RSS Terrible Advice Tuesdays (Special Edition): The Cheapest Way To Light Your Aquarium I

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  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    Terrible Advice Tuesdays: Metal Halide lights can be powered by combining Diet Coke and Mentos in a closed container – in an emergency and ONLY in an emergency.

    The rest of the story: One of my high-end aquarium installer friends *cough* Ben J. (I’m leaving off his last name to protect his identity) swears by this method. He claims to have several fully grown out reef tanks in multi-million dollar homes and whenever there is a power outage in his area, he simply delivers 2 Litre bottles of the fizzy soda and a 12-pack of the fresh breath mints to his client’s houses.

    Ben doesn’t know it, but I secretly recorded a conversation between him and I and here’s the gist of what he says,

    “Dude, this isn’t some ‘DIY’ project. Using Diet Coke and Mentos is serious business. I personally increased my business liability insurance because if the reaction goes wrong, high dollar wood floors get ruined. Not like just like, ‘Ill resurface it’ ruined, I mean totally ruined. All you have to do it plug the power plug from the light into the 2L bottle of Diet Coke. Make sure you don’t plug in the halide ballast to the bottle because if you do that, s–t will go really bad…fast.* Just plug the light directly into ballast. Then dump in the whole 12 rolls of Mentos and stand back. Within seconds the halide light will flicker on and you will look like a hero. Why you haven’t done a Mr. Saltwater Tank TV episode on this, I’ll never know.”

    While Ben has had some really cutting edge ideas in the saltwater tank world, including cutting corals to create smaller “fragments” that then grow into larger pieces of coral, that then can be sold to make real money, the idea of using Diet Coke and Mentos to power Metal Halide lights in ludicrous. I can maybe, maybe see powering a LED fixture with Diet Coke and Mentos, but not halide lights. Halide lights require using full-strength Coke as there isn’t enough Standard Reduction Potential in Diet Coke to provide the electrons needed for the lights.

    Nice try Ben, but Diet drinks just don’t work in this case.

    note: Yes, this is an April’s fools post and yes, please don’t try it at home!

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