Fish Tank Lighting Problem

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Offline Emmdee

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Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« on: February 10, 2018, 04:15:10 PM »
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Well, first headache!!

Tried the new tubes, and only a flicker.  Clearly the hood's goosed.  Going to be at least 80 for a new one, which means an empty fishtank for longer than I was hoping...

I'd heard that gouramis didn't mix with tiger barbs, but I had a big gold gourami that shared a tank with both barbs and danios no problem.  There were always at least 8 barbs, too busy with each other to notice 'Golda', and the danios always swam round the top of the tank while she was round the middle.  She was like Penelope Keith, sort of regally watching the rest of the world go by!  As long as I kept plenty of barbs together, I never had a problem with her or with the big angel fish I had before her.

Off to Pets at Home to return the light tubes...
m.d.

Offline Matt

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 07:22:44 PM »
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If the tubes aren't faulty I wonder if the ballasts need replacing? I will admit I don't know what I'm talking about here as I've only ever had leds but apparently it's quite common for these to be problematic...

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Offline Sue

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 07:36:24 PM »
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Juwel light bars, the ones with the red spot as Emmdee mentioned, were notorious for the ballast failing. When I got my Rio 125 the 'red spot' light did not work when I got it home. Because it was brand new the shop got me a replacement free of charge. The replacement was also a red spot one and it broke a few months out of warranty so I had to buy another one.
This known problem led to several fish websites giving pictorial instructions on how to replace the ballast which involved cutting the light bar open with a Dremmel, then patching the hole and resealing it again afterwards.
The 'red spot' light bars were made in the far east. Juwel eventually stopped using these and used non-red spot bars made in Germany instead. These were much better! The iffy ones from the far east were easy to spot as they had a little round red sticker on the underside.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
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Offline Emmdee

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 09:27:38 PM »
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Thanks, Sue.

I have neither the tools nor the expertise to fix it, so I'm going to have to buy a new hood.  Major pain, big expense, and delay.  Can't add plants without light, and can't add fish without plants.  Rather rubbish, really...
m.d.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 09:33:01 AM »
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There was no way I was going to repair mine either, even with a series of photos showing me how. It wasn't doing the electrical work that bothered me but making it watertight afterwards did worry me as water and electricity don't mix.

You could always upgrade to LEDs  ;D

I no longer have that Rio 125; I now have a custom built 180 litre. The company supplied T8 tubes with external controllers, and a few years ago I replaced those with LED tubes also with external controllers; I just clipped the LED tubes into the the clips that held the fluorescent tubes. This brand also came with detachable plastic end cap shaped like the ends of fluorescent tubes so that T8 fittings could hold the tubes in place. These LEDs would work on a Rio. The cables from the LEDs would just pass through the cut-outs at the back of the tank. This way you would just need to buy the tubes & controllers, the dead light bar would hold them in place.
The make I have is Superfish. There may well be other makes, but some of them are powered by the fluorescent ballast so you obviously couldn't use that kind.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 09:59:45 AM »
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I've replaced the tubes with LEDs in most of my tanks.

Offline Helen

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 11:09:31 AM »
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I've retrofitted my Fluval Roma 240 with LEDs. Like @Sue 's, the existing hood is used to hold the lights, but there's no electrical connection.

If you look at the Fluval LEDs, be careful which size you get. Because they're extendable, I managed to get ones that are a bit short. So I have dark patches at the ends of my tank. But the fish I've got don't seem to mind that, so I've stuck with them.

I've not found it too difficult to teach my small children about the fish tank. The main rule is that it is Mummy's. They help me feed the fish sometimes, but under no circumstances are they to touch the tank without me. They're pretty good. The problems tend to be when we have small visitors. But I've developed some tank protection habits. :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
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Offline Emmdee

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 12:20:27 PM »
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I'm intrigued, but confused...  are you saying that I could take the flourescent tubes out of the faulty Rio hood and fit (separately and externally powered) LED tubes of the same size in the existing hood fittings?  That sounds amazing!!

The only way I can see to fit the tubes would be into the existing sockets, but connection converters are available to hold them?  I can upload a photo of the inside of the hood, but I imagine most folks know what they look like.  Nowhere else for the tubes to go but into the existing tube sockets.  Then I'd unplug the current (scuse the pun) hood power lead, which I could easily just cut off and tape up, and plug the LEDs into my extension lead which is powering the heater and pump?

m.d.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2018, 01:06:24 PM »
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I saw this one time https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/dennerle-led-lighting/1439-dennerle-trocal-led-retro-fit-kit-t5-t8-4001615055481.html, having experienced the same problem as you with my (smaller) tank lid. In my own case, I ended up buying a replacement hood which was quite expensive. However, I'd be interested to know from others whether you need one of these kits or whether it can be done without one of these.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
X-ray Tetra (5) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Cardinal Tetra (3) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cherry Barb (3) - Blue Tetra (1) - Ember Tetra (1) - Golden Pencilfish (2) - Glowlight Tetra (1) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Galaxy Rasbora (1) - Lampeye Panchax (1) -
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Offline Sue

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2018, 03:39:58 PM »
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Since the ballast in your hood is broken, you can just cut off the cable and tape up. I also used to have a 50 litre tank that I changed the fluorescent tube for the same make LED, but with that the cover of the light ballast could be removed. So I removed it and carefully undid all the connectors, labelling them as I removed them, then pushed the cover back on. When I sold the tank, I reconnected the cable and put the fluorescent tube back.

I have just taken the LED for this 50 litre tank out of its box and photographed it. It is a lot smaller than the ones you'd need for your tank  :)
I took the end cap off one end so that you could see both the end of the tube and the end cap more clearly. As you can see, the end cap is a plastic sleeve that slots over the end of the tube and has metal pins which slot into the the fluorescent tube holder, or whatever it is officially called. It has a power cable coming from one end, and it plugs into the mains via a transformer.
I found that the two tubes on my 180litre tank caused problems with an analogue timer, the kind that have segments round the edge that you push down for the 'on' time, but they work fine with digital timers.


I was lucky because I found these lights in a not too local shop so I was able to see them, and in action on their tanks, before I bought them. When I got mine there were two types - bright white and colour plus. The colour plus turned everything orange so I bought all bright white. I think they do a third type now with mixed colours.
And I think they now also do a version with T5 end caps as well as T8.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
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Offline Emmdee

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 04:21:20 PM »
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I've been trying the two numbers for Fins n Things this afternoon, but no joy.  Maybe cos it's Sunday.  I'm also going to try to source locally.  As you say, Sue, better to be able to see if you can't talk it over with someone.

I like the sound of this possible solution!
m.d.

Offline Helen

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 05:33:09 PM »
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The ballast in my hood still works, so I've not done anything other than unplug it! The LED units I bought have clips that allow them to clip into the T8 tube holders in the hood.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Emmdee

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 06:35:12 PM »
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Is that a Juwel hood, Helen?  I spoke to someone today in a fish shop in Dalkeith who said Juwel make hoods that  only Juwel tubes can fit into, but I'd be amaxed if some wily company wasn't either making compatible tubes or adapters.

The interpet tubes I tried yesterday fitted like a glove, which makes me think I'm onto a winner with a standard fitting.

m.d.

Offline Helen

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 10:33:07 AM »
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My tank / good isn't a jewel one. But I had a quick look on their website at T8 tubes and the ends look the same as the T8 tubes I used to buy for my Fluval tank / hood. I think it is the ballast that tends to be different for florescent lights fittings. But if you go for an LED unit that has it's own power supply, it doesn't matter what ballast you have. (And I understand that is the whole point for your upgrade, as the ballast has failed).

The Fluval LEDs are quite expensive, but they should last for 10 years and the running costs are lower. I read several articles before switching to LEDs and the general consensus is that the lifetime cost of LEDs is similar or better (cheaper) than replacing fluorescents every year (which your supposed to do!).

The only thing I can think of for the jewel is that you might need to remove the reflectors to fit a flat LED unit. But as they seem to be a consumable items, I expect this shouldn't be too difficult.

This is the range I bought.
https://www.aquacadabra.com/fluval-eco-bright-freshwater-led-6w-15-24/

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
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Offline Sue

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 04:44:09 PM »
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The problem with Juwel Rios is the shape of the hood. Basically, the top trim has a lip inside and the light bar sits on this lip. The flaps hinge into the top edges of the light bar. and also sit on this lip. So a flat light bar that fits over the sides of the tank means the flaps can't be used, and the tank will become open topped.
The two flaps lift up from the outer edge and if both are lifted together they almost meet above the light bar.

Since a picture paints a thousand words, there are photos on here https://www.juwel-aquarium.co.uk/en/Products/Aquariums/Rio-Line-LED/Rio-180-LED/#sticky-navigationbar
As you scroll down the page, it shows the light bar. The photo shows how the tubes are attached to the bar and the projections on the top edge which sits in the lip of the trim. The photo shows the current LED tubes but the older version that Emmdee has with fluorescent tubes is designed the same. In this photo, you can just make out that the flaps that sit in front of and behind the light bar also sit on the lip of the trim.
Scroll further down the page to the photo of the heater, and it shows more clearly the lip in the rim which the light bar and flaps sit on.
The tank is designed so that the very top edge of the trim, the flaps and the light bar form a flat surface across the whole tank

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Helen

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 10:05:09 PM »
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From those pictures, it actually looks very similar to my Fluval Roma. I will try to take a photo.

A summary of the similarities as I see them:
The lip that the lights and flaps sit on.
The lighting tube holders.

Noticeable differences:
The width of the light unit Vs the position of the lights tubes.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Helen

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 11:03:35 PM »
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The black rods are the extending bit of my LEDs.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Emmdee

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Re: Fish Tank Lighting Problem
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2018, 06:30:54 PM »
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I find there are very few problems that can't be solved by spending money!  A new LED from Aquatix2U went in today.  Excellent!  Next it's plants and some more rock and wood.  Actual fish will have to wait til after payday :)
m.d.

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