Hood build! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hood build!

Hello all!

I need to make a new hood for my 25G tank, that spaces the light up about 13", and incorporates a few neat features - so I figured I'd take a few pictures, and post them here for anyone who would like to take a project like this on.

My hood must:
Have fans for cooling (Controlled by my AquaController)
Be 13" tall from tank top to light. (My PC is too bright for the growth rate I desire, this helps dim it down, and helps light the tank evenly without bright spots)
Clear the equipment
Allow easy access
Look good, and match the stand I made a few years ago
and house my lights.

On the lights,.. My roomate has a 4 year old, who is always very sad when she comes into my room and finds the fish to be "Asleep". I would also prefer them to be awake a little more, but the plants seem to prefer an 8-10 hour photo period, even though the fish would probably like more like 14 hours of awake time.

SO! I'm trying something. In this hood, I will have my 65W PC lamp, as well as a 15W NOF lamp. The 15W lamp should be dim enough that it doesn't interfere with the plants, but bright enough to see the fish,.. then I can just run the main light for 8-10 hours, but still get to see the fish for 14. Sortof like a dusk/dawn cycle, i'll have it come on for a few hours before the main lighting, shut off when the big light is on, then come on for a few hours after the main light goes off.

I also use a 4W childrens nightlight bulb for a moonlighting effect, which is really cool.

Pics will be coming soon!
Whiskey

Current work in progress:

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 04:14 PM
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This is a great thread for the DIY forum.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 05:31 PM
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That light sound very cool. I have had the same proablem with little kids and lighting my tank. I keep my T5HO on for 8 hours, but when its off you cant see a thing especially my "Fishie". I cant wait to see some pic's!
Jake

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Okay,.. Here we go!

First - we start with plywood and a few tools. Do yourself a favor,.. if you have a tablesaw,.. use it! It makes life so much easier,.. and whatever kind of saw you use, get a finish blade for it - it will save on some sanding


The first thing I did was cut out the supports - these will rest on the lip of the tank, and the lid of the hood will rest on the top of them - so the length of these set my distance from tank top, to light.


This is a neat trick,.. it keeps all your measurements from blowing away when your working outside. It's just a piece of scrap wood to write on.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Next comes cutting out the sides and back,.. no mystery here,.. pretty simple stuff.




Then! I screwed the pillars to the sides,.. you will note that neither end of the pillar is flush with the bottom or top of the side - this is because I wanted the lid to sit down in the sides. To line this all up I cut a piece of scrap, and put a finish nail in it to pin it to the top of the pillar, and line it up. You can see that piece of scrap in this pic.

Always remember to screw and glue BTW,.. it's much stronger that way.


Also note,.. this type of wood can split,.. so you may need to pilot drill. I also countersunk all my holes so that I could fill over the screw heads and hide them in the final piece.

Putting more bits together:


Now it's a box:


Now the lid drops in.




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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Now this is a pretty neat trick - I use the skill saw to cut down into the faceplate, and cut the door out of the front of the panel - this way the grain follows all the way through the doors

I cut only up to the end of the line, then finish off the last little bit (because of the round blade) with a hand saw. I also use a battery powered skill saw with this, go slow, and watch my fingers.





I later cut that door in half - that style matches my stand.

Speaking of style - I added a bit of decorative trim to the top and bottom,.. cut out the back for my filter and cords,.. and here we have it. The trim is glued on, then held with 2 finish nails, just to keep it in place while the glue dries.





Also note the door sorrund in that picture,.. it prevents the light from getting out through the door crack.

There is more to come
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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BTW,.. Feel free to reply to this,.. ask questions, or whatever

I'm working on more pictures now.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the hood stained and painted. I used white paint on the inside because it reflects light. That paint is really primer, but it is totally water proof and holds up to aquarium use really well.


Now the fun part. First I needed to vent the hood - if I don't the heat builds up in there really bad, overheats the tank, then when the lights shut off you get condensation on everything and short out your electronics So! Fans and vent holes it is. These are the vents, you can see I got a little creative with my new tool.


Here you can see my 18 W Lamp,.. this is the one that will run in the morning - this is a simple under desk lamp that you can get at home depot for a couple bucks. I put a 5500K bulb from Petco in it, and that cost more than the whole fixture lol. The stock bulb is shown in this photo though.


More on ventilation,.. there will be 2 fans, controlled by a temp controller on my Aquacontroller,.. If you don't have one of those, running them the whole time the lights are on works wonders - that's how I used to have all my planted tanks.
I will have one more fan BTW,.. I just haven't bought it yet - these are simple 12V computer fans that are $2 at frys electronics.


You'll note that I left plenty of space on these - In the past I've had to add more, or make them larger to deal with the heavy lighting on Reef Tanks,.. so I always give myself plenty of leway.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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In this pic you can also see the Ballast for the 65W PC,.. I really don't like these ballasts but I had a box of them so I kept using them,.. however whenever this one burns out I will be replacing it with an advance ballast from AhSupply - I've found them to be far more reliable.

The white cords coming out the top there are for my moonlight and my Kaela light.


Here is all the lights installed.
Items of note,.. we are going to pretend that PC light has a connector, and the wires are not directly soldered to the pins,.. we are also going to pretend that straight pin PC connectors are available in this world, and can be had at relatively short notice and nobody would have to do such a thing to get his tank up and running.

Also,.. Every time I install one of these moonlights I think "Well! I won't be able to find this socket, because someone electrocuted themselves, sued the company that makes them, and they pulled them off the shelfs,.. there is no way in this world that dangerous thing is still around." but then I see it,.. sitting there on the shelf looking all innocent and deadly. If you look real close you can see that the 120V Wires, and screws that hold them are totally exposed, if you have kids tall enough to get into the hood,.. come up with a better socket.


This is with all the lights on for testing:


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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I have one last pic to finish out this thread,.. Here is the shot of the completed project.

Hope you found this useful!

Whiskey

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 01:25 PM
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Very nice build thread
Thanxs for sharing.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 03:13 PM
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Nice tank too!


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 04:43 PM
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Nice tank
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Very nice build thread
Thanxs for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by houstonhobby View Post
Nice tank too!
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Originally Posted by FISHSHROD View Post
Nice tank
Thank you!!!

It has been a fun project - and I'm very happy with the results.

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