Lighting Help

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Offline Walkerjj71

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Lighting help
« on: March 07, 2018, 08:08:37 AM »
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Hi Everyone

I'm wondering if someone can help me with a query in relation to my lighting unit.

I have an old Fluval Roma 125 with 2x20w T8 tubes. For the last week or so the tubes are taking ages to come on flickering and then finally coming on. Sometimes they dont come on at all until i take out the one of the starters and put it back in again (whilst switched on).

I have replaced the starters and it still does the same thing so i'm thinking it must be the ballast

I'm looking to replace the ballast with an electronic one that supposedly will run the tubes more effeicently and remove the need for starters

However i cant seem to find any that run 20w tubes. I found a company online called BLT Direct who advised me this one will work with 20w tubes

https://www.bltdirect.com/tridonic-t8-pro-high-frequency-ballast-2-x-18w

but i cant see anywhere where it says it will work with 2x20w tubes its  2x18w and i dont want to buy 18's as i have only just bought the 20's

Please can anyone offer any advise

Thanks

Offline fcmf

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 01:12:48 PM »
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Welcome  :wave:

Hopefully someone will be able to advise on this.

However, if not, you may find some useful, alternative options in this thread: https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fish-tanks-and-equipment/fish-tank-lighting-problem/msg38299/#msg38299

@Emmdee - you might want to keep an eye on this thread, given the similar issue.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 01:55:50 PM »
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My elder son is an electrician so I'll email him a copy of the problems and see what he says.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 04:53:27 PM »
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My son has just phoned.

He would replace the old ballast with a new mechanical (magnetic) ballast, the kind with the starter, rather than an electronic ballast. Any new ballast will connect to wires running from the ballast to the lamp holders, and these wires will be old and designed to work with mechanical ballasts. Electronic ballasts use different frequencies and voltages from mechanical ballasts and he would not trust older wiring designed for mechanical ballasts to be able to cope with a brand new electronic ballast.
You could of course replace the lamp holders as well, but my son said that personally this is something he would not do. The lamp holders in a fish tank are exposed to water and new lamp holders would have to be sealed in very thoroughly.

There are a couple of other, expensive options.
Replace the entire light bar of the hood.
Buy retrofit LED tubes of the kind that have plastic ends designed to fit into the existing fluorescent lampholders, but use their own separate power supply. (I have this type)

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 06:44:58 PM »
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Hi there and welcome to the forum.  :wave:

Please keep us updated on what you decide to do with your lighting.

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 08:46:11 PM »
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Have you tried new tubes?

Offline Walkerjj71

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 01:46:33 PM »
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My son has just phoned.

He would replace the old ballast with a new mechanical (magnetic) ballast, the kind with the starter, rather than an electronic ballast. Any new ballast will connect to wires running from the ballast to the lamp holders, and these wires will be old and designed to work with mechanical ballasts. Electronic ballasts use different frequencies and voltages from mechanical ballasts and he would not trust older wiring designed for mechanical ballasts to be able to cope with a brand new electronic ballast.
You could of course replace the lamp holders as well, but my son said that personally this is something he would not do. The lamp holders in a fish tank are exposed to water and new lamp holders would have to be sealed in very thoroughly.

There are a couple of other, expensive options.
Replace the entire light bar of the hood.
Buy retrofit LED tubes of the kind that have plastic ends designed to fit into the existing fluorescent lampholders, but use their own separate power supply. (I have this type)

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Sue - i think i will probably just replace the ballast with a magnetic one but i'm struggling to find one and i could do with some advise on which to get.
I have looked at retro fitting led and have looked at the fluval aquasky that will apparently fit into my existing t8 holders but i'm not sure how good they are for plants as my tank is quite heavily planted, plus they are very exspensive. Which one do you have, will led be better than T8's. Any advise will be gratefully received as i'm new to this wonderful hobby. I got the tank secondhand and its the older roma 125 as the newer model has led.

Hampalong. i have got brand new tubes

Offline Sue

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 04:13:10 PM »
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I have Superfish Retrofit LEDs, the bright white colour option. My plants are mainly slow growing, low light plants like java fern, anubias, bolbitis and it's fine for them. I also have water sprite on the surface which cuts down the light to the lower down plants and they do well even with the reduced light.

A company called Helvar make magnetic ballasts for T8 tubes, both single and double, for various sized tubes.

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Offline Helen

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Re: Lighting help
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 08:05:43 PM »
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I've retrofitted my 240l Fluval Roma with LEDs. I went for the Fluval Eco bright LEDs which are a little cheaper than the Aquasky ones. I also have a heavily planted tank, albeit slow growing plants, but have had no problems from the lights. If anything, I think some of the plants are healthier and less leggy with the LEDs than they were with the fluorescents. Though that could be down to me not replacing the T8s as frequently as I should have, or because I'm not really fertilising my tank much at the moment, so light is not the growth inhibiting factor.

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