Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing the other topic in the forum (this one http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=1132226#1132226) about the cold cathode moonlighting, and the library article, I want to give it a try.

I happen to have an extra all glass fluorescent fixture that was for a 29g laying around. Except it doesn't have a metal reflector I think, just a plastic one I think.

Could I use it? Should I maybe spray a chrome paint or something on the plastic or tape aluminum foil to it? Or should I just buy a new reflector, like from ahsupply.com for example?

Also, what kind of drill bit and what size should I use for the drilling through the fixture?

And where can I get the 9v ac to dc adapter?

Do you think that just two of the cathode blue bulbs would have a nice moonlight effect on my 265g tank (30" tall, 7ft long, 2ft wide)? And if I do decide to do it, would the 9v adapter be enough to light it good or should I get the 12v 8amp adapter?

Thanks in advance,
~Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Hey
I just completed my cold cathode lighting recently so maybe i can help a bit. I'm not sure what would work best for the reflector but if you can get one cheap then maybe that would be best. But I definitely know you need it because I tried mine without the reflector and it was very dim.
You can get the 9v adapter pretty much anywhere that sells electronic/electrical things. I got mine at radioshack. They know what they're talking about usually. I would have to say that just the two bulbs for the 7 ft tank wouldn't be enough. Mine was perfect for a 4ft tank but I would add more for that size. I'm not completely sure how the wiring would work or what adapter you would need but maybe someone here can tell you about it. to save money though I would certainly only use one adapter. Good Luck
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DMWave45 said:
Hey
I just completed my cold cathode lighting recently so maybe i can help a bit. I'm not sure what would work best for the reflector but if you can get one cheap then maybe that would be best. But I definitely know you need it because I tried mine without the reflector and it was very dim.
You can get the 9v adapter pretty much anywhere that sells electronic/electrical things. I got mine at radioshack. They know what they're talking about usually. I would have to say that just the two bulbs for the 7 ft tank wouldn't be enough. Mine was perfect for a 4ft tank but I would add more for that size. I'm not completely sure how the wiring would work or what adapter you would need but maybe someone here can tell you about it. to save money though I would certainly only use one adapter. Good Luck
If I don't get two adapters I probably could just buy a splitter for it. I'm going to try it with just the two first though and see how it works out.

Edit: They're only $2.75 each, so I'd might as well get two now to save on shipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Marduk said:
After seeing the other topic in the forum (this one http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=1132226#1132226) about the cold cathode moonlighting, and the library article, I want to give it a try.

I happen to have an extra all glass fluorescent fixture that was for a 29g laying around. Except it doesn't have a metal reflector I think, just a plastic one I think.

Could I use it? Should I maybe spray a chrome paint or something on the plastic or tape aluminum foil to it? Or should I just buy a new reflector, like from ahsupply.com for example?

Also, what kind of drill bit and what size should I use for the drilling through the fixture?

And where can I get the 9v ac to dc adapter?

Do you think that just two of the cathode blue bulbs would have a nice moonlight effect on my 265g tank (30" tall, 7ft long, 2ft wide)? And if I do decide to do it, would the 9v adapter be enough to light it good or should I get the 12v 8amp adapter?

Thanks in advance,
~Ed
I just finished this project for my tanks, so hopefully I can give you some insight. I've got run of the mill shoplights in both my hoods, and mounted one in the middle between the lights, and the other on the front part of the reflector. Both lights produced more than enough light at 9V 1A. I wouldn't bother with a special reflector. Just have a place to attach them securely.

I used a 3/8" standard bit to drill through the fixture, but a 1/2" bit would be slightly nicer. The smaller hole was a bit of a squeeze.

I would use 4 tubes for a 7 foot tank. 2 tubes does well for my 4' tanks, but I think you'd have some serious dark areas in a longer tank if not. I'm not an electrician, but I'm fairly certain you could hook both sets of tubes up to the same adapter. I found an adjustable voltage 1A adapter at Radio shack. 9V is a nice light level, 12V was a little too bright. I think a 12V 8A adapter would allow you to light your entire tank during the day!!!!

Good luck. I posted pics a few weeks ago in the DIY section with a pic of the moonlighting if you're interested. Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
" They're only $2.75 each, so I'd might as well get two now to save on shipping."
_________________
That was my thinking exactly.
Good Luck
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you think I could fit four in a 30" long AGA fixture (P.O.S. fixture originally made for a 29g hood setup thing)?

What are other ways I could put on my tank? What about just sitting it on the glass? Could I mount them on the roof of my canopy and still have good light?

What specifically should I get, the 9v 8amp one or what? What about splitters to get one plug to light all four? And how would I attach the lights wires to the AC->DC converter?

~Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
All you have to do to attach to the converter is cut the regular power supply connectors off and expose the wires. Then get a cheap $1 connector to plug into the convertor. Just twist the wires together and wrap with electric tape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Marduk said:
Do you think I could fit four in a 30" long AGA fixture (P.O.S. fixture originally made for a 29g hood setup thing)?

What are other ways I could put on my tank? What about just sitting it on the glass? Could I mount them on the roof of my canopy and still have good light?

What specifically should I get, the 9v 8amp one or what? What about splitters to get one plug to light all four? And how would I attach the lights wires to the AC->DC converter?

~Ed
If you don't mind them overlapping, I'm sure you could fit everything into the hood, but I'm not sure you'd like the light quality. You could certainly sit them on the glass, but the cathode tubes don't do so well when they get wet. :oops: BTDT. You could just use brackets to mount them to the top of your canopy, and I'm sure you'd get adequate lighting. I know your tank is a little taller, but my 90 is 24" deep, and I had no problems with light levels.

The consensus seems to be the 9V 1A adapter. I have the voltage-adjustable 1A adapter from radio shack, and can go up to 12V 1A, which is too bright. 9V looked good to my eyes. I'm thinking that 8A would be waaaaaaay too bright.

If your cathodes are like mine, they come in pairs, so you'd only have to hook the two lights together, not all four. You'll have to cut the wires of the cathodes, and wire nut them to the wires from the adapter. A water-tight connection would be optimal, but my wire nut + electrical tape connection has held fine and resisted moisture so far. You might want to consult the DIY article for that part. It's hard to read, but once the parts are in front of you, it makes more sense. Better than I can describe, anyway.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't see the splicing part on that article :oops:

What does the article mean by wiring harness? Or is it simple enough that I'll be able to figure it all out when I have all the parts?

For attachmwnt in the canopy I was just going to go with velcro to mount it up...that or a tape or something. The canopy is VERY heavy so I'm not a fan of nailing anything in it...

With them just on the canopy would they light up the tank well? And since the tank is so deep (2.5ft or 30") would the 9v give enough light or should I get the 12v?

And is there any way to wire all four lights to the same adapter?

Thanks in advance,
~Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Marduk said:
I didn't see the splicing part on that article :oops:

What does the article mean by wiring harness? Or is it simple enough that I'll be able to figure it all out when I have all the parts?

For attachmwnt in the canopy I was just going to go with velcro to mount it up...that or a tape or something. The canopy is VERY heavy so I'm not a fan of nailing anything in it...

With them just on the canopy would they light up the tank well? And since the tank is so deep (2.5ft or 30") would the 9v give enough light or should I get the 12v?

And is there any way to wire all four lights to the same adapter?

Thanks in advance,
~Ed
It will all make more sense when you get the stuff in front of you and start putting it together. Well, it did for me, so I'm assuming it will for you.

For attachment purposes, I initially went with Velcro. I did a poor job of surface prep, and the next day the cathodes were hanging in the water :oops: :x :eek: MAYBE with a better surface prep, you might be ok. I'd still lean towards something stronger. If you attach them to the canopy, you could use brackets and short screws. I attached mine to the shop light, and used zip ties. That's up to you. Velcro didn't work for me, FWIW.

Light levels are subjective. An adjustable adapter would probably be your best bet, that way you don't spend a bunch of cash on three different adapters. This is the one I have:

http://www.radioshack.com/sm-3-12v-regu ... 52560.html

I use the 9V setting, if that's too dim, I'm certain the 12V setting would be just fine. 12V was awfully bright to me. I have the 9V setting in my bedroom aquarium, and it sometimes is too bright.

In terms of connecting......I'll try to explain. You'll need ONE adapter. It will have some sort of plug on the far end for connecting to an electronic device. Cut that plug off. You don't need it. Now, separate the two wires in the cord, and strip the wire off 1/2" of each of them. Now, take the cathodes. I had a little inverter box (or whatever it's called) on mine , and I cut the wires on the far side of that, leaving as much of the cathode cord as possible. BTW, the inverter box is velcro'ed to my canopy, just behind the shop light. You need that, so make sure you don't cut that out of the circuit. Strip 1/2" of those wires as well. At this point, you'll have two little wires from the adapter cord (identical) and two little wires from the cathode assembly. My cathode wires were red and yellow, just FYI. Use a wire nut to wind them together. I used red wire nuts because that was what I had. A smaller size would work better. Orange? Anyway, once they are wound together, plug them in to test them. If nothing happens, reverse the wires and try again. If that doesn't help......then I don' t know. Once you have them lighting, then wrap the **** out of the connections with black electrical tape.

Hope that helps. There is probably a better way, and safer way, but that's what worked for me. Here is a picture of my set up.



Good luck.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't really fiddled around with electronics that much (except for assembling my desktop pc tower) so what is a good way to strip wires (usually I'd use a disposable razor to carefully scrape the rubber/plastic off. Is there a specific tool for wire stripping?)? What are wire nuts?

And how would I go about a four-way wiring/connection (between the four cathodes)?

Thanks for the help... It's making a lit more sense now.
~Ed
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Marduk said:
I haven't really fiddled around with electronics that much (except for assembling my desktop pc tower) so what is a good way to strip wires (usually I'd use a disposable razor to carefully scrape the rubber/plastic off. Is there a specific tool for wire stripping?)? What are wire nuts?

And how would I go about a four-way wiring/connection (between the four cathodes)?

Thanks for the help... It's making a lit more sense now.
~Ed
I got a good wire stripper at radio shack today. However I forgot to ask about the wire nuts.

So what the heck are wire nuts and are they really necessary?

How would a do a four way wiring/connection between the four bulbs and the adapter?

Any when I connect the wires, do I just touch them together (like side by side) and tape it or do I twist them around each other, etc?

Thanks in advance,
~Ed

P.S.:
I just checked on ebay. The guy still didn't ship yet. It appears that PayPal is waiting for a transfer to clear at his bank. Have you guys experienced this when you bought them (I think we got them from the same guy, jay_ct aka CT aka all_city)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Marduk said:
Marduk said:
I haven't really fiddled around with electronics that much (except for assembling my desktop pc tower) so what is a good way to strip wires (usually I'd use a disposable razor to carefully scrape the rubber/plastic off. Is there a specific tool for wire stripping?)? What are wire nuts?

And how would I go about a four-way wiring/connection (between the four cathodes)?

Thanks for the help... It's making a lit more sense now.
~Ed
I got a good wire stripper at radio shack today. However I forgot to ask about the wire nuts.

So what the heck are wire nuts and are they really necessary?

How would a do a four way wiring/connection between the four bulbs and the adapter?

Any when I connect the wires, do I just touch them together (like side by side) and tape it or do I twist them around each other, etc?

Thanks in advance,
~Ed

P.S.:
I just checked on ebay. The guy still didn't ship yet. It appears that PayPal is waiting for a transfer to clear at his bank. Have you guys experienced this when you bought them (I think we got them from the same guy, jay_ct aka CT aka all_city)?
Good call on the wire stripper. it will make things easier. Wire nuts are very helpful in making connections between the wires.

http://www.productdose.com/phpwiki/uplo ... 0d_pop.jpg

There's a picture, that look at all familiar? If not, go to Home Depot or Lowes, and tell someone you need wire nuts for small gauge wire. They'll help you out. If you're not good at twisting multiple wires together (you're not :p ), wire nuts will REALLY make your life easier. Place all three wires together, insert them into the wire nut, and TWIST. Tug on each wire individually to make sure they're tight once they're twisted together, and then tape them with electrical tape.

You won't need to make a four way connection. I think you bought yours from the same guy I did, so this should be pretty applicable. When you go to make the connection, you should have two bare wires from the adapter. You should have a yellow and a red wire from the each cathode assembly. Connect each yellow with one of the wires from the adapter, and each red with the other wire from the adapter. You'll have a total of three wires twisted together. There is an inverter box on each cathode assembly cuts the wire count from two down to one on each cathode assembly. That's why you won't have to worry about the four wire connection. I can snap a pic if you're still confused.

I didn't have any issues getting mine, and got them from the same guy, so I don't know. Wait till you get the cathodes, and take a look at them. Things are much clearer when you have the tubes in hand, at least for me. If not, let me know, and I'll flip my canopy over and snap a picture for you. Good luck.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks. It makes a lot more sense now. Now all I need is the adjustable adapter and the wire nuts. What color or size do you think I'd need?

Also, could you get a shot of how you have them mounted, where (on the canopy, like are they staggered?), and the black tape part? (when I do the taping, can I tape the wire nut flat against the wires like so _--_ (the -- is the nut) or leave it sticking out like this _^_?)

About the wire nuts, just out of curiosity are they reversible (ie, could I untwist the wires?)? I don't think I ever will have to, but just curious.

And lastly, how long is that cable on radioshacks adapter plug? For me the longer the better...since my canopy is like 5ft off the ground... and I'd rather not have to use a extension cord (I don't trust them as much anymore after I had one melt from the heat of the wires...and the only brand of them I really do trust is Belkin and they're expensive).

~Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Marduk said:
Thanks. It makes a lot more sense now. Now all I need is the adjustable adapter and the wire nuts. What color or size do you think I'd need?

Also, could you get a shot of how you have them mounted, where (on the canopy, like are they staggered?), and the black tape part? (when I do the taping, can I tape the wire nut flat against the wires like so _--_ (the -- is the nut) or leave it sticking out like this _^_?)

About the wire nuts, just out of curiosity are they reversible (ie, could I untwist the wires?)? I don't think I ever will have to, but just curious.

And lastly, how long is that cable on radioshacks adapter plug? For me the longer the better...since my canopy is like 5ft off the ground... and I'd rather not have to use a extension cord (I don't trust them as much anymore after I had one melt from the heat of the wires...and the only brand of them I really do trust is Belkin and they're expensive).

~Ed
If you get the plain wire nuts, yellow should work well. I only had the red ones on hand, which are generally for bigger gauge wire, but those worked as well. Supposedly there are silicone wire nuts, which are waterproof once they're connected, but I've never used those. The regular wire nuts are totally reversible, if anything ever changes.

The cable on my plug was plenty long. My set up is about 6' tall, and I had more than enough cable. I forget exactly how long it was, but it was more than enough. No extension cord needed.

I'll try to remember to snap a pic for you. Remind me if I haven't posted anything in a few days...I'm forgetful, and it's past my bedtime :dancing:
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I finally got an email Thursday that it was shipped. Hopefully I'll get them Monday (and if I'm extremely lucky, hopefully today).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Your requested images:


wire nuts all taped up


cathodes illuminated


closeup


the whole set up


a different tank than the one pictured, but the exact same set up

Hope that helps
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mine came today and I set them up. They look fine even at 3v (very dim but looks even more natural). I have them set at 9v. On my tank 12v isn't much brighter.

I tried getting pictures of my tank with the lunar lights on but I couldn't get ANY good pictures. Any advice as to what settings to use on my camera and so on? I can't seem to get any good pictures. I did however get pictures of where and how it is mounted.

To mount them on the canopy I used industrial strength black velcro which is supposed to be moisture resistant.











~Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
No idea how to help with the camera. I have a Canon SD 110 (old school) point and shoot. I used the automatic setting, and turned the flash off. That's it.

Keep a close eye on the velcro. The sticky side that attaches to the canopy lost it's grip after about 24 hours in my tank. Probably due to poor surface prep, which I'm sure you did a better job than I did. Looks good. Pretty easy, eh? 8)
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top