canopy questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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canopy questions

I'm working on the planning of the canopy for a 125 gallon tank. The tank is 72 long, 18 wide. I plan on running 6-10 39 watt T5 fixtures, 2 fixtures per bulb line for 3 - 5 lines of bulbs. I will also have led moonlights as well. I would like a low profile canopy, thinking 6 inches in height. I know I will need fans for cooling as my canopy will be fully enclosed since my tank is set up as a room divider.

I may be using glass tops as my rainbows like to splash at times.


I'm look for ideas or suggestions on how to make the canopy practical for the following:
  • Fish feeding & Fertilizing
    • My thought is a tube through the top into the tank similar to plumbing.
  • Plant Maintence & Pruning without being blinded by the lights.
    • My thought here is to have the top split into 3 sections with each opening fully and to set the lights on slats which I can slide as needed and mount the ballasts on the top side of the slats. Even thinking of double hinging each section so the front and 4 inches can open without opening the full section.
Thanks,

John



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 04:31 PM
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It might be a good idea to keep ballasts elsewhere, keeping them away from hot lights. If memory serves me well, you should try to keep lines between ballasts and lights not too long to avoid voltage loss. Just a thought. Perhaps others will chime in.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 05:23 PM
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To make it easy to access the tank I suggest making the entire front of the tank lift. This includes the front part that is vertical and a part of the top. Have some bulbs so they come up when lifted and some stay down so you can see while working.

Building a hood that doesn't allow access this way is just a nightmare to work on.

You can double hing the front lid or just use one hing on the top. One hing looks better and more solid. Two allows you to lift the front for feeding.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 05:25 PM
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instead of THIS make it so the front vertical piece lifts. You can have a small 1x.5 on the bottom to keep the frame in place and solid. Having the vertical part part out of the way is critical to being able to get into the tank easily. It really saves hastle. IF you want access from both side, just duplicate it to both sides, but leave room for one bulb to always point down.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2008, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterving View Post
It might be a good idea to keep ballasts elsewhere, keeping them away from hot lights. If memory serves me well, you should try to keep lines between ballasts and lights not too long to avoid voltage loss. Just a thought. Perhaps others will chime in.
This sounds confusing as to put them somewhere else like below in the cabinet requires longer wires.


I only need the front side to open, but the back need to look good.

John



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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 02:44 PM
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You can use hidden cabinet hinges and you won't be able to see them, it will give you a nice clean look. I would split it in 3 sections for easy maintenance, it's a room divider so you have access to the "back" side as well. put low voltage micro switches in the hood to open a normally closed relay in the line side of the ballast for the lights in the tip up section, that way when you lift the hood the lights turn off instead of blinding you, when you set it back down they turn back on. Do not try to switch the secondary side of the ballast.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I've been thinking of splitting the front/front top into 3 sections to open individually. This would be the first 4 inches of the top, enough to open the glass covers. The remaining top would be 1 section for when I had to do planting or major maintence. I am thinking of mounting the lights on slats that I could slide and remove as needed. I would need some type of disconnects to make the slats removable. I could mount the ballasts to the top or to the back of the slat.

One major pain that I've run into while refinishing the stand was hinges. Home Depot and Lowes do not have a good section. Anyone know of a place with a larger variety?

Thanks,

John



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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:24 PM
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 10:32 AM
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If you are looking for hardware, Lowes and HD can be pretty frustrating. You might want to try http://rockler.com or http://www.cabinethardwareuniverse.com .

The low profile canopy sounds interesting. Is the canopy going to sit below the upper tank rim? If so, you might have to adjust your canopy height a bit since that will probably subtract at least 2" from the overall height of the canopy.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 07:42 PM
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