What to use as "hood" for DIY light?
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
dbl_dbl17
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What to use as "hood" for DIY light?


I am thinking about buying the Hagen T5HO ballast with end caps, but I have nothing to mount them too. I've heard of people using gutter, but my tank is 36" and I can only buy it in 10ft lengths - seems kind silly.

What does everyone use? I am going to have it sitting on top of the glass top.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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I would just use the gutter, and save the 7' for something else

I bought 10' and used about 12" for a 10 gallon aquarium, so.....
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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If you need to squeeze all of the PAR you can out of that light, a good reflector is an absolute necessity - the gutter won't do it.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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You can use the window box planters spray paint the inside or buy some reflectors
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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If you need to squeeze all of the PAR you can out of that light, a good reflector is an absolute necessity - the gutter won't do it.
The tank is going to be pretty low tech.

With that being said, I was looking at the AH supply reflectors, but there is no way of knowing if it will fit well or properly. I've never used them before. can it be molded to the inside?

If not, I am going to get this: http://www.amazon.ca/2in-Yards-Scotc...2166043&sr=8-9

Anyways, I bought the white gutter. Ordering the ballast tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:23 AM   #6
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That's extremely expensive. Try McMasterCarr.com and see if you can't find something. Their online catalog is a pain, but if they don't have it there'y not a use for it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:27 AM   #7
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I live in Canada, everything is expensive :P
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #8
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Just getting a reflective surface on the inside of the "hood" doesn't give you a good reflector. A good reflector lets you see a complete image of the bulb on each side of the bulb, so it appears like you have 3 bulbs, instead of one. That requires the reflector to be shaped correctly. The AH Supply reflectors are shaped right, and they can be slightly bent outward or inward to fit better, but it won't work well if you make them fit against the sides of the "hood" without regard to the shape of the reflector.

What are the tank dimensions? Unless it is a tall tank, more than 24 inches tall, two T5HO bulbs with good reflectors will be too much light for a low tech tank.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:39 AM   #9
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Tank is 20'' tall. Perhaps I shouldn't add the reflectors then, the only source of carbon I was planning on adding was DIY "Excel".

Would you recommend just installing the bulbs into the gutter with no reflector then?
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishykid1 View Post
That's extremely expensive. Try McMasterCarr.com and see if you can't find something. Their online catalog is a pain, but if they don't have it there'y not a use for it.
Unfortunately, McMasterCarr does not ship to Canada unless it is with companies they have been dealing with for a long time (before the policy change to not ship to Canada).

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I live in Canada, everything is expensive :P
Hear, hear.

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Tank is 20'' tall. Perhaps I shouldn't add the reflectors then, the only source of carbon I was planning on adding was DIY "Excel".

Would you recommend just installing the bulbs into the gutter with no reflector then?
If you are trying to maintain a lower light aquarium, then I think the reflectors would not be necessary. T5HO bulbs put out a lot of light.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:45 PM   #11
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Two T5HO bulbs, using a good quality, full HO power ballast, with great reflectors, will probably give you around 120 micromols of PAR at 20 inches. Since the great reflectors approximately triple the light from the bulbs, that means you should get around 40 micromols of PAR without any reflectors. That is a bit high for a non-CO2 tank, but if you use Excel it might work ok.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Two T5HO bulbs, using a good quality, full HO power ballast, with great reflectors, will probably give you around 120 micromols of PAR at 20 inches. Since the great reflectors approximately triple the light from the bulbs, that means you should get around 40 micromols of PAR without any reflectors. That is a bit high for a non-CO2 tank, but if you use Excel it might work ok.
What if I used regular T5? Would this be smarter? I could also install a T8 ballast.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:25 PM   #13
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What if I used regular T5? Would this be smarter? I could also install a T8 ballast.
That would be such a far out guess that I won't even attempt it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:10 AM   #14
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Well I've ordered the T5HO ballast. Will post some pics once everything is put together!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:02 AM   #15
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I live in Canada, everything is expensive :P
I second this statement.
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