Budget tube for Juwel Rio 400?


New Member
27 May 2008
My (original)tube has just failed after just under 12 months, but as I expect I may be made redundant shortly I want to avoid purchasing a premium Jewel replacement tube. I remember reading of someone using budget tubes successfully. Does any body know any source of budget tubes and may they be standard from an electricians store? Post code SK23

My instructions (PDF) say only a ref No 47350 (UK), but no length or wattage. The tank is 400 litres and is 5 ft long

Any help appreciated.


Expert/Global Moderator
Staff member
11 Jul 2007
Chicago, USA
Hi andrew,
A shame about losing your job mate. According to the Juwel website, the Rio 400 uses: "...The High-Lite light unit which is 150 cm long and can be equipped with 2 T5 Tubes 1200 mm / 54 Watt..."

If you check Lampspecs=> http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs- ... att-1149mm you'll see 1149mm tubes starting at £3. The only problem is that you also have to pay shipping and insurance so for only a single bulb it may not be worth it unless the Juwel bulbs are completely over the top. Now Juwel says their bulb is 1200 mm but I'm assuming they have rounded off the measurement and that it's really 1149 mm like the others.

In general though if you find any T5 tube of that length and wattage it will work. Fluorescent tubes for aquariums are among the most overpriced commodities around so if you can find it locally then get it.

Good luck with the job mate! :D


Steve Smith

19 Jul 2007
Leamington Spa, UK.
If it's one of the new Juwel T5 tubes, Arcadia are doing a range to fit Juwels own lengths. I think they are calling them "J5" tubes. Why do Juwel feel it necessary to do this? I wonder if it's partially to do with existing aquarium ranges being a certain length and not wanting to change or something? Or just being awkward perhaps.


28 Mar 2008
Guildford, Surrey, UK
It would be interesting to do the maths and see how many bulb changes it would take to make back the cost of replacing the fittings with standard length ones...

You can get a dual watertight 54W T5 ballast for £36-£60 depending on brand (prices from thelivingseas.com) and bulb prices would be dependant on whether you want to get generic lights at about £3 or something aquaria/plant specific <£20

A quick google found the replacement juwel bulbs on aquatics online for £25 a pop.

So if you were to do it on the cheap with an interpet ballast and generic lamps it would be cheaper to replace the whole light fitting than to replace just the bulbs.

If you want the arcadia ballast and generic lamps then you'd have saved money the next time a lamp dies.

if you go for the cheaper ballast and the specific aquaria lamps then you could find it cheaper after changing about 7 lamps (less if you get the cheaper aquaria specific lamps).

if you want the arcadia ballast and specific aquaria lamps then you wont really see any financial gain over the next few years.

I seem to remember reading various threads that state the the lamps you choose should be picked mainly on whether you like the colour rendition they give since it's all the same to the plants. Can someone either agree or dispute that for me as I can't remember where I read it. :oops:

These are just the results of a 10min speculation, you can probably find everything cheaper if you scout around a bit.


30 Apr 2008
West Midlands UK
The Hagen Glo T5 HO ballasts are more reasonably priced than the Arcadia ones, and I am using Osram tubes in mine. I am however preparing to switch to using an overtank lighting system (I got around the open top problem) as my Juwel T8 unit has seen better days (as in one of the lamp holders keeps falling off).

My personal preference is to combine 6500k daylight tubes (I like the Osram T5 HO Lumilux 865s as they are cheap and do the job) with at least one 'plant' type tube, such as the Sylvania Grolux tubes. I find that by doing this I reduce the yellowish tinge you get with 6500k lamps quite a bit.

Juwel High Lite units are a royal pain imho! Using proprietry wattages and sizes is, imo, a really bad practice, and I have refused to upgrade to one of these units on the principle of the thing. Even the Arcadia J5 Plant Pro tubes are still about £17 each (Charterhouse sell them by the way), which is a fair bit more than you would pay for a normal T5 tube from somewhere like lamp specs or the lightbulb shop. But then, I wouldn't buy another Juwel aquarium either.