I had a smaller spot I could place a nice little tank so I decided to have a 38 gallon custom glass tank made. I figured I wanted a decent looking ADA like stand without spending 300-400$ and several days of labor(now the ADA stand is well worth it if you paid yourself the labor for a few days work/planning, getting the materials).
I spend one afternoon and a bit more time waiting for the drying paint to cure.
Cost for the materials:
22$ for the wood, 8$ for screws and construction brackets, no table saws, Home Depot employees did that, 9 $ for paint, 4$ for handles for the door, 4.50 for the hinges. I used a screw gun, a roller brush to paint, clear coat urethane.
Light rail: about 1.50$ for the metal 1/2 bar.
Bender was about 29$.
Brackets were 1.69.
A couple of screws, already had a pipe cutter.
I made two bends.
I drilled 4 holes to attach the hanging kit to the bar.
I attached the rail to the stand, snapped in the light.
So it ran about 85$ out the door.
Some items folks already might have, so it might be even cheaper.
The light is a HQI fixture I got for 135$+15$ shipping with a 10K bulb and ballast. It's every bit as good as the Ocean lights From Aqua Medic.
So for about 220$, I have everything except tank and filter.
I have never liked ADA's lily pipes, I call them silly pipes, they are PITA to clean, look ugly if you do not clean them, break very very easily, suction cups all come off every now and then too, never liked hoses running up and down the sides of the tank.
So I will drill bulk heads into the custom tank and not have any of that in the tank or on the sides.
The HQI fixture only weighs 2-3lbs tops.
I know several other folks have made conduit light bars for their tanks, this one has the double bends so folks can get an idea of the various hanging designs they can make and chose from.
If you screw it up, so what?
The metal pipe is dirt cheap.