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Old 07-26-2005, 07:16 PM   #1
daykinmade
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building a hood?


since Ive realized that I dont have enough lighting, and because I think it would be cost effective and look better, I have decided that Im going to build a hood for my 10G tank.
Im thinking that I would build the hood out of 1/4" black plastic. inside will be to 2x18W 18" tube lights. the dimensions will be roughly 19.5" wide x 9.5" deep x 3" tall and should fit snuggly on top of my tank, sitting on top of a piece of glass, I suppose the piece of glass will be 1/4" thick as well. I am thinking I will leave the complete back of the hood box open to allow for cords, evaporation, etc. I will be using tiny screws and silicon to secure plastic pieces together.
does this design sound like it will work?
is there anything I should know about building hoods that could be a problem?

thanks
daykinmade
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:58 PM   #2
m.lemay
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Don't use silicone to glue it, its way too messy. Use Super Glue, the gell type. Makes a real strong bond. You wil have to use some sort of piece across the back to stiffen the top panel or it will sag from the heat and weight of the lights.

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Old 07-26-2005, 08:20 PM   #3
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You could paint the inside of the hood with the most reflective paint you can buy.

Locally, three options are available: A reflective white paint used for road signs, a 'chrome finish' spray paint, and a reflective self adhesive film made by 3M. I have used the 'chrome finish', since it was cheapest.

The difference in how much light goes into the tank is very noticeable.

If you put too much superglue, or the surfaces are not really smooth and level where they join, you will make a mess. A trick used by local aquarium repairmen for years is to hold the pieces of plastic together, sprinkle a line of sodium bicarbonate at the joint, and then apply the crazy glue. The bicarbonate will soak up the glue, and make a very strong bond.

That is how I made a little hood, but forgot to build a lid. Changing a bulb requires a contortionist and lots of vaseline.
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Old 07-26-2005, 09:06 PM   #4
daykinmade
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thanks for the tip on the super glue, can't believe I didnt think of that, and I call myself a designer...

also nice tip with spray paint, that sounds like the easiest option. how would silver Mylar work? I may try that instead for reflection. does anyone know anything about this.

as for the pieces being straight, Im going to have them laser cut, so they better be straight

either way, when Im done I should have 36 watts on my 10 gallon, Im pretty sure that should be enough
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Old 07-26-2005, 09:12 PM   #5
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I made a nice canopy for my 10gal out of 1/4" birch. A few coats of primer inside and out, white paint inside, black outside. Works great. I started off with a 2x13W AHS kit, but it's not enough. 2x18W probably isn't much different. I'm currently running 1x36W AHS kit and can grow just about anything. Also, AHS reflectors are just about the best in the business so you won't have to worry about fancy paints on the inside. Don't worry about putting a piece of glass over the tank, there's not enough moisture to hurt anything and the evaporation isn't of any concern.
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Old 07-26-2005, 09:16 PM   #6
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sorry Im a bit of newb as far as planted tanks go, what exactly is a 36W AHS kit, could someone supply me with a link?
will one of these kits fit in a 3" space?

thanks
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:09 AM   #7
Rex Grigg
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www.ahsupply.com

And the reflector is 4" wide.
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:25 AM   #8
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thanks again rex
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:31 AM   #9
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Our own Buck has directions on how to build your own hood right on his website:

http://www.buckmanshome.com/DIYcanopy.html

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Old 07-27-2005, 01:12 AM   #10
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I would normally suggest you seriously consider attaching the plastic onto some sort of frame made out of 3/8" x 3/8" wood. But this may not be feasible given the small size of the tank.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:26 AM   #11
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I am a designer too Daykinmade

I am currently building an extra light wight canopy for a 4 gallon nano using polystyrene sheets. If you are handy with an xacto knife an a ruler, polystyrene is really easy to use.

Instead of super glue, you can use chlorophorm or polystyrene monomer. It will actually weld the pieces together, making them a single solid piece. For filling up holes or making reinforcments, you can disolve some polystyrene shavings in chlorophorm and make a putty.

What I do is use tiny drops of superglue to hold the pieces together while the chlorophor does its job.

For a hinge, I just welded two strips, and made a halfway cut with the xacto. I'm waiting for it to dry, but based on my experience, it can take hundreds of bends before it will break.
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:32 AM   #12
daykinmade
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Default the AH supply is very hot... very

ok, I got the AH supply 36wx1 with reflector for my 10 gallon a week ago. didnt have the time to outright build the hood the way I wanted. so i rigged it in to my stock ghetto hood for the last week (total hack job btw). so any way, that light gets hot. I have the tank in a book case is that a problem? I plan on building a custom light strip that attaches to the shelf above the tank, with the top of the tank open. still it is a tight fit and the light will be only 3 1/2" to 4" above the water. will this work?
can anybody tell me about their experience with AHsupply light and heat levels, etc.?

thanks
Jack

oh, things were getting so hot (tank was like a bath) I rigged a new hood from balsa wood, this is also temp, getting the plastic monday.
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:17 AM   #13
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You can add a fan to circulate air past the bulb and ballast that should take care of any heat issues you have.

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Old 08-16-2005, 03:20 AM   #14
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Adding a fan is definitely a good suggestion.

Here's my hood:





I'm running a 60x60mm fan in one corner and it keeps the tank at about 76deg. I've got an equal size hole on the opposite corner for flow. I've also made this hood with a groove so I can have a piece of glass cut to size.

I'd also like to say the Spar polyeurethane does wonders to repel water...

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Old 08-16-2005, 03:44 PM   #15
J0hn
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Mike,

What is the small metal box above the lights in the picture?
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