The light stand/fixture has really been holding me up. I want to make an illusion of the light just hovering over the tank, with no visible means of support.
Here's the light, a hard wire T8 flourescent. I attached a cord. I'll be using a 4100K cool white for a bulb. I should get about 40 PAR according to Hoppy's chart about 14 inches about the substrate.
I started there for the height of the light in this crude drawing from the side, for how I mount it. It will be 40% of the distance from the front to back of the tank, a little front-lighting. The square with the circle in it is the fixture, the circle is the side view of the bulb. The drawing is 1/4"=1", so I can get measurements for the wood pieces.
It's all using 1"x2"s which are actually 3/4"x1 1/2", I hate how they do that.
If I want to cover the fixture and all the wood holding it up from the front to make a shade, it will be at least 6" deep, and I think that will look too bulky. There is my problem, how to slimline this. The fixture weights 5.5 pounds, with pretty thin metal. I may be able to reinforce the metal, and do away with all the support on top. More thinking is needed.
Otherwise, the drawing somewhat shows two 1x2s attached to the tank stand and the light, with one 1x2 at an angle in between connecting them. The joints will be connected by a carriage bolt, metal and rubber washers, and a wingnut. I can then move it up and back to get it out of the way for maintenance, but still have downward light. I should mention, this will all be mounted in the middle of the stand.
I drove by a local landscaping company this weekend. They were closed, but they had some rocks that intrigued me. I may just buy some rocks, the river rocks here rarely look similar.