DIY 5.5 gallon Hood/lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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DIY 5.5 gallon Hood/lighting

I just picked up a 5.5 gallon, and wanted a hood. So I decided to toss something together.

Note: if you wish to copy this, DON'T! This is a deadly fire hazard poised to turn your home into a smoking pile of ash! People will DIE!


Materials:

Extension cord $0.99
2 Weather resistant light sockets $3.79 each
2 Wire nuts $0.13 each
20x30" Mat Board $2.49 (on sale)
(the mat board is a thin layer of Styrofoam jacketed with waterproof, heavy paper: white for the interior, black for the exterior)

Other stuff required:
Knife
Hot glue
Rule/straight edge (you SHOULD use one, but as I am a bit bull-headed, I just eye-balled everything)

I marked the white side of the mat board (the inside of the hood) with a big tic-tac-toe board. The inner square was the same size as the lip of the top rim. I cut through the WHITE sheet and into the foam. DO NOT cut all the way through the foam or the BLACK sheet. Ideally, these first cuts should remove about 1/8" strips of the white paper and form a sort of V shaped grove in the foam.

Next, cut all the way through the two upper and lower vertical lines OUTSIDE the central square (see first photo).

Remove waste from each corner and front and rear panels. Photo two shows the waste from the front panel and one corner. The second corner is marked.


Finally, fold the sides in, gluing the tabs inside the front and rear panels. The third photo shows just before I folded the front and rear panels and glued.


Power is supplied with a standard extension cord. I cut the end off, stripped the wire, and slid it through a small hole I cut in the back panel. I used some some hot glue to secure the cord in the hole.

I mounted the light sockets using some of the scrap. (Photo four)

I added a squirt of hot glue into the wire nuts for waterproofing. And I put two small sheets of aluminum foil behind the bulbs to help keep the hood cool. I am starting with two 9 watt 5400K bulbs and the hood is completely cool to the touch.

Photo five shows the final product.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 02:58 AM
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lol...gotta love the disclaimer...Not too shabby but I'd seriously keep an eye on that mat board to see how it holds up.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 09:32 PM
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Very nice. I used black posterboard for my diy hood as well, hopefully it doesn't catch fire.

I really like how you designed little terraces in the substrate. Hopefully it will stay in place after you add water and plants. I'm tempted to try that in the 10gal I'm getting.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 02:11 PM
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I love the concept. I wonder if you could do the same thing with aluminum sheeting? You could cut it with tin snips, and it wouldn't catch fire.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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To date, the light is working fine. Almost no heat on the outside... FAR cooler than the outside of my Eclipse. Also, no discoloration from heat either.
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