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post #39 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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majorwoo's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 217
Yeah, the lighting is DIY. Specifically, I used 5.5" clamp on's from Home Depot.
And I use the 6500k CFL's from Lowes (home depot doesn't carry them here)

If you wanted to go with the 100 watt CFL's ( you may want to get the larger light housing ( as the 100 watt's wont fit in the 5.5's. If I was buying it myself I would do that this time around, but I don't know if I'll need the 100 watt CFL's (they are slightly larger).

The bulbs themselves work great, I used them on my other tank:
Old T8 hood converted to 4xCFL
when I actually converted the T8 hood to be a 4x CFL, but since I had to build my own canopy this time I decided I would just use the hoods as a vertical mounted CFL gives a lot more light then a horizontally mounted one according to some research by the guys here (PAR Data-Spiral Power Saver Bulbs, lighting question check out post #21 by i4x4nMore and some more work by Hoppy here Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts)

I spent some time on my canopy this morning while the girls slept in, and I've got it to a pretty decent state. The original lights on top of the tank:

So I built a frame out of 1"x2" pine to keep it light.

I then boxed in the frame with 5mil plywood project panels from Lowes. I painted the outside black to match the stand:

And the inside I painted white with Killz for a little reflective properties, and to help with mold/mildew as I've read it's decent at that. I built the front panel on a hinge to give me easy access. I did make a mistake on the hinge placement, so that the panel won't lay flat on top of the tank when opened completely - I will have to score off a sliver along the top edge as the front panel when it folds up will hit the top panel - once I score that off it should allow it to swing all the way to rest on the top.

I still need to consider if I'll add any trim around the edges (corner molding perhaps) - and I want to add some magnetic cabinet hardware to keep the panel tucked in tight when it's closed.

As the original stand was just a 2x4 skeleton, I took a piece of the plywood and made a panel for the bottom as well.

The knobs unscrew to allow the entire panel to be removed to access filters and storage.
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