When the lights went out (on our Fluval Edge)

I’ve been meaning to post something other than recipes for a while now. I even made a list of things I wanted to post about, but as you can see, I’ve not been dutiful to get those posted. This one is a bit random, but I was hoping it might help someone out.

enjoying the tank
the Bee enjoys watching the fish. notice the sleek design with no places to slip little hands or objects

Last year for our birthday’s Kate and I got a beautiful aquarium for the house. I admired the Fluval Edge for months before I was willing to put down the cash to purchase one. I read reviews so I knew the filters went bad on some people and they aren’t easily replaced with a standard filter because it fits down in the plastic column along the back. I also read that the lights were an issue, but the design was changing from a two bulb model to a LED version so I as hopeful I wouldn’t encounter issues. Even if I did, I reasoned that the design was worth the risk.

from above
a view from above the Fluval Edge

The Edge is unique in that it has a square opening in the top, but when the cover is on the tank is completely enclosed. Knowing my house with the furry creature who loves to climb and has been known to go fishing in previous tanks and the little hands that I imagined would love to play in the water it was worth a shot.

When we first set it up, I tried a small school of rosy barbs that didn’t last long. I switched to guppies and those seem to survive, and even thrive in the 6 gallon tank. We ended up with at least two sets of fry before we moved.

Old and crusty
Old and crusty LED from Fluval Edge

Fast forward to the past few months and I noticed the plants weren’t thriving like they had before. I chalked it up to the location of the tank in our new house. But then I noticed it flickering a few times and ultimately the plants were almost all gone and it was almost difficult to see the poor fish with the light on. I had succumbed to the failed lighting unit. As you can see in the photo, condensation had built up inside the plastic case over time and without regular attention it effected the individual LEDs. I removed the plastic cover to get a better look, but there really was nothing left to do other than raise a white flag.

This of course led me to begin looking for a replacement. I ended up ordering the replacement lamp without the transformer from FluvalParts.com which is now PetMeister.com. It was the best price so I figured it was worth a shot. The lamp arrived quickly and in perfect condition; I would recommend their site for replacement parts. I was pleasantly surprised to see the design was altered.

Thickness comparison
thickeness comparison with old at top, new at bottom
Fluval edge led light original vs new
Side-by-side comparison of old LED on left, new installed on right

Here’s the side by side comparison with the original on the left. As you can tell, the plastic case no long wraps around the unit but is instead just covering the LEDs and has a rubber gasket to attempt to keep the water out. The old unit had a gasket inside, but there still seemed to be more surface area for water to get into.

It’s probably difficult to tell, but the new version is thinner by almost a half inch by my rough estimate. This also helps since it means it should always clear the top of the water that comes up into the opening when it’s completely full.

So far, so good. The plants are beginning to grow again and we added two friends for the guppy who was hiding in the dark.


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