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FAQs about Light and Lighting for Marine Systems, By Manufacturer, Models: Coralife

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Light troubles; 48" Coralife deluxe ballast(s) may be bad but certainly the connectors 6/11/09
Hello Guys,
The fixture was holding well for a couple years. However, with each replacement the bulbs on the cord side would get harder to seat as corrosion was building. Any idea on an effective way to clean these?
<A wire brush.>
Why one side and not both?
<Possibly just bad contact between the bulb and socket or just that side was lucky enough to see some moisture.>
I replaced one actinic after 3 months (this replacement cycle) and was irritated that I 'got a bad bulb' until this past week when I replaced a 10,000K on the exact same side. I know the connectors need replacement.
Worse yet the ballast (there are 4) part: BH-APL0551A is not coming up available on Google searches. It seems this older unit may have little support.
<Try giving the folks at Hellolights.com a call.>
After opening the fixture (tonight's debacle) I now have the unit kicking the GFCI off when powered on.
<If the sockets are not making good contact with the bulbs it can do this.>
Now there is no light and no spare. Of course I don't 'know' I need the ballasts but replacement is probably a good bet.
<Maybe not, I would try repairing/replacing the sockets first, they are the weak link here.>
I am thinking of upgrading to the Coralife Pro with the dual 150 metal halides. However, heat has been an issue in our apartment and this may cause a worse problem than it solves.
It also is lame that the last two bulbs have the majority of their useful life ahead and won't be useable in the
Coralife Pro. Oh, in spite of calls none of the LFS's carry parts for this unit.
<Very few will.>
Aside from the purchase of a new fixture; I wait until I get the right parts (if available) to make it work. I did manage to get in touch with a tech at Coralife and am emailing/phone calling around work and closing times.
There is nothing to go by yet, aside from letting them know what the ballast part number was. Tomorrow should bring something.
Considering I am not coral heavy this fixture has served well on my 75 Megaflow. However, the footprint is not as good as it was on the 55 gallon predecessor as there are plenty of areas that do not get direct light. Is
the upgrade a good move?
<Not for my money unless you want to start keeping more light needy organisms.>
I should likely make a decision tomorrow. I likely am not going to buy local. This means a 'dark week' or switching my smaller fixture back and forth.
I have mostly sponges, mushroom, Ricordea and star polyps though I also have a yellow leather coral (placed high though I am certain it needs more light) and a plate coral. Of the other things growing from the rock. anyone's guess. Any input would be appreciated. I do fear I am going to be buying new and that the connectors (if I can get them from an electronics store tomorrow) are not going to be the fix all. I don't like leaving my pets in the dark but I don't want to waste money on poorly thought out purchase. I had wanted to go halides on the next tank.
<Do give the folks above a call, they are helpful and fast shippers.>
Thank you,
James Zimmer
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Light troubles; 48" Coralife deluxe ballast(s) may be bad but certainly the connectors 6/11/09
Thank you Scott.
I will give them a call.
<A solidly helpful company.>
I did order the same fixture again. Now I can fix the old one (or if not I am covered). I also disconnected the two bulbs on the side with the bad connectors and now at least half the tank is lit. This way I will have some leeway with a spare fixture and depending on what I choose to do in the future 4 feet is a common tank width. After a lot of thought I chose to go against the light upgrade until later. Heat is an issue. I also don't want to buy a chiller if I don't need to.
<Understood, the catch 22 here.>
While I was at it I got a smaller Coralife (the sale was irresistible) for my 24 nano-tank. I never was very happy with the JBJ that replaced the original light/hood on that tank. Besides, now all my bulbs are the same.
<Always a plus!>
Tell Bob I said hello!
<He will get this.>
Thank you again for your input.
<Welcome, have fun.>

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