Space blanket is not a substitute for aluminized mylar - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Space blanket is not a substitute for aluminized mylar

I should have figured it wouldn't be this easy. I was ready to make a reflector out of shiny space blanket material and two halves of a cardboard tube cut along the axis into trough shapes...

Not only is space blanket material very thin, but you can see right through it. They must not use very much aluminum in its manufacture. By the way, mylar is just a plastic, and it's only reflective because of the aluminum deposited onto it. A lot of things that I've apparently been calling "mylar" aren't really mylar. Space blankets and "mylar" balloons are probably not actually made of mylar, fwiw.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 11:58 PM
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Save yourself some time money, and sanity.

Buy a proper reflector, these are often overlooked, but a good reflector can greatly increase the light in the tank.

If you absolutely cannot afford one, the next best option is glossy white paint. You may want to shape the top so it aids in reflecting light into the tank, not just a rectangle shape.

got CO2?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 12:33 AM
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craft/hobby store has those shiny mylars


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 12:57 AM
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Even real mylar will melt and flake away in a year or so.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by putty View Post
Save yourself some time money, and sanity.

Buy a proper reflector, these are often overlooked, but a good reflector can greatly increase the light in the tank.

If you absolutely cannot afford one, the next best option is glossy white paint. You may want to shape the top so it aids in reflecting light into the tank, not just a rectangle shape.
I'm cheap, handy, and stubborn. Believe me, I hadn't overlooked a reflector. I thought I was going to be able to make something high quality cheaply and with some materials I already had on hand. I was going to wrap a 4" piece of PVC in mylar, and then in a couple layers of fiberglass. I would have had semi-circular reflectors rather than parabolic, but the focus woulda still been pretty good. Oh well...

Maybe I'll try buffing some aluminum flashing to a mirror finish.
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