Aquarium Light Replacement: Aquael Classic 50

21 February 2015

I’ve didn’t know I missed having a light in the fishtank. I bought a new batch of live plants and completely forgot the fixture was broken. Having gone through 3 replacement lids which all developed lighting faults I’ve had enough of Aquael units and went out in search of something else that would fit.

Arcadia’s Ultraseal ACU15 takes the same T8 bulbs I already had, so it seemed like a good bet. It turned up on Thursday and it’s almost perfect; the brackets sit at *exactly* the right width to screw into the side of the tank lid.

Arcadia bracket that doesn't fit

But there’s a problem. The old light fittings get in the way of the new bracket. Wedged between them the new bracket sits a few cm lower than the old light, meaning the water level would need to be dropped which is something I’m not too keen on doing.

At this point you’re left with 2 options:

* Saw the old screw fittings off. Drill through the side of the tank to fit the new bracket (meaning the screws would be visible from the outside)

* Make a new bracket using the existing screw holes.

Arcadia light balanced in Aquael Classic lid fitting

All it really needs is something to bridge the 5cm gap, curved in a U shape to allow the light enough clearance from the lid. I turned the local high street upside down looking for something suitable in the DIY section with no luck. Best I could do was this:

Plant labels aka useful bits of plastic

Bendy bits of plastic ftw! Conveniently the existing holes were the perfect size for the 4mm screws. A bit of persuasion with a stanley knife and a dodgy screwdriver later (note to self: get a Dremel) I ended up with something that remotely resembled what I was after.

Close up of improvised fitting for Arcadia Light

I added an extra sideways piece to keep the cables out of the way. Without it, the bulb rotated so the cables were pointing straight down, and I didn’t fancy having them in the water. Passed a quick safety test to ensure it didn’t get hot (the bulb is the only part that gets warm).

Completed aquarium light replacement

Success!

Tank with new light

The bulb has a slight pink-shift that my camera can’t handle, but you get the idea.

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