As with any project that uses items that cut, burn, chop, fall, rotate, flog, zap, blind, etc., caution is most important. Please be advised that I take absolutely no responsibility for your actions regarding your use of any material provided here.
Articles and information provided are for educational purposes only. There is no substitution for official manufacturer's instructions and professional advice. Please contact the product manufacturer before modifying any devices or software. Please contact a licensed professional before attempting anything physical or following any advice given here. Neither the author, Jamie Jardin, nor any other contributors are responsible whatsoever for any damage incurred by following any instructions or advice provided.
Although it would be difficult to do, if you follow these articles and it leads to an electrical short that burns your house down - it's not my problem. If your wife divorces you shortly after, not my problem. If you lose your job and end up on the street - not my problem. If your bank account is empty - not my problem. If your credit cards are maxed out, I may share your pain, but it’s still not my problem. If you follow through with this, any and all consequences are your own problem and I will not be held responsible in any way.
I hope you enjoy my build, and good luck with yours. Enjoy!
Here are all the materials I have used. The plastic square tubing measures 4x4. It is used to cover a fence post for decorative pvc fencing. They put a new building in town with the nice decorative fencing so I pulled this section out of the dumpster for this project.
The 2 light fixtures you see are from and old bathroom vanity light setup. I bought the light at the local thrift store I volunteer at with my 20% Discount for about $2.00. There are alot of old fixtures at yard sales and such. If you don't have the time and patience for yard sailing than these fixtures can be purchased for about $6.00 a piece online. They didn't have any at the hardware stores in my area.
The cord is just a simple 2 prong 2 wire cord,I snipped off a POS Tetra 100w heater. Its the third one ive owned and the third one that has boiled my fish over a 12 hr period. Total junk!!
The most expensive part of my project was the 4 Sylvania 13w micro-mini CFL bulbs. I went for the 65k Daylight lamps. They were the highest kelvin rating ones I could find after shopping around locally. They came in a pack of 2 and cost $7.00 give or take a few cents. They are indoor lamps but my fishtank has a hood so im not to concerned with a water issue.
I bought a cheap $3.00 light cord switch which isn't pictured because I took it back. I planned on putting the lamps on a timer once I figured out lighting/algae problems in the near future. Therefor a switch would just be a 3.00 decoration and like everyone else today im on a tight budget.
Here Below is everything I used for the project, The little white square is a part of the piece I cut out of one of the 4" sides to use as an end cap. It just measures the inside diameter of the end you want to cap off.
This is the PVC plastic itself, I jsut took this as a refrence so everyone could see what I was using. I cut with a circular saw the top section off as close as I could without cutting into each side or binding the blade.It isn't perfect because im no carpenter and there is probably room for correction to make it perfect but I have realized when I start trying to make something perfect it ends up taking alot of time and its worse than when I started so i just left it be. Sorry I didn't have a picture of the top section cut out because Im waiting on the paint to dry at the moment. If it needs to be posted than ill do so.
I cut the bar at 24" Im using this on top of my 20 gallon and the exhisting fixture was 24" long. I used some 80 grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface a bit before painting. My current tank hood it black and wood like trim so I painted it black. I did run it for 2 days to make sure heat/melting wasn't an issue and it didnt get to warm so I think it would work. The light bled a bit thru the white making it a yellowish color while on where the bulbs were but if you choose to leave it white it really isn't an issue.
I drilled those 2 3/8 holes in the top for my light fixtures, they screw right into the holes which in turn holds the lamp about center of the fixture. I took a measurement so the bulbs would be spaced out center over the exhisting hood.
This is one end of the fixture. By no means am I good at cutting with the saw so I wasn't going for a perfect fit. I used liquid nails (because it was paintable) and ran a bead on the inside and outside with my finger. I let it sit over night to dry and it seems to hold well. A little bit of sanding was done as well on the seam just because I was slopping it on. I also had to notch it a bit to fit over the exhisting tank hood. If I didnt have the rounded lip on the end it would have probably fit perfect but liek I said before when i go correcting or making something perfect its when I screw it up.
This view also shows where I cut one end off the square for the bottom side of the light, it isn't perfect but it serves its purpose.