DIY ADA Light Bar - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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DIY ADA Light Bar

I'm having the hardest time making a DIY ADA light bar for my 60P. I started with a 10' section of conduit piping and was able to successfully make the first bend, but i couldn't get the second bend (to make the parallel section where the light hangs from) close enough. The finished product was a light bar that hangs a good 6" in front of the stand instead of being in the middle. Is there a trick that i don't know about?

This is what i'm trying to make... courtesy of oldpunk on SCAPE.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 01:21 AM
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Conduit benders have a fixed bend radius. Since you want two bends in the space between the back of the tank and the middle of the tank, you need that bend radius to be 1/4 of the front to back dimension of the tank. I doubt that can be done unless your tank is at least 18 inches front to back. A good alternative is to use two bent conduits, with just one bend per conduit, with the end of the conduits pointing out away from the back of the tank. That requires that the bend radius be less than 1/2 the tank front to back dimension, a much easier thing to do. That's how I have mine made.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 01:23 AM
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I have a 20 gallon long and had the same problem - if the bend from back to front was at a 90 degree angle it put the lights way out in front. I instead bent the pipe at an upward 20-30 degree angle to center the horizontal arm in the center of my tank. Does that make sense?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Conduit benders have a fixed bend radius. Since you want two bends in the space between the back of the tank and the middle of the tank, you need that bend radius to be 1/4 of the front to back dimension of the tank. I doubt that can be done unless your tank is at least 18 inches front to back. A good alternative is to use two bent conduits, with just one bend per conduit, with the end of the conduits pointing out away from the back of the tank. That requires that the bend radius be less than 1/2 the tank front to back dimension, a much easier thing to do. That's how I have mine made.
Thanks for the input Hoppy. Having two bars mounted to the back would make my life a lot easier, but i prefer the look of the single-bar design.

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Originally Posted by Cap10Squirty View Post
I have a 20 gallon long and had the same problem - if the bend from back to front was at a 90 degree angle it put the lights way out in front. I instead bent the pipe at an upward 20-30 degree angle to center the horizontal arm in the center of my tank. Does that make sense?
I think i know what you mean; this may be a good alternative if i cannot bend it as i had originally planned. Do you happen to have a photo?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:20 AM
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I used a wire hanging kit to hang mine from the ceiling. Yeah, it makes two little holes in the ceiling, but that's easy enough to patch if you ever take the tank down or move it and it's by far the cleanest look I've had.

Bending the conduit takes a little practice. At least it's cheap right?


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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I used a wire hanging kit to hang mine from the ceiling. Yeah, it makes two little holes in the ceiling, but that's easy enough to patch if you ever take the tank down or move it and it's by far the cleanest look I've had.

Bending the conduit takes a little practice. At least it's cheap right?
Unfortunately that is not an option since this aquarium will be in my university-owned apartment next semester. I do prefer hanging light fixtures from the ceiling though... when possible.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap10Squirty View Post
I have a 20 gallon long and had the same problem - if the bend from back to front was at a 90 degree angle it put the lights way out in front. I instead bent the pipe at an upward 20-30 degree angle to center the horizontal arm in the center of my tank. Does that make sense?
Very good idea! I would first bend the 90 degree angle - leaving the length of conduit you want to extend over the length of the tank. Then bend the 20-30 degree bend gradually, until the distance is set right.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 07:04 AM
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What type of pipe bender are you using?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 05:47 PM
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Found this online. Hope it helps.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2009-04/diy/index.php
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 07:34 PM
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Here's my attempt.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...t=shift&page=2

What really helped me was to measure the tank and the where you want the bar is sit. Then you can pencil in where you want the bends (the midpoint of the U) on the pipe. There's a Arrow that points at the midpoint on the bender.

I did this in my small city apartment as well!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 07:57 PM
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I bought that 60P from Old Punk a few years ago and redid the conduit in a way I think you want. I'll get a current photo soon.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 08:05 PM
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Click image for larger version

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I made a 90 degree bend the length of the tank, then a 45-ish degree bend over the width of the tank. It's not perfect but it's close enough. Took a few tries to get it.

Sent from my non-iPhone.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting those photos mayanjungledog; that's exactly what i'm looking for. That pipe looks awfully thick. Is it 1" diameter? Did you use standard conduit brackets to attach it to the stand?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 02:07 PM
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Yes, it is 1" diameter conduit. It's a size up from Oldpunk's original, which I think was 3/4" and I used two standard conduit brackets to attach to the stand. Good luck on your build.

Sent from my non-iPhone.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centromochlus View Post
Thanks for posting those photos mayanjungledog; that's exactly what i'm looking for. That pipe looks awfully thick. Is it 1" diameter? Did you use standard conduit brackets to attach it to the stand?
Sorry I didn't respond with a photo, but what mayanjungledog posted is exactly what I did. I used 3/4" though...only because the tool to bend it was cheaper than the one that could handle one inch
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