i have bought a fish tank and the hood has a bulb holder attached to it,
to provide the light. It is the normal type bulb holder, and not a tube
Is it ok, to connect a normal black/red wire to the bulb side and
connect a plug at the other end for power? or is there anything special
that needs to be done to make it safe possibly?
On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 13:34:36 +0000 (UTC), One Man Show
Connect it via a plug with a 30mA RCD capability so that if it gets
wet for any reason, you won't die.
The wiring should be in flex with brown/blue colour code and the plug
fuse no more than 3A.
It is also a good idea to get a drip tray to cover the tank, below the
bulb and to prevent or at least reduce condensation.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Are you sure that the tank was previously used for fish? The bulb may
have been a heat or UV source for a reptile and as no water was involved
this may have been a safe installation.
You need to prevent condensation and splashes from fish, the airstone or
the up-lift pump soaking the connections - including the times where
you may have removed the splash guard in order to clean the tank or feed
the fish. The fittings for tubes are waterproof (or at least splash
I think Alan may be right. All the fish tanks I have seen have short tubes
with thick rubber insulated connectors at each end, the choke, starter and
switch are mounted remotely in a sealed separate plastic box. A standard
tungsten bulb would have the wrong colour temperature for fish, you need
something colder with a daylight coefficient giving a slight blue
Ordinary lightbulbs shatter when they get splashed, slicing your
eyeballs and chopping up fish. Also bulb holders above water aren't
too smart due to condensation and splashing overnight while off. Plus
lack of what sounds like an essential earth connection. I wouldnt wire
it up at all, least not without it being checked by someone qualified.
Somethings wrong with this picture.
You could use a 12v halogen safely, as long as you _only_ use the
glass fronted closed bulbs, and keep the mains well away from the
Agreed, this sounds like a fitting for a terrarium heat lamp. Aquarium
bulb holder/controller sets can be had for not much money in many pet
shops and they will also sell you aquarium fluorescent bulbs. You will
not get any plant growth at all without the right bulb and your fish
will look so much nicer too. Oh, and you can buy plastic clips that bolt
through the hood to grip the tube. Your hood may have two small holes
for them. If not it is an easy matter to drill new ones, you could do it
with a hand drill or a punch and a reamer if necessary.
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
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