Lighting Glitch!

maffa_82

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i have recently started to have a problem with my light in my aquarium. the problem started about 3 weeks ago when one morning when i flicked the switch on the light, it didnt come on. at first i though the tube had gone but after i flicked the switch a few times the light came on but recently the problem has gotten worse. it seems like everyday i have to take the hood off an mess around to get the light to come on. the weird part is that the light works when i take the hood off and put it on my bed to have a look at it but when i put it back on the tank nothing comes on!?! i have the light pluged into a dimmer so i can adjust how much light is given out, could the dimmer be causing the problem or is it a case of replacing the tube or anything else?
 

SkiFletch

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Yikes, using a common dimmer on a flourescent fixture is not the best idea for longevity of the fixture... Bulbs and the ballasts that drive them are designed to run off a specific voltage/current profile and using a dimmer changes that voltage/current. Likely either your bulb, ballast, or both has been damaged over time by the use of a dimmer. You CAN buy dimmable ballasts, but those are expensive and really only commonly available in 4foot T5 ballasts. The only other way to effectively dim a flourescent (and not damage it) is to use an A/C voltage controller that varies the frequence of the A/C supply AFTER startup.

All that being said, were it my tank, I'd replace both the bulb and the ballast and stop using the dimmer switch. :unsure:
 
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maffa_82

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i had a feeling that the dimmer would have an effect on the tube but stubernly used one anyway, oooops! ive taken the dimmer out and have also installed a reflector on the tube and the tank seems alot brighter. the only reason i wanted to use the dimmer was so i could have the light on low during the morning then turn it up in the day then lower again in the evening to simulate how the light would be in the real world.

how long should the light be on for during the day?
 

SkiFletch

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8-10 hours seems common for most. Regulate it with a timer ;)
 
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maffa_82

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cheers for your help. will be getting a timer asap.
 
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