DIY MIRO 4 Reflector - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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DIY MIRO 4 Reflector

This reflector is awesome. So much so I planned on buying several from AHSupply. Then I just got the idea in me to DIY my own, so I'm doing it and it should save a lot of money. The Miro 4 reflector comes from AHSupply and is highly effective. Read about it here.

So far it is very cheap and simple. $5 for a 3' x 16" galvanized steel sheet from Home Depot which is thin enough for scissors. I'm guessing 2 96w reflectors can come from this. All I need to do now is polish it and bend it into shape.

How do you, and is it even possible to polish galvanized steel? I've got some rotary power tools, just don't know the materials to get. If that will be to expensive I'll use reflective emergency blankets. Otherwise w/o any polishing, I would say this is more reflective then white paint.

Anyone see problems with what I'm doing? Suggestions appreciated too. I didn't do much planning before taking the project on.

Rex - check your e-mail.

Last edited by Rolo; 10-17-2004 at 10:52 PM.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:35 PM
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I do not think you will ever get the galvanized steel to polish up enough. Maybe stainless but that is not cost effective. You might be able to apply Mylar (backside of a party banner or helium balloon from a party store) I am not sure how that would hold up over time?
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:39 PM
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To do it right you would need to have the specular aluminum that AH Supply uses. Any other material is going to be like putting a Mercedes Benz symbol on a VW and calling it a Mercedes.

You are going to need to have precise angles, bends, and finish. I highly doubt you can polish galvanized steel enough to make it a reflector. The coating on galvanized steel is zinc. Zinc is not known for it's reflective properties. You would have to polish/remove the zinc and get to the bare steel. Which is then going to rust in a heartbeat over an aquarium.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I was afraid of that answer. I did many google searches on polishing steel and it was all for stainless only. Mylar is in my options too. Which is better: mylar or the reflective heat blankets?

Anyway, what makes these reflectors so great is their highly effecient shape to prevent restrike. This in itself is a great improvement even if I don't polish it. But even better, I've been testing it against a chepo white reflector and it does a better job.

Once I figure out polishing or mylar this should be an excellent reflector.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
To do it right you would need to have the specular aluminum that AH Supply uses. Any other material is going to be like putting a Mercedes Benz symbol on a VW and calling it a Mercedes.

You are going to need to have precise angles, bends, and finish. I highly doubt you can polish galvanized steel enough to make it a reflector. The coating on galvanized steel is zinc. Zinc is not known for it's reflective properties. You would have to polish/remove the zinc and get to the bare steel. Which is then going to rust in a heartbeat over an aquarium.
Yep, I agree. I'm not expecting the best or else I would order the real deal from them. It's all in the effort to save money so there are trade offs. But even if I'm hairs off in accurate bending it should still be a good reflector. Buying 4 96w reflectors will cost me ~$90 w/ shipping but to make some my own would be less then $15.

More or less I'm not looking for a replacement to the MIRO 4. I'm using it's efficient shape. Absolutely beats painting the inside of a hood with white paint.

I tried many google and local searches for aluminum sheets, with no luck. Where can I find it?

So another no go to polishing. I'll start looking for mylar or heat blankets. Appreciate more suggestions as always.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 05:10 PM
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How about using a 99cents car windshield cover?

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 08:04 PM
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You are going to want mylar film. You want the surface to be as smooth as possible. My wife is dragging me out the door right now. I once had a source on metal sheets. I will find it when I get home.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 09:27 PM
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Another thought... using mirrors. Biggest problem is the weight which makes it impractical for larger tanks (which I figure you are talking about with 4 x 96W). Another problem is that you need a shaped surface to glue them onto (of course).
I bought a pack of mirror tiles in HD, and once I got a hang of it I could cut them into stripes to use as reflectors. Did that for my 10 gallon and the light increase due to reflection is awesome.
I am not that overwhelmed by the shape of the Miro reflectors. Just compared to the reflectors I use on my T5 bulbs, which seem to be perfect, while the Miro shape gets the job done. I guess it's not fair, since it is easier to reflect the single T5 bulb than the U-shaped CF's.

Good luck in finding specular alu or something to that extend. I often think that there would be quite a market for T8 or even T12 reflectors, or less expensive T5 reflectors. I guess the material itself is quite pricey.


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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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After some more searching and reading, mylar does appear to be better then reflective heat blankets or whildshield covers. The latter two might heat the tank too much and I don't think mylar would (couldn't find any site discussing heat + mylar). I went looking today but couldn't find large enough rolls, or non-wrinkled pieces. This is probably overpriced but my best bet - http://aquariumplant.com/cgi-bin/cart/000827.html

Wasserpest, I actually did try looking for mirrors at HD but they didn't have any without wood trim. And yes it would be too heavy in my case.

Is mylar, mylar or are there different grades of reflectivity?
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 04:58 AM
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Couldn't you use straight up mylar and skip the metal sheets?



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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Mylar is flimsy, it will need some support.

I sold my only AH Supply kit so am lost on the geometry. Can anyone fill in the holes? A, B, C are lengths and D and E are angles.

Last edited by Rolo; 10-12-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 05:52 AM
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The price doesn't seem too bad, but the shipping kills



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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 12:42 PM
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Dude,

You need to expand your horizons. If you want reflective mylar sheets then stop for a minute and think who uses more reflective mylar than most anyone else! Why that would be people growing their own Cannabis for medicinal purposes. And how do they grow most of it? Why hydroponically of course! So all you need to do is check out your local Dope Growers Supply House and get your mylar. Or check out the local craft store. I have seen smaller mylar sheets there. Most of the Dope places sell mylar in quantities large enough to cover a room with.
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Heh, alright, dope growers I will have to go find. But I did try the right places - several craft stores, a few nurseries, and a hydroponics that currently wasn't selling in less then 100' (the cost will defeat the purpose). Not the BORG. I'm not that challenged!

Anyway, last night I located a local 'dope growers supply house' that sells mylar for the right size/price. Thanks for your help.

Anyone please, for the reflector dimensions?

Last edited by Rolo; 10-18-2004 at 08:12 PM.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 10:32 PM
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You can also get spectral aluminum at Aquatic Technologies (http://www.aquatictech.com/lighting.html, bottom of page).

Well, at least my algae is pearling...
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