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Help! Replacement Juwel High-Light T5 100cm Unit


19 Jun 2012
Fareham, UK
I am now 29 months into my first foray into tropical fishkeeping and still at it. Still watching and still learning and grappling with the planted tank and what is happening.

This weekend I did my usual weekly water change and switched everything back on. Come 2pm my shrimp tank lights came on, but my main fish tank did not.

Once I clocked it and realised something was amiss I checked the switch on the electricity cable from the light unit. Odd, it was switched to on. I checked the timer socket. That was on. I took the light unit (a Juwel high-light T5 100cm for Rio 180) off the tank and tested it in the kitchen. Still nothing.

I checked the fuse, fine.

What was happening is that when I flicked the switch, both ends of the 2 bulbs you would see a flicker 2 times and then nothing.

I called the LFS who suggested I come on down and check the bulbs (Replacement bulbs were purchased 6 months ago) as if one has gone it will stop both bulbs going whether both have blown or not.

Checked both bulbs with replacement ones..... still no joy.

I am now looking at £130 replacement light unit.

My questions are:-
  1. Are their better alternatives to the Juwel High light unit that is compatible with the Juwel Rio 180 tank?
  2. Not that I can see anyway in, but is there a way of opening up this light unit to check things. Not that I am an electrician?
  3. Looking at prices. Ebay seems to be my friend as the units look like they cost £95-£100 approx. A saving of £30. Just what I need before christmas.
Any help much appreciated.
Unfortunately, if you have checked the tubes it is a replacement unit, unless Juwel will replace under warranty ? Try it. My first T8 unit lasted about 7 years before dying in a "bang".

When my T8 unit initially stopped working after maybe 5 years, I cut it open and found it had water in it, coming in via the tube holder/sockets.Putting it airing cupboard for a while, made it work again. So I siliconed round the tube holders and hot glued back the bits I cut open (cut open from top so not attempting to seal wet areas), I got another 2 years from it before it went bang catastrophically. This time water got in via my hot gluing areas, I think it is impossible to reseal the Juwel unit 100% after opening.

I did look into cutting open again, replacing the ballast (£30 Ebay), changing to T5 tube holders (Ebay again) as my siliconed tube holders were leaking again, but would have to completely remove the top to access to all the internal wiring, rather than existing "hole" I had made and was worried about resealing it 100%. The silicone doesn't really bond to the Juwel plastic. At same time I got given an exact failed T8 unit from a friend who got it from a friend etc, but again someone had tried to repair this unit, this time getting access from underside and unit had failed due to water getting in via their very poor repair. This unit went in the bin, along with my repaired unit and local fish shop got a £100 purchase of replacement unit.

So my recommendation, after trying Juwel warranty, is buy a new one, especially if not happy with electrics. With buying a new one, you open the £100 box, probably has tubes already fitted, plonk it on your tank, turn it on, taking all of 10 minutes. As for repairing/rewiring well it can be done, but will take a lot longer than 10minutes....