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Common Aquarium Lighting F.A.Q’s

Common Aquarium Lighting F.A.Q’s

iQuatics Help and Advice

Common Aquarium Lighting F.A.Q’s

Why can you not touch the bulbs with your fingers?
When you touch the glass your hands leave an oily residue. When the bulb heats up this residue can attract the heat from the bulb thus focusing the heat on this spot. Over a short time the temperature can built up and put lots of pressure and strain causing the glass to warm and even crack/smash. In turn this shortens the bulbs life span.

Why does my halide not ignite straight away after I turn it off?
Once you turn the halide off the ballast needs time too cool down to the same temperature as the bulb otherwise the bulb would just explode. In this case it can take up to 15 minutes or so for the ballast to cool down and reignite the bulb. This all depends on how much air movement and space there is around the aquarium.

Why does my metal halide bulb flicker and turn off?
New halides can take up to 100 hours to break in. During this time you may find a slight flicker. Other than this please make sure your halide is fully inserted into the light unit.

150w – springs in contact with the Rx7 ends.
250w – ceramic ends full clipped in place.
400w – End screwed in tight enough (not too tight)

How many hours each day should I run my metal halide?
This all depends on if you are running high output fluorescents alongside the halides. If you are running just halides then it is advisable that you have them running for approximately 12 hours a day. However if you have fluorescents in use too you can run the halides for 8-10 hours and leave the fluorescent on for an extra couple of hours.

Do metal halides need a UV block?
All brands are different. Our halides come with a UV block glass but you find that most aquarium lighting units come with tempered glass to filter the UV rays.

Do you have any tips & warnings when using halides for your aquarium? 

  • We offer many different wattages and colour ratings to fit any preference.
  • Produce a beautiful shimmering effect in the water not easily achieved by other lighting options.
  • Halides will increase the water temperatures in your aquarium and sometimes will require a chiller.
  • Bulbs become extremely hot and care must be taken not to burn anything.
  • Do not look directly into bulbs as it can cause severe eye damage.
  • DE bulbs must be covered in a fixture with a glass protective cover

How many metal halides do I need for my aquarium?
The general rule of thumb for even light distribution is 1 bulb for every two feet of tank lengthwise. The wattage of the bulb is determined by the depth of your tank.

Can I use a T5 tube in my current T8 pendant?
This is a common mistake for people who want to upgrade their lighting from T8 to high output T5 are however, sad to say it isn’t possible. The lighting unit would need to be upgraded to a T5 pendant.

What is the difference between T12 and T8 bulbs?
The T in the name represents one 8th of an inch. In this case a T5 is 5/8 of an inch in diameter and the T8 is 8/8th of an inch thick, so 1 inch diameter.

What does the Kelvin rating mean?
Colour temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin. This is a simplified explanation:

  • The opposite of what you would expect to see –
    The colder (bluer) a light looks the higher the colour temperature.
    As the colour temperature Increases, the light get “colder” and vice versa.
  • The warmer (yellower) a light looks the lower the colour temperature.

Can I use my halide pendant in a confined space?
If your lighting unit is in confined space and the heat is unable to escape therefore the thermal cut off device will kick in and your halides will turn off. This is a safety mechanism which prevents the bulbs and your inner components (ballasts) from overheating.

If you light unit it a DIY made unit, this may affect the safety mechanism and result in your halides blowing.

For this reason your halide lighting system needs to be placed in a well vented position in your desired room with plenty of cool air movement.

If you have any information you would like to share with other members of the aquarist community please complete the form below and we will post it onto our FAQ page.

Any questions or answers are either taken from third party source or have been written by our own team and iQuatics LTD take no responsibly for a miss printed or misinterpreted data.

iQuatics Help and Advice

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