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Lights for fluval Roma 200

Russjw

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Hi,

I think my lighting units starting to fail on my fluval roma 200. Grrrrrrrr!

I have the original light unit with the T8 fluorescent tubes. When they turned on tonight only one of the tubes come on. I changed the blubs over to see if it was the blub gone or the connections. Both blubs did come back on then but the blub on the side which didnt work firstly was now on faintly with a slight flicker.

The connections have always seemed flimsy and it seems this is quiet common on the roma's

Just wondered if anyone has ever managed to get these repaired or what they did to solve the problem. Replacement Units seem to be pricey!
 

essjay

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It is possibly the ballast which is failing.


There is a topic on here about repairing the ballast on Juwel tanks https://www.fishforums.net/threads/fixing-juwel-light-bar.265546/ which might also apply to Fluval tanks. Unfortunately the photos in that thread no longer exist but the description is there.
There may also be videos on YouTube.


The other alternative is to replace them with LED tubes. There are a couple of makes described as retrofit, which means the tubes have plastic end caps which enable them to slot in the the fluorescent lamp holders. They have their own power supply so they don't use the ballast, the lamp holders just hold them in place - you can cut off the original lighting cable.
The two I know of are made by Superfish and Aquael, and both come in different colour types (ie with different spectra)
 
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Russjw

Russjw

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It is possibly the ballast which is failing.


There is a topic on here about repairing the ballast on Juwel tanks https://www.fishforums.net/threads/fixing-juwel-light-bar.265546/ which might also apply to Fluval tanks. Unfortunately the photos in that thread no longer exist but the description is there.
There may also be videos on YouTube.


The other alternative is to replace them with LED tubes. There are a couple of makes described as retrofit, which means the tubes have plastic end caps which enable them to slot in the the fluorescent lamp holders. They have their own power supply so they don't use the ballast, the lamp holders just hold them in place - you can cut off the original lighting cable.
The two I know of are made by Superfish and Aquael, and both come in different colour types (ie with different spectra)
Thats very helpful essjay, thank you very much :)

I think it may be the ballast. Had a quick look last night and some of the replacements are really pricey. Superfish seem more reasonable tho.

Just hoping my plants dont suffer too much with just the one blub in the meantime till i can sort it
 

essjay

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Before buying anything, check the spectrum of the light. Plants need both red and blue light and a lot of LEDs have only blue and white.

This shows the spectra and K rating for the Aquael tubes https://www.aquael.pl/en/produkty/aquaristics/aq-lighting/leddy-tube-retrofit/
Sunny is 6500 K with a peak in blue and a hump from green to orange; Plant is 8000 K with peaks in red and blue with a hump from green to orange.

Superfish don't give the actual spectrum, just the K rating https://aquadistri.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/WEB_Retro_LED_A5_fld_UK.pdf
Bright is 8730 K; Color is 5990 K; Combi is 7680 K; Multi doesn't say.

Someone like Byron may be able to suggest which is the best tube for plant growth.
 
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Russjw

Russjw

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Before buying anything, check the spectrum of the light. Plants need both red and blue light and a lot of LEDs have only blue and white.

This shows the spectra and K rating for the Aquael tubes https://www.aquael.pl/en/produkty/aquaristics/aq-lighting/leddy-tube-retrofit/
Sunny is 6500 K with a peak in blue and a hump from green to orange; Plant is 8000 K with peaks in red and blue with a hump from green to orange.

Superfish don't give the actual spectrum, just the K rating https://aquadistri.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/WEB_Retro_LED_A5_fld_UK.pdf
Bright is 8730 K; Color is 5990 K; Combi is 7680 K; Multi doesn't say.

Someone like Byron may be able to suggest which is the best tube for plant growth.
Your a star essjay thank you. I might just bend Mr Byron's ears :) i know absolutely nothing about lights
 

essjay

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Don't forget, if you do go for this type they don't use the mains cable in the hood. They just use the light fittings for support and have their own electric supply. You can either leave the original light cable just dangling unplugged or remove it.
 
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Russjw

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Don't forget, if you do go for this type they don't use the mains cable in the hood. They just use the light fittings for support and have their own electric supply. You can either leave the original light cable just dangling unplugged or remove it.
These will be ideal for me essjay. I wont have to worry about my lids not fitting anymore. They will just slot in the T8 fluorescent lamp holders like you say.

I know the ones i have now are T8 30w (36" 900mm) just need to know what the best replacement is.

@Byron could you shed some light (no pun intended lol) on the best kind of blub rating is best for fish and plants please :thanks:
 

essjay

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If Byron says one of them is OK, you'd need the size that fits into the lamp holders.
The Aquael has slide on plastic ends which make the tubes fit a range of equivalent T8s. The one to go for would be 16w, 820 - 950 mm size. The plastic end bits have both T8 and T5 in the pack.
The Superfish would be the 90 cm size, the watts varies with type.



I used to have a 54 litre tank and I replaced the T8 light in that with a Superfish LED. I no longer have this tank, but the tube fit perfectly into the lamp holders. The one I had only came with T8 plastic end caps, they now say they are also available in T5 as well. I don't know if both sizes are in the same pack or if you have to make sure you buy whichever one you need.
 

Byron

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Before buying anything, check the spectrum of the light. Plants need both red and blue light and a lot of LEDs have only blue and white.

This shows the spectra and K rating for the Aquael tubes https://www.aquael.pl/en/produkty/aquaristics/aq-lighting/leddy-tube-retrofit/
Sunny is 6500 K with a peak in blue and a hump from green to orange; Plant is 8000 K with peaks in red and blue with a hump from green to orange.

Superfish don't give the actual spectrum, just the K rating https://aquadistri.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/WEB_Retro_LED_A5_fld_UK.pdf
Bright is 8730 K; Color is 5990 K; Combi is 7680 K; Multi doesn't say.

Someone like Byron may be able to suggest which is the best tube for plant growth.
I'll comment on these here to keep my comments in one place.

Aquael: Sunny at 6500K should be the best of the four. The "Plant" might be OK, I would want to see it "live" but with a Kelvin of 8000K it should be a bit blue (cool) and this is in my view not a particularly nice light as it distorts colours. This high a K usually means little red and that is a real concern as red is the more crucial colour for photosynthesis. The 6500K is closest to mid day sun and provides a natural colour rendition. At least, it should; different manufacturers can do different things to tubes/bulbs and without seeing them it is impossible to say. The other two, most definitely not. Actinic is way too blue, geared for marine tanks, and over freshwater will increase problem algae as the plants cannot use all this light with little red and reed is the most important of red and blue for photosynthesis.

Superfish: This is a bit trickier to assess. From the Kelvin alone, the LED Colour at 5990K should be good, but I canot tell from the text if green is included. The "Bright White for Plant Growth" has a high Kelvin (meaning more cool blue, much less red) of 8730K. The LED Combi at 7680K might be OK. Myself, I would either want to see these over a fish tank, or I would want to have assurance from the store that I could return them.

I mentioned green light along with red and blue. Scientific controlled studies have shown that all else being equal, plants respond best to light that is high in the red, green and blue colour wavelengths. Red and blue drive photosynthesis, but the green is essential because plants reflect green light which is why we see the leaves as green. Without this green in the light, the plants will not look "natural," but it goes beyond that. Diana Walstad surmises that the 6000K range in Kelvin most closely approximates mid-day sun and as plants have evolved under this light they naturally would respond best to it. She also suggests that the additional green adds to the brightness of the light generally, and this too would encourage plant growth. A Kelvin in the 5000K to 7000K range should provide good light, but again, different manufacturing of the phosphors in tubes can make this tricky to pin down.
 
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Russjw

Russjw

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Thank you very much byron, you and @essjay have been very helpful :)

Think with all the info youve both kindly provided i will order 2 Aquael Sunny 6500K

Its a shame because i like the T8 fluorescent blubs but this seems to be a big problem with the ballasts going on the Roma's.
 

Byron

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Thank you very much byron, you and @essjay have been very helpful :)

Think with all the info youve both kindly provided i will order 2 Aquael Sunny 6500K

Its a shame because i like the T8 fluorescent blubs but this seems to be a big problem with the ballasts going on the Roma's.
There may be another option. I have T8 fluorescent fixtures on my tanks, and the ballasts do go at some point. A couple years back mine started. I could not find T8 fixtures anywhere, as the industry went to T5 (good for marine, but not freshwater as they are too bright, I tried one) and then to LED. My foray into LED was disastrous, with five fixtures going back. I went to Home Depot and bought a shop light of the length to fit the housing, and pulled out everything and put the shop light in. I had asked about ballasts, but I am no electrician and one of them wanted double what the fixture cost to replace the ballast. The shop light fixtures work fine.
 
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Russjw

Russjw

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There may be another option. I have T8 fluorescent fixtures on my tanks, and the ballasts do go at some point. A couple years back mine started. I could not find T8 fixtures anywhere, as the industry went to T5 (good for marine, but not freshwater as they are too bright, I tried one) and then to LED. My foray into LED was disastrous, with five fixtures going back. I went to Home Depot and bought a shop light of the length to fit the housing, and pulled out everything and put the shop light in. I had asked about ballasts, but I am no electrician and one of them wanted double what the fixture cost to replace the ballast. The shop light fixtures work fine.
Thanks Byron,

That is good option indeed. my wife works with electricians so i might get her to pull some strings and ask if they can work their magic on my lights :wizard:
 
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Russjw

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My ballasts finally arrived in store today so ive picked them up and fitted them tonight.

Good news is that my lights now work again :kana:
However im not sure the ballasts was the problem. I have also replaced the starters and when i first turned the light unit on only 1 blub came on still but when i riggled 1 of the starters both blubs come on. At closer inspection the starter plugs have a small crack in them which may of caused a loose connection :rolleyes:

Either way they now work, the ballasts will last longer than before and i get to keep the T8's and save some money not buying replacements :):):#
 

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