How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb

The best lighting for your freshwater tanks is aqua one light bulbs. You may be amazed to know that these bulbs are not just for decorative purposes. The bulb lights up the aquarium and helps to promote helpful algae bloom. But, over time the bulb may dim so you might need to replace it. Changing this long bulb is a simple task and all aquarium owners should learn it. This article details a step-by-step process on how to change aqua one light bulb. Changing an aqua one light bulb might be a bit tricky, but with appropriate instructions, anyone will be able to change it.

how to change aqua one light bulb
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What is an Aqua One Light Bulb and How Does it Work?

Aqua one bulb recreates a natural light spectrum of the sun. These lights are ideal for marine use and penetrating deeper setups. It brightens up the world inside aquariums, helps aquatic plants thrive and makes fishes look lively. These fluorescent tubes help in photosynthesis and maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem in your aquarium.

There are a few models of aqua one light bulbs. Each of them comes in different sizes and has different voltage requirements. The PL11 is the smallest and it only has 2 pins. This model is available in white, blue, tropical and sunlight accents.

How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb In 9 Easy Steps
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They are used in aqua start 300, 320T, 340, 380, 500 and 600. 

The PL18 is a bigger and fatter tube with 4 pins which are normally used in aqua start 620 and 620T. The PL24 is physically larger and won’t fit in the smaller aquariums. Lastly, the largest one is PL36. Both the PL36 and the PL24 are not available in mixed colours; rather they only have marine blue, sunlight and tropical accents. Make sure to buy the model that fits your aquarium. With all of this information aside, we can finally delve into the steps of how to change aqua one light bulb.

Things You’ll Need

You don’t need much to change aqua one light bulb. Make sure you have a new bulb. Depending on the model of the aquarium, you might need a screwdriver to open the glass lid inside the aquarium. Since you are going to work with an aquarium make sure you have a dry cloth or some tissue paper close by.

A Detail Guide on How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb

Step 1: Determine

Before everything else, you will need to check what kind of bulb does your aquarium support. You can open up the aquarium cover and check your bulb. The bulb should have some labels and identifying the model shouldn’t be difficult. We have mentioned some aquarium models and their compatible bulbs. So if you remember your aquarium model, you are in for luck! Remember, Google is your best friend and if you don’t know what you are looking for then just google it.

Step 2: Turn The Light Off and Unplug The Power

We can’t emphasize this step enough because fluorescent bulbs heat up quite a lot. Touching the bulb while it’s hot may burn your fingers. Make sure to turn the light off, unplug the power and wait at least 15 minutes for the bulb to cool off. Safety first!

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Step 3: Open The Top of The Tank to Access The Light Bulb

Now it’s time to change the bulb. Open the covering top and depending on the model of your aquarium you may see a number of things. Usually, there will be a transparent glass or plastic lid covering the bulb. Here you will need a screwdriver to unscrew the lid and access the bulb.

Step 4: Grab The Ends of The Light Bulb With Both Hands

Once the lid is removed, you can go ahead and remove the old bulb from the socket. Grab the end of the bulb that connects to the mount with both hands. Be careful with the old bulb. Do not touch the part of the bulb made of glass.

Step 5: Wiggle and Pull The Bulb Out of Its Mount

Once you have a firm grip on the bulb, you need to wiggle it and; the bulb should come right out of its mount.

Step 6: Put a New Bulb in The Mount

Hopefully, by now, you have bought the correct model of the bulb. Install the bulb by grabbing the mounting end of the bulb and wiggling it in the socket. Some bulbs are installed and then covered with brackets. To place the bulb in the bracket, hold tissue paper against the glass end and push the bulb in the bracket.

Step 7: Test The New Bulb

Before you wrap up, you might want to check if the bulb is correctly plugged in or not. Turn on the bulb for a few seconds to check if it works. Otherwise, you might need to turn it off again and push the bulb in the socket a bit more firmly.

Step 8: Replace The Top of The Tank

Lastly, you will need to screw the pins in and close the lid. Carefully place the top of the tank back on the aquarium and you should be good to go.

Step 9: Dispose The Old Bulb

The aqua one light bulb you used might contain mercury and, it is considered to be hazardous waste, which should not be disposed of through normal means. You should look for recycling programs in your locality to dispose of the old bulb.

How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb  In 9 Easy Steps
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Here are a few tips on how to change aqua one light bulb:

  1. The bulbs should be changed every year to ensure a healthy environment.
  2. Make sure you have clothes nearby to keep yourself dry.
  3. Use a tissue paper to push the bulb in the brackets if you have any.
  4. You can wipe the inner side of the glass lid. Removing dust will make it easy for the light to enter the aquarium.


You should be aware of a few additional warnings as well. Firstly, don’t forget to turn the bulbs off and let them cool down before you start working. Secondly, make sure you have the correct model for your aquarium. You don’t want to spend extra money on a bulb that doesn’t fit your aquarium. Lastly, make sure you properly screw the glass lid in place before you turn it over.

Frequently Asked Question: How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb

How Does an Aqua One Light Bulb Help The Ecosystem of My Aquarium?

The aqua one light replicates the reef life by providing best conditions for corals and invertebrates to flourish in your aquarium. It helps in the growth of zooxanthellae, a form of algae that assist the invertebrates to digest and remove waste from the water.

Should Aquarium Lights Be Left on All Night?

Your aquatic friends need both light and darkness to survive in your aquarium. So don’t leave the lights on all night as it might confuse your pets and stagger their growth.

What are The Benefits of Changing an Aqua One Light Bulb?

Changing the bulb once a year will make sure your pets have sufficient light and a fresh ecosystem inside the aquarium. The fluorescent light will keep the aquatic environment healthy and full of life!

Is It Difficult to Change an Aqua One Light Bulb?

Changing the aqua one light bulb might be a bit tricky but, if you follow the steps we discussed above, it shouldn’t be difficult at all. To be honest, the most critical task would be to figure out your bulb’s model. The rest is a walk in the park.

Can I Use Any Kind of Screwdriver to Change an Aqua One Light Bulb?

You might want to check what kind of screws you have in your aquarium. If you have the cash, invest in a cordless screwdriver, it’s worth it.

Do I Need Special Tools or Anything Else to Change an Aqua One Light Bulb?

You don’t need any special tools to change an aqua one light bulb. Just a simple screwdriver should do the trick.

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Conclusion: How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb?

How to Change Aqua One Light Bulb? Changing an aqua one light bulb is fairly easy. Just follow the steps we discussed above and it shouldn’t bug you for a year again. Over the next year the bulb will dim and you will need to replace it again. We hope this article helped you to figure out how to change an aqua one light bulb!

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