Aluminum foil effective material for DIY Reflector?
I want to do a do it yourself reflector for my 10 gallon tank. My question is are Aluminum foil (the ones for ovens and baking) effective material to use? I heard it isn't but this website recommends it.
Polished metals make the best specular materials, silver is the most reflective but is not suitable for aquarium use due to its tendency to corrode. Aluminum is probably the best choice and very good specular reflectors can be made using very fine grit sand papers and Tripoli polishing compounds and buffing wheels. Aluminum foil with a minimum of wrinkles and aluminized mylar are also good choices. Mirrored glass is often cited but not a great choice because it uses silver (corrodes) and glass (refracts light and is heavy and brittle) Waterproof flat white paint makes a very good reflective surface for divergent reflectors. It needs to be refreshed every few years due to yellowing from UV radiation.
You can purchase specular aluminum reflectors from HelloLights and AHSupply for a reasonable cost. DIY is usually to make something you can't get or to make something cheaply that is super expensive. In this case I think you can't match the AHSupply reflectors with any DIY method. You might want to consider that route.
Just my humble opinion,
Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.
It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.
That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
No matter how flat you get the aluminum foil it's a lousy reflector. While it might look shiny the surface is very uneven. A flat board with white paint on it is actually a better reflector than aluminum foil.
Tell ya the truth RK i dont see anything wrong with it. Seems to me that all the light that would normally come out of that side of the bulb would be reflected back. Them guys, the reefer guys, been doin it for years, and you know they like their light as much as we do.
Sorry. It will be absorbed as heat in the paint. The paint doesn't form a reflective surface.
Some bulbs are mirrored on one side. They do reflect the light. But just slopping paint on one side of the bulb is not going to help. And just because someone else does it doesn't make it right. Note the fact that several places say that aluminum foil makes a good reflector.