Lowering Juwel Lighting Levels

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Tom, 23 Apr 2013.

  1. Tom

    Tom Member

    For the last 3 years I've been maintaining a low tech, heavily planted Rio 180 for a local school, and the time has come for a redesign. Over this period I've been convinced they should never have switched to T5 from T8 lighting! The two bulbs just seem to much in a low tech system, and (although it pays me) the maintenance is a bit to high for the school to manage.

    Question is, then, what would be the best way to lower the lighting in this tank? I've been wondering about hanging a reflector under the rear bulb, but will this lead to overheating? I can't fiddle the electrics because it has to be tested for the school etc. I also don't have any real budget to work from!

  2. clonitza

    clonitza Member

    13 Jul 2011
    Brasov / Romania
    The reflector works for me, be sure to have metal clips, the plastic ones break in time and it could fall. I don't have clips and I just bent it, no issues during the summer.

    Tom likes this.
  3. Claire

    Claire Member

    18 Apr 2013
    Anniesland, Glasgow City, United Kingdom
    The plastic clips have broke on all of my reflectors and I've just used string to tie them on :D lol
  4. Darwin88

    Darwin88 Guest


    Bought my dad a Rio 180 about 18 months ago and he was having severe algae problems for the first 12 months. He was doing a fantastic job of growing every algae imaginable until I changed the lights.

    Now I know you said the electrics can't be fiddled for safety reasons, but if it helps we changed his to T8 quite simply without doing any bodging.

    I cut off the plastic light tube connectors, cut the mains wire off and removed the ballast inside so only the main plastic housing remained. We bought an Arcadia single T8 controller which comes with two plastic clips which hold the light tube. These clips were screwed into the plastic housing somewhere near the original light housing points that we cut off. The tube is held completely by these clips and the connections just fix to each end of the tube. The two wires run out of the tank through the pre-cut holes in the lid.

    It doesn't do anything the original lighting wasn't already doing in terms of electrics and illuminates the tank almost identically.

    It's been about 6 months now and we have good plant growth without any algae problems. In fact, I was a little shocked at how spotless his tank was when I went round to see him the other day...he's not the most diligent when it comes to water changes so it's certainly not down to him looking after his tank more!

    The Arcadia light unit is much safer than the original light connections too in my opinion, the seals between connector and tube are almost completely water tight so there's less danger of anything nasty happening. The unit is safety rated too so if you have trouble with the reflector idea know that it's possible to have a safelow tech juwel aquarium without too much fuss!

    Good luck :)
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    11 Jul 2007
    Chicago, USA
    Darkened acrylic is a great neutral density filter.

  6. Ady34

    Ady34 Global Moderator Staff Member

    27 Jul 2011
    Co. Durham
    Floating plants too ;) great in low techs to diffuse intense lighting and as a duckweed index to see if additional fertilisers are needed.
  7. Troglodyte

    Troglodyte Member

    17 Apr 2013
    I have to agree with Ceg and Ady the easiest way would be to add a cover glass/acrylic that reduces the amount of light to the tank. Some cover glasses can reduce light by as much as 20-30%. If it needs to be more than this then the upturned reflector would be one of the potential required options to go with.
  8. stu_

    stu_ Member

    9 Nov 2011
    Sadly i don't see how you can fit a cover under a standard Juwel lighting unit, especially if the internal filter is still in there? :sorry:

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