55 Gal Flouresent hood Tell me what you think! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Iowa
Posts: 42
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55 Gal Flouresent hood Tell me what you think!

Hello, I just wanted to get some opinions on my new hood that i retrofitted for my 55 gal. Let me give you my history with planted tanks. This is my first planted tank and it seems to be going pretty well. Back to the lights I started out about a month ago with 2 40 watt. 48 inch bulbs. I put my plants in and all I grew was algea. So i decided i needed to invest in more lighting. I look at the DIY articles and found the one for making such a hood. But i think I found a much better way of doing this.

So here is the supplies & procedure.

1 - 55 gal canopy purchased at Wal-Mart for approx. $45
2 - 48" dual bulb shop lights
3 - Screws, wire nuts, wire ties, wire.

1. Assemble the canopy just like the directions show.
2. I used 2 pieces or 1/4 plywood i had sitting around. Cut them 10" by 2" mounted each on the ends.
3. Depending on what lights you buy you will have to connect the bulb receptacles differently. With mine i just used the brace supplied with the shop lights and screwed into the plywood.
4. Next, I mounted the ballasts in the center rear
5. I then drilled a hole and mounted the switch from one of the shop lights.
6. If following these steps you will notice there is a big gap on the canopy where the lids and the canopy come together. To fill this gap I took the reflector from the shop light and cut it to fit in-between the plywood and the center brace.
7. Next wired everything together used the power cord from the shop light.

Here are pictures of the finished product.

Hood on fish tank

This pic is with the light laying with the top on the floor.

Same thing with lights on

This is the bulb hardware.

Here is the switch coming out the side

This is in the center rear of hood where ballast's are mounted. You can also see the reflecters filling the gap.

Currently I taped pieces of tin foil for refletors on the front bulbs. Im looking for some polished aluminum or chrome reflecters could be purchased. Anyone have any ideas?

All in all I think my hood is great. It provides 160 watts. of light for approx $80. The only thing i dont like is its kinda hard to access the tank. You can easily feed thru the bulbs but when it comes time for water changes or triming I have to lift the hole top remove the front 2 bulbs then replace it. But for the price and light I can manage. Give me you thoughts on it. Ill be glad to answer any questions if anything is unclear.

Last edited by mitchell2345; 07-24-2004 at 03:51 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Iowa
Posts: 42
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Image problem

Not sure if you can see the pictures or not. For some reason they were showing up and then it just stoped working and showed a pic of the angelfire logo. If this happens go to this page to see the same photos.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 04:49 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Laguna Beach, CA
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Looks good. I'm about to build one myself, and I'm having a dilemma about the light pouring out the back vs. cooling of the tubes/ballast.

John P.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Iowa
Posts: 42
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yea i know what your saying. I have 2 power filters in the rear that block most of the light. And the ballasts do get pretty hot i thinking of mounting this 120v AC fan i have laying arount. You could easyily cut a piece of plywood or partical board to fill the hole too.
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