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Light & Heat


Limeyron

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A few weeks ago I bought a 24" fluorescent light for my plastic tank and it's giving off quite a lot of heat. The weather here is absolutely bloody freezing, yet the tank seems to think it's the middle of summer. It's currently sitting at 29C/84F, which is about 4C more than usual. My problem is, the water that I use for my weekly water changes is about 25C.

I prepare the water every Friday and let it sit for 24 hours before I use it, and even with it next to the radiator I can't raise the temperature, so I need to do something about the light in the tank.

Is there anything I can do to reduce the light, like covering the tube with a waterproof tinted film or something? If I can find a way to reduce the amount of light given out, I can reduce the temperature by a couple of degrees...

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Do you know of anywhere you could get some slightly tinted glass? If so, you could get it cut so that it fits between the tank cover and the light and blocks some of the light/heat. (like sunglasses, exept less dark)

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Thanks, that's a great idea, but I'd prefer to go with the tinted film or something safer because knowing my bad luck I'll end up breaking the glass into the tank, and my fish will try to eat everything...

What about if I could get some sort of coating that I could paint onto the outer casing for the light tube...do you think that would work? Obviously it would have to be heat and water resistant..

You wouldn't believe the amount of heat that this light gives out. It's evaporating the water enough for me to notice on a daily basis. I've had to prop the lid open with a ruler just to let some of the heat out otherwise the poor little git will end up deep fried

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I think that there must be some sort of paint that is heat resistant... if it does not let any/enough light through, you could just put stripes or dots of paint on the light (instead of coating it) to only block some parts. I know nothing about paint though, so I cannot help with that. Otherwise, I maybe would just buy a different light. (smaller or lower watts)

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Yeah, there must be something I could coat the light with, and I guess it's just a case of finding it.

I think I've overdone it with the light. It barely fits in the tank and I've had to strap it to the lid diagonally. I always go over the top when it comes to my fish, no matter if it's lighting or filtration, I always get more than I need. I bought a Fluval 3+ filter for this tank and it was WAY too big so it's just sitting in a drawer until I uprgade.

I think I'll just have to get a smaller, less powerful light but that's gonna take a while as I'm flat broke until I can get another job in the new year. I need a cheap, quick fix for now though

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That was my original plan but when the light arrived with suction cups, I decided just to stick it to the underside of the lid. I'll see what I've got in the shed tomorrow and then design myself a little something to suspend the light above the tank :idea: Any excuse to break out the tools...

Thanks for the help guys. I love building stuff :D

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Limeyron - Fluorescent light (the "normal" ballasted type, I assume) doesn't usually give off excessive heat. I don't know what the top of your tank looks like exactly, but here is a couple of suggestions:

- Use a glass tank cover and put the light ON TOP OF the glass

- If necessary, put a shim between the glass and the light to give some additional ventilation (will remove heat)

- put the light on a timer and keep it off when you are not home

Did you say that you put the light UNDER your cover with suction cups? Does that mean that the light is suspended over the water with a cover over it? If so, that's the problem. In that case you are accumulating heat in the headspace above the tank and heating the water. Avoid that.

Hope this helps.

Dennis

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Thanks for the input. I've decided what I'm gonna do now. I'm just about to make something to hold the light above the tank. Here's a picture of the top half of my desk from before I put the tank in:

There's a massive space in the middle and this is where I put the second tank. I'm gonna make a little frame to suspend the light above the tank, and attach it to the underside of the top part of the desk:

Setup

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I've built a little frame to suspend the light above the tank. It doesn't look too great but it's only a temporary thing until I can sort it out properly in the new year. I'll get pics up as soon as I can get hold of my sisters camera software to install on my computer.

It might only be a temporary fix but it's done the job. The tank's back to normal temperature..

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It's currently sitting at 29C/84F, which is about 4C more than usual. My problem is, the water that I use for my weekly water changes is about 25C.

Adding the cooler water to your tank won't hurt your fish.

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It is important to avoid shocking the fish with a sudden temp. change. I would not reccomend adding cooler water because it is only a temporary fix and it would need to be repeated. Over time, this could cause big problems.

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The temp. change would be too small to shock the fish. A 4C temp. difference is nothing. The fish would barely notice it.

I have shocked fish during water changes (water changes being 75%). Before we got new water pipes and changed the facet the temp. would fluxuate. I would check the temp. before letting the water run through my python and into the tank. The temp. would be fine when I checked it but then it would get colder. The temp. of the tank water would have to drop 15 to 20F before shocking the fish. Each time the fish would recover after adding some warm water.

When I add water to my aquariums with a pail the water temp. is almost always much more the 4C colder and it doesn't harm the fish.

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