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Discussion Starter #1
I have a beautiful light over my aquarium - that I have about 0% confidence in at the moment. I suspect any day I will come home to darkness. It has happened once, it is showing signs of happening again - I can get no feedback from the manufacturer. I am hoping it will continue to burn, but am not optimistic.

So here is the question. Where do you start when trying to build a diy odno fixure. I know ahsupply has great reflectors. I can find threads recomending the best balists. But where do you actually start - do you buy a shop light and canablize it for wire and connectors - are do you buy that stuff seperately. If so, what all is necessary.

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might start a second thread for this but will try to get the answer here. AHSupply reflectors are spose to be the best - but do they work decent with T-8's or T-12's, or are they pretty much only effective with cf or T-5's
 

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Yes, your post mentions 3 ways to get more light, smaller bulbs (thinking T12 to T8), ODNO, and better reflectors.

The easiest way is to work with what you have. Most "aquarium" fixtures have dismal reflectors but can be rewired for ODNO with the purchace of the ballast in the ODNO sticky in lighting.

Now the best might be building or buying a canopy that allows space to mount ODNO and good reflectors.

So what size tank are we working with and how are you DIY skills?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have fairly good diy skills. I have made various furniture (including my current tank stand, tables, dressers, wardrobes) and have helped build a few houses. Most of the time I get responses like – “Oh my god, you did that yourself?” to “How much would you charge to build one like that for me?” I have a 58 (36x18x21 I think) gallon tank with a hqi pendent.
 

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For this size tank, I'd go with one (low light) or two (high light) 96W PC bulbs.

If you have a canopy or will build one, the only thing you'd need is a credit card to order the kits incl reflector from AHS. They include all the endcaps, screws etc.

If you are set on ODNO, I'd recommend a WH7 ballast, which comes with wires as well. You'd need some way of attaching bulbs. You can buy endcaps at HD etc. T5 endcaps are a little harder to find and expensive.

T12, 8, 5, PC all work with AHS reflectors, but I wouldn't recommend using them with T12s due to their diameter they block a lot of the reflector surface already.
 

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It sounds to me JGC that youve got a knack for DIY. Why not go all the way and rig up a ODNO enclosure that you can sit back and be proud of, might even match your stand. Its not much more difficult (woodworking skills aside) from building a nice sturdy box that sits atop the tank with some bulbs inside. Like Wassperpest mentioned, the parts are easy to find at stores like home depot or lowes, and you can even buy some materials for what I would consider a pretty nice reflector there as well. Obviously not on par with AHS but still very good and very flexible.

All this, for half the price of AHS. That will always get my vote.
 

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I will second Jimmy, as far as the odno, if you can build a stand you can handle that. I used a shoplight from HD that cost less then the endcaps seperatly, so it made sence with my 4' tank, you may have a problem with tank length??

But take the (whole) weekend and read the ODNO thread, great info in there!!
 
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