diy canopy/hood ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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diy canopy/hood ?

so i was thinking of making a canopy/hood for my tank and was wondering what other people have done here. my basic concerns are if it's made out of wood and you have it resting on the rim of the tank, do you get a moisture problem in the lights and in the wood? would you use a marine sealant to coat the wood to prevent this? i was thinking of making this out of some plastic but i was a little worried if you could get warping from the heat of either the bulbs and ballasts. i'm still not sure if i would use t5ho or pcs from ahs. thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 10:19 PM
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AHS light kits can be mounted in almost any wooden box that has room for them. I have done this several times, with various size and shape "boxes" and have yet to see any problem from moisture. The heat from the bulbs tends to keep the moisture under control so well that I never even see any. I finish the inside of my fixtures with either clear water based urethane, or with white paint.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 11:23 PM
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Hoppy's has you covered with good advice

Urethane for the natural finishes or acrylic for paint. Stay away from exterior finish products as most all include mildew inhibitors.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 09:52 PM
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I dunno if you're only interested in the wood look, but I modified a couple plastic strip light hoods. I had 2 30" hoods for my 29s, and after I got rid of one of the tanks decided to use the extra hood for more light. I took both the light strips and cut most of the backs off, removed the light fixtures and bolted the plastic housings back to back. This provided enough room to mount 4 sets of bulb connections directly to the housing. I had to buy a ballast and some small screws, but other than that I had all the necessary materials. I then attached some mylar beneath the bulbs for a reflector, and drilled some extra vents. This was a very cheap way to upgrade the light. But to answer part of your original question, the heat is not an issue. 4 T8s don't put off significant heat provided the have adequate ventilation. I even at one point had a faulty magnetic ballast that got so hot I couldn't touch it, but it didn't melt the plastic to which it was attached. So if you modify a plastic hood, I wouldn't worry about the heat.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divine Winds View Post
I dunno if you're only interested in the wood look, but I modified a couple plastic strip light hoods. I had 2 30" hoods for my 29s, and after I got rid of one of the tanks decided to use the extra hood for more light. I took both the light strips and cut most of the backs off, removed the light fixtures and bolted the plastic housings back to back. This provided enough room to mount 4 sets of bulb connections directly to the housing. I had to buy a ballast and some small screws, but other than that I had all the necessary materials. I then attached some mylar beneath the bulbs for a reflector, and drilled some extra vents. This was a very cheap way to upgrade the light. But to answer part of your original question, the heat is not an issue. 4 T8s don't put off significant heat provided the have adequate ventilation. I even at one point had a faulty magnetic ballast that got so hot I couldn't touch it, but it didn't melt the plastic to which it was attached. So if you modify a plastic hood, I wouldn't worry about the heat.
i see so many diy stands and not as many diy hoods. so thats why i was asking these questions. i could make it in either pastic or wood and was just wondering what would be the best and easiest way, but also to try and learn what the problems were beforehand.

do most people mount ballasts in the hood or underneath the stand? what is the advantage in doing that?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 05:39 PM
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I usually put the ballast in the hood, but I have one that I mounted down below the tank, in the stand. It works either way, but I understand that not all ballasts are going to work well mounted that far from the bulbs. I use AH Supply kits, and Fulham Workhorse ballasts.

There is rarely "the best way" to make either stands or light fixtures. It always depends on what you want them to look like, and what skills you have, as well as what your other objectives are.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 09:40 PM
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There seems to be some debate as to how far you can safely mount ballasts from the bulbs, but I always decided to go the safe route and mount them near the bulbs. I prefer to mount them in the hoods, space permitting, else they go on the back. Even mounted on the back though, they aren't that noticeable if the tank is against a wall.
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