I would of made the fixture bigger, but I had to have room for my glass tops to open. I also did not want a ton of light on the front of the tank. I bought the bulbs from a guy that had used them for a couple months for $30. I bought 4 used ballasts from another guy for $30. The oak wood I think was $30. I had $8 in the two fans and about 5 in wiring/mounting supplies. The white paint was left over from a canopy I built. I also had $15 in gas driving a hour up north to use my uncle's wood shop. He helped me build the fixture, which I am very thankful for. Whole thing costed about $120 to make, which is not bad for a student's budget!