Another DIY monster light - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Another DIY monster light

This tank is 6' x 18"(wide) x 22"tall. The light that we put on it contains 5 Giesemann Midday T5HO with individual reflectors. Each bulb is 80 watts. They are wired in 3 circuits - 2, 2, and 1 bulb to allow for light adjustments as needed.

The parts for this fixture cost $500, basically for the best planted tank bulbs, reflectors, and ballasts for them. The housing itself is very inexpensive - the parts are only about $10 (but since you have to buy more material than you need you end up paying a little more). A fixture with the same number of bulbs (but cheap Chinese) costs about $1,200 and does not come with waterproof end caps like this DIY one.

The fixture is ultra slim (2-1/2 inches) and as lightweight as possible. The ballasts are remote (under the tank) - Workhorse 7 and 5. The fixture has a foldable aluminum leg to support it when open. Most parts are stainless steel.

Automotive primer (spray can from HD) and high quality black paint over it (spray can too). A small black handle in front. Cutouts for the filter pipes in the back. The top is fiberglass mesh (mosquito net) but the one that is extra dense. Ventilation is all over and light spills only through the back where the fiter cutouts are. No visible electric cords - they are all contained in the frame of the fixture. Adjustable rubber legs.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 01:34 PM
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Nifty. Clean design and build. A bit expensive for a DIY version, but I guess you got what you wanted out of it!

So you say ventilation all around, where?

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Posts: 298 has the best prices and amazing service when it comes to DIY aquarium lighting. Bulbs + ballasts + reflectors + endcaps are $390. The rest is other materials, once again because you have to buy more than you actually use. If you build an ugly wooden canopy you maybe able to stay close to $390. $500 for this fixture is rock bottom cheap.

The top, once again, is fiberglass mesh. The warm (never hot with T5HO) air just vents through the screen. No need for fans. You can see the screen here:

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