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thekoimaiden 01-23-2012 01:27 PM

Buzzing Associated with Light Fixture
Oh god. This is driving me nuts.

I just put a new 6500k Zoo Med Ultra Sun bulb into my 10 gal hood light fixture yesterday. I have no clue how old the light fixture is, but it does say 'Oak Creek Products 20" Fluorescent Aqaurium Reflector' on the back. I seem to think it was from a fishkeeping disaster from my childhood (about 13 years ago); we all seem to have one or two. Immediately when I turn the light on I hear this buzzing. It hasn't stopped at all. Is this normal? How can I make it stop?

ladayen 01-23-2012 02:11 PM

With my limited knowledge of electricity, I'm going to guess that either the bulb is trying to draw more power then the fixture can provide, or vice versa, the fixture is trying to give more electricity then necessary. I'm thinking your going to have to get a new light fixture.

thekoimaiden 01-23-2012 02:43 PM

Your little knowledge of electricity is much better than my non-existent knowledge. It could very well be a power issue as the bulb is 15w and the fixture is rated for 19w.

I've just gone and turned the light off. The fish will be fine for a few days without a light until I get back over to my LFS.

zof 01-23-2012 03:01 PM

I don't know if you can remember when the tank was first operating but I know older fluorescent fixtures had a habit of buzzing in their normal operation, also slow start up and less energy efficient, it might just be worth it to buy a new fixture or replace the ballast out with a newer electronic one.

beetlebz 01-23-2012 11:31 PM

oooo points for zof! lol

the buzzing is just an old magnetic ballast. It might be on its way out. new ballasts are not terribly expensive (i put one in my 110g hood not long ago for like 22 bucks) but it requires some wiring. For a 10g i would say to heck with it and get a new strip light, if you arent down for some wire nuts :)

thekoimaiden 01-24-2012 12:18 AM

I think you guys are right. I just need to get a new strip. I'm a wuss with electricity, so I think it'll be easier to get a new one rather than try to fix my old one. It's got to be over 10 years old. Thanks everyone!!

willow 01-24-2012 05:45 AM

guys i get this with the bulb in my reptile tank,or at least the starter......interesting.

beetlebz 01-24-2012 10:12 AM

In order of most likely to least likely,

Ballast! is first. The older magnetic ballasts sometimes just did, and sometimes did when they were on the way out the door. For this there is no fix but to replace the fixture, or just the ballast.

It could be the starter, if it has one. Frankly, the new electronic ballasts with no starter are the cats meow, and they are not terribly expensive. I wouldnt be opposed to doing a photo tutorial...

Very rarely, but it can possibly be, the bulb. Try removing the bulb, checking the ends for corrosion, and putting it back it nice and snug. You never know.

Food for thought when servicing older aquarium lights. I have fixed, modified, and resurrected many over the last few years. They all have one thing in common... when they get old, they are terrifying! I have a 48" strip light which has 2 24" T8s in it.. I replaced a starter not long ago but couldnt get the starter out. I took it apart to find the whole ballast, AND the socket for the starter was just a pure ball of rust. They werent even grounded! a new electronic ballast and maybe new bulb ends are in the future for that little strip, im just lucky I never got zapped.

willow 01-24-2012 10:14 AM

lucky call there,you could have ended up with a new hair style 8-)

beetlebz 01-24-2012 10:19 AM

I shave my head for just such an occasion lol

If I can scrape the pennies together this week, maybe friday or saturday Ill do a nice photo journal on replacing a ballast. It really can come in super handy for some folk!

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