Safety

Safety is an important consideration for any aquarium lighting system, only in part because of the potentially deadly combination of water and high voltages. One must pay attention to other important safeguards. Never look directly at the filament of a metal halide lamp; all produce at least some UV radiation, which can damage the eyes. Locate the lighting transformer, or "ballast," in an area where it will be well ventilated — all lamp ballasts produce heat — and protect it (and all other electrical equipment around the aquarium) from contact with seawater. Never place a ballast on the floor of an aquarium cabinet where it can be reached by spilled water. If there is a spill near the ballast, disconnect the power before cleaning up. Finally, suspend metal halide lamps sufficiently high above the water to provide ample room to work on the tank without bumping into the light fixtures (they're hot!) and make sure the fixtures are securely mounted and ventilated. Keep the acrylic UV shield provided with your light hood or pendant in place to prevent the hot bulb from being splattered by cool water; metal halides can and do explode on occasion.

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

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