your lights on top of the glass?
    Ben Rodman
    Brewing in Lyons, Colorado
    Groovin\' and jivin\' and diggin\' the skin I\'m in!

  4. #4

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    I should clarify: the tombstones and bulbs will be INSIDE the terrarium with no barrier between them and the plants... Possible humidifying options are aerated water in the bottom, a fountain of some sort, or perhaps a portion of an untrasonic humidifier's output.
    Ben Rodman
    Brewing in Lyons, Colorado
    Groovin\' and jivin\' and diggin\' the skin I\'m in!

  5. #5
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    i have an 75 gallon terr on an aquarium stand, then a canopy on top of the tank (i think the canopy was only a couple hunred dollars). the lights are mounted to the lid that opens up on the canopy and then it's closed it's a couple inches away from the glass.

    i have a hole drilled on the back of my terr and i had a bulkhead installed. i have a humidifier under the tank inside the stand (the ballast is also inside the stand under the tank) and a hose connects the output of the humidifier to the bulkhead on the aquarium.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    oh i would NOT discard the reflector. i would also cover all 4 sides of the tank with mylar/aluminum foil. thats what i do. you can just lift it up on the front glass when you want to see your plants.

    you pay good money for that light, so don't waste it!

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