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Old 04-03-2004, 11:57 AM   #1
Raul-7
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Just for refrence, how high should PC be from the water? Do any of you put a pice of glass in your canopy to protect your lights?
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:43 PM   #2
2la
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As close to the water as you can get it, with a glass top for protection just like any lighting fixture that's designed to rest atop the tank. It's also just as much protection for your fish--you wouldn't want a startled fish to jump into a fixture and scorch itself.
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Old 04-04-2004, 01:32 PM   #3
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Thanks 2la! So everyone here puts a glass between their lights and the water?
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Old 04-04-2004, 04:08 PM   #4
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Raul,

I put a glass canopy over my tank...but if you wait for enough replies, I know you'll get several peeps here that do NOT put anything betweein their bulbs and the water. Usually these are metal halide pendant users, but some PC people do it too.

FOr me, I lose too much water to evaporation, and have too many 'jumpers' to risk an open top tank. I keep my glass lids pretty clean by using Windex with vinegar to get the water spots off.
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Old 04-04-2004, 05:04 PM   #5
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I've never used any fixtures from AHSupply due to limits on money to buy a canopy or the knowledge/supplies to build one. All I have been using so far is Aqualights. Do you think by using a piece of glass, and maybe buying the enclosers from AH along with their lighting fixtures; would give me results better than the Aqualights?
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Old 04-05-2004, 12:24 AM   #6
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I like the jbj lights as they have a new OPTIONAL flip stand that raises your lights a few inches above everything which makes sure the tank does not get hot as well as prolongs the bulbs lights for less heat
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Old 04-05-2004, 01:51 AM   #7
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I have open top tanks with JBJ &amp; Coralife fixtures one legs, which raises the fixture up about 4". I get some water evaporation, I add about 1 gallon of water a week to top them off.
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Old 04-05-2004, 01:55 AM   #8
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I made my own light strip, fitted with the AHS 55W birght kit. For a cover I just bought some acrylic and cut it to size. The problem is that it warps tremendously! Anyone have this problem and know how to fix it, without simply raising the light strip?

It there any practical, at home way I could cut a sheet of glass?..I'm thinking about replacing this acrylic.

And Raul, to answer you question, I ditto that light should be as close to the tank as possible.
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:29 AM   #9
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I prefer uncovered lights, but until now (well, soon) I've yet to be able to implement it. Water evaporation and the resulting electrical corrosion has been an issue (yep, fluoro user here).
The new Hagen tanks (yech, they're awful, but anyways..) use that type of idea:
The canopy is one piece and slips over the edges of the tank (no more tank rim, just a glass lip) and the light fixture actually hangs right over the water unshielded. To protect the electrical they have screw-on caps with a rubber gasket/grommet that makes it practically waterproof (severely water resistant anyways). End result is really great lighting.

My main beef with covering the tank first is all the light wasted. You lose some spectrum simply through the glass (the thicker the glass, the worse it gets), so plants will already suffer, plus you lose intensity over time simply from all the gunk and deposits that build up on the glass surface to filter light out.

If you can shield the electrical from the moisture I'm all for uncovered lamps as long as fish can't jump up into the fixture and get stuck.


Rolo:
Working with glass is actually extremely easy, though you need some equipment. I typically use 3mm clear window glass - it's cheap and easy to work and thick enough that it doesn't break too easily. You need a good, strong ruler that won't slip around on the glass (I ran some duct tape on one side of it for extra friction). Then you hold it in place and score the glass with a glass cutter (hardware stores sell them - it's like a miniature rolling pizza cutter). Flip it and put some pressure on the middle of the glass while tapping a hard object (like the back of the glass cutter) on the back of the score you just made.. Eventually you'll weaken the glass enough that it'll give and you'll have a clean cut.
Problem is now you have a really sharp chunk of glass. I have a diamond drill bit (impregnated with diamond flakes or somesuch) that needs to be water-bathed to keep cool.. I doubt it's standard fare nor cheap. But that's what I use to grind the glass edges to make them touchable.

OR, you could just take precise measurements and call up a glass shop and ask them to cut and smooth the edges of a new piece of glass with the dimensions you give them. There's a minimum charge but it's really not that much - I pay something like $10CDN around here to get small things cut.
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:53 AM   #10
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Hmmm. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'm going back to my college days. But I beleive that the ratio of light lost *roughly* is 3% for each time light passes through clear glass. That would be 3% for the glass surrounding the bulb plus the 3% from the glass over the tank. Obviously the thickness and cleanliness of the glass would also come into effect.
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:27 AM   #11
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I know that some light is lost by passing it through glass...Heck! most is lost through the water - the reason why it should be as close to the tank as possible. If I reckon correctly, I think that the light intensity decreases exponentially as it is further and further set higher. I really don't know if this is right though.

I've noticed that the heat from my PC bulb keeps condensation off the acrylic cover so it doesn't get lime built up. Even during lights out, the condensation is minimal. So I think the pros of having a cover - electrical safety, fish safety, and evaporation control, outweigh the cons of little decreased light intensity.

Thanks Ricco for the help on the glass. I'll find my nearest glass shop to help me out. I knew it had to be something this easy.
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Old 04-05-2004, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo737
If I reckon correctly, I think that the light intensity decreases exponentially as it is further and further set higher. I really don't know if this is right though.
This is true for point sources of light, but the drop-off is a little more linear with flourescent tubes.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenac
I have open top tanks with JBJ &amp; Coralife fixtures one legs, which raises the fixture up about 4".
Which fixture do you find better over-all? I mean noise, heat, quality of reflectors/ballasts?
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:37 PM   #14
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I have an aqualight directly resting on the tank with no glass, just the acrylic lens that comes with the light. The area in front of the light is covered by glass to prevent evaporation.
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