DIY Lighting/Canopy - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Lighting/Canopy

I'd like to build a hanging canopy with lighting, but I can't drill holes in my ceiling or anything. Therefore, I was thinking about something similar to Jason Baliban's light: (Sorry if I'm stealing bandwidth, I'll take it down if you ask.) I know shoplights are not supposed to be ideal, and I already have a hood with 2x 55W bulbs in them. I was just thinking that my original plan to buy a Coralife T5 fixture with 2 bulbs didn't make a whole lot of sense, considering you could buy something similar for much cheaper at a hardware store. More importantly, it would be difficult and awkward (not to mention ugly) to put a hood and a T-5 fixture on a 55 gallon tank. Does anyone have any ideas to combine what I have with a shoplight fixture for a canopy? As for reflectors, I was thinking that Mylar might be a good option. I know that it doesn't stand up to heat and UV, anyone have a good solution for this? Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 08:41 AM
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Here's mine using shoplights.

This had 2x150w MH and 2 x 18w Flouro





I have now changed the fitting to this. 1x150w MH & 2x40w CF



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice looking, but I'm thinking of a more economical (cheap) way of doing lighting. Is there a way to use mylar as a reflector without the heat making it brittle? Any success here?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 10:44 PM
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I just use the sun. lol.

I had a friend that just attached the shop lights to the wall and it worked pretty well
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishscale View Post
Very nice looking, but I'm thinking of a more economical (cheap) way of doing lighting. Is there a way to use mylar as a reflector without the heat making it brittle? Any success here?
No success here... for a while, everything was good and shiny. Then twinkle twinkle little star all over the tank. I would not recommend Mylar for this, go with some nice white bright paint, gets you about the same result.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'd like to take apart the 2x55W PC hood I have and fit it along with a shoplight strip or perhaps a coralife all together into some kind of hanging canopy. I don't like putting two lights over the tank in this messy ugly manner (the hood is really ugly)

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 12:57 AM
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If you want it to look good hanging above your tank, it'd be pretty hard to do IMO. Since you're planning to retrofit something, you're gonna need a fixture housing for it to look half decent...that, or some awesome wood/metal skills.

How big is your tank? 55 gallons? 2x55W PC will give you ~2 WPG which is decent lighting. Why are you trying to retro another strip light in there?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to grow some higher light plants, and the general opinion was that it wasn't enough. Things I'm looking to grow:

Hemianthus Micranthemoides
Glosso
Pygmy Chain Sword

and others I can't think of right now.

Another big concern is the ugliness of the hood I have. I bought it second hand, and even though everything works, it's pretty banged up.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 04:40 AM
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I grow HM and glosso in a 75 with 2x55 pc no problems, they grow like weeds.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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hmmmm...I thought they were high light plants. Good to know, though. Any ideas on how to make the hood look better? The reflector is also pretty dull and bent out of shape.

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