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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
does anyone know if you can buy the balast for a T5 setup at a regular lighting supply store or a home depot or lowes. i see balast there just don't know if they are the right kind. is there really that much difference/ as long as you get the right volts or whatever it is.
 

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balasts are the same the only differences are the tombstones the length of the tube and the diameter

the length of a 4 foot t5 tube vs a t8 is a few inches shorter

thats really about it they are just a lil more compact than the t8
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so what do i look for when buying a ballast. I was going to go over to our electical supply store to see what they run price wise there. I'm trying to find specs on them online
 

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yes electronic ballasts are going to be the most efficient it has been a long time since i have dealt with ballasts but you deff want one that will carry the curent that your bulbs will use weather it be 2 bulbs at 35 watts each you will need a ballast thats rated 70 + 10 % or the next higher output whichever is there you can also get a ballast thats sized for four and only put 2 on it flr later expansion if that is what you want to do

there aer a ton of types of ballasts out there as far as charecterisitcs there are cold temp starting ballasts there are ballasts the need starters there are ballasts that dont require starters etc...

the basic ballast that you will need is dependant on load and what temps you are going to be running it in aka room temp so i would get norm temp range and get one rated for the load you will be putting on it
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks that was what I was getting at( do want electronic ballast) I'm no electrician.but my hubby will be doing the putting it together and up.
right now I have a 90 gal but I'm going to get a 215 starfire tank( hopefully by christmas) and I want to use T 5's my lfs guy said I would need at least 12 bulbs. I have a icecap 430 right now running my 2 vho's. so my thoughts were to use that and change encaps to t5 which would do 4x2ft. then get a new ballast equal to icecaps 660 and have 4 x 4 ft. ( tank will be 72" long) that would give me 8 bulbs. ( or would i have to have them equal lengths) then get another ballast for 4 more( can i do 2x2ft ad 2x 4 ft on one ballast. opinions welcomed
 

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it really depends on the ballast if it is a parallel ballast for 4 bulbs and or a split for paired 2 w\sets of 2 if it is a parallel no you cant if it is a split 2 pairs of 2 you can

you will have to get an internal schem of the ballast you might be able to decipher by looking at the external

but the reason for my answer is it will cause an imbalance if it is a parallel 4 and the long tubes may not light and if they do they wont get the energy they require and be dim electricity takes the path of least resistance meaning the shorter tubes will be that
 
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