Canopy Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Canopy Question

Hey guys, I'm really sick of those ugly plastic allglass canopies. Its also a pain to keep extra lights over the tank with it. So I'm finally going to make a custom wooden canopy. The neat thing here is that I'll attach it to a wall, and design it so you could lift it up like a hood to get complete access to the tank.
My main questions are what type of wood should I use for the canopy? I'll be staining it and clear coating with water based acrylic. Should I use an acrylic sheet between the water and the canopy, or will that just cause problems by blocking light? Should I buy/make a reflector for the lights or should I just paint the interior of the hood white? Any and all suggestions are welcome! Here is a pic of what the current setup looks like with two lights (the rear of the tank is lacking light).
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 03:57 PM
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what type of wood should I use for the canopy?
You can use any wood you want as long as you are going to treat it properly. I went with the cheap stuff from HD.

Should I use an acrylic sheet between the water and the canopy, or will that just cause problems by blocking light?
I dont have anything in between my lights and the open tanks. If you are worried about your fish jumping and splashing water on the lights then go ahead and get a glass sheet cut to fit your tank. IMHO you dont beed anything.


Should I buy/make a reflector for the lights or should I just paint the interior of the hood white?

Both really. If you want a reflector go with AHSUPPLY.COM IMHO the best out there. Or if you want paint it white on the inside you will not get as much reflection as with a reflector but its the cheap route. I dont like the look of white.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 05:59 PM
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Ditto on the AH supply. If you have not been to the site, they have awesome deals on the lighting equip. you need/want, but they also have hood options. If not to but one from them, at least for construction ideas.

What ever wood you use, put the time in for lots of sanding, and lots of coats. I have seen particle board stands hand hoods that are some of the best looking I have seen. Small budget = hard work and elbow grease = sweeeeet set-up.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies guys! I have been to AH supply, but all their equip. is still for the PC bulbs. I'm thinking of keeping my VHO setup, so will the reflector fit these larger bulbs? Also, since we're at it, how much light IYO should I have over my 29 with DIY co2? I'm planning to run 1 75W VHO and 1 20W NO off of the same ballast. So basically I'll be getting around 3WPG. Its an ARO VHO ballast I got a year ago, and it seems to be a pretty sturdy thing for how cheap they go for (raw of course).
I'll try to start construction asap, so I can get all those precious coats to dry on time , and I will use an acrylic top, since I actually discovered one of my ghost shrimp on the floor today . In terms of coating with Polycrylic, I have an All Glass oak stand which is not finished to the "shine" shall we say. What do I do....can't make up my mind because if the canopy will be nice and glossy, it won't exactly match its base , but coating the base with the tank on top might be risky/messy... Opinions are welcome !

Off topic a bit, but this issue I feel still receives quite a bit of debate: What is the better, more logical choice for a PT, PC or VHO? I know VHO bulbs start loosing their intensity after about a year, but 20 bucks every year or every other year on light should be expected IMO. They are more readily available and provide greater flexibility (run any t12 under 48"). Thanks to all
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 02:23 PM
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as far as how much light i wouldnt go past 2wpg with only diy co2. Also vho vs pc my vote is pc. ive had them for 2 years now and havent had to replace one yet. Cheaper in the long run i think

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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kunerd, how much co2 would you think I might need to counter balance the amount of light I have? Although its only DIY I can do pretty well with lengthy mixes.
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