What's wrong with my light?

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Aquarium Advice Freak
Nov 27, 2005
Frederick MD
I have a 48" double tube NO fluorescent fixture atop my tank. The bulbs are 18,000 K Aqua-glo aquarium lamps (T-10). I have bought them only a couple of weeks ago, because the other bulbs were doing this same thing. Both sets of bulbs are flickering, and not putting out the full output. Every once in a while they kick on full force, but normally they flicker. This flicker is very rapid and to most people that look at my tank don't even notice it. Heck, I thought it was normal until I saw them click on to full power.

I do not belive it is the bulbs anymore, but would like to see if anyone knows if it is the starter, the ballast, or should I just replace the entire fixture? (The fixture is at least four years old, but not sure)

Try changing the starter first. If it is not the starter then it is the ballast and you may be better off just replacing the whole fixture.
I had this happen before. Just change the selinoid fuse. If it still does it after that, then there is a problem with the unit. Just be sure to get the proper size. I've seen various sizes at Pet Supplies Plus just a few weeks ago. Good luck.
Wow! You have a 48" lamp that has a starter? I haven't seen one of those in 15 years. Most manufactures equip lights of that size with a Rapid Start Ballast. I would check my lamp holders for corrosion before I did anything else.

If it comes down to the ballast, you can buy a complete fixture at a big box store for less then half the price of the ballast. Just strip out the parts you need and recycle the rest. Also check to see if the tubes you are using don't require a higher output ballast.

Back to you>
Shows you the last time I actually opened up a fixture! lol

If it does not have a starter, I guess I'll just buy a new unit.

The contacts are not corroded.
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