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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would make a thread for a hood I am building. This hood is going on a 20H that will be a low tech home for rcs. This tank will have a ton of diy. The stand, hood/canopy, and filter are all diy.

I started the build with a 1x2 frame and skinned it with 1/2" plywood. Lighting will be 2 18" t8 fluorescent tubes. I am taking the reflectors, ballasts, and starters from two standard aquarium lights and mounting them inside the hood. The tubes are going to be zoomed flora sun and tropic sun. The lights will be wired into a single switch mounted on the back of the hood and that switch will be plugged into a timer. The inside of the hood will be painted flat white and I will line the inside of the reflectors with foil tape.

This hood will have a cooling system. The heart of the cooling system is an inkbird controller with both a heat and cooling side. Cooling will be provided by 4 pc fans. Two fans will be mounted at each end of the hood and will be faced so they blow in. The fans will be wired to a single 13.5 volt, 1 amp dc power supply plugged into the inkbird. I will drill two holes that are 2" diameter in the top of the hood toward the back to provide heated air an escape route.

Here is a pic of the hood as it sits while being trial fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@MCSLABS Thansk. Tomorrow I will get the fan holes drilled and get the inside painted. Once I get the fans and lights mounted I will post some more pics of the hood.

I have little money invested in this. The plywood came from lowes as scraps, cost me 5 bucks, and they even cut it for me. Total cost on this hood including new fluorescent tubes is about 40 bucks, maybe even less.
 

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I'm all for building something from nothing. I got the wood for my hood out of a dumpster from a construction site.

I'm still toying with the idea of fiber optics for the nano tank, not sure whether to just buy the acrylic rods or make them myself. As a means to keeping the plants alive I did buy a $5 work light and put a t2 philips bulb in it.

I like how the work light fits right on top of the tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Me to. Ive said it before I dont worry about perfect. I'm no carpenter and if it works from a cost and function standpoint I am happy. I try to make stuff look as good as possible and the more I do it the better I am getting at it. I have a journal for this tank. I will post progress on the hood here and once I get the tank filled and the filter running I will post the complete setup over there.

Bump: That little rig looks nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks great. I really like that dark rock you have in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Petsmart, the grand kid picked it out, it was either that or a fluorescent green stringy thingy he was eyeballing
That made me laugh out loud. Our first grand child was born a month ago. Sorry kid I love ya but no green stringy things for the aquarium.
 

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Maybe some red plastic shapes for the tank? I learned to figure it is their tank. As long as it doesn't keep the fish awake, I'm up for whatever they like.
Question about the little nano? Is there any problem with heat or some way for it to escape at the top? On the DOOD's, I was wondering how having the ballast outside the canopy might work? I stripped one out of a light and hung it on the back to get better airflow. May be no problem anyway but it might help in the future? Seems like the ballast was the hottest part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe some red plastic shapes for the tank? I learned to figure it is their tank. As long as it doesn't keep the fish awake, I'm up for whatever they like.
Question about the little nano? Is there any problem with heat or some way for it to escape at the top? On the DOOD's, I was wondering how having the ballast outside the canopy might work? I stripped one out of a light and hung it on the back to get better airflow. May be no problem anyway but it might help in the future? Seems like the ballast was the hottest part.
Ive thought about this. This setup will have two ballast so even more heat. I may very well take your suggestion. My house gets hot during the summer and this tank will have rcs in it so I need to make the cooling as efficient as possible. If mounting the ballast outside equals a degree or two it is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I forgot I made this thread. Here are some pics of the ooling system. Lighting is just about wired up.





 

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Hood is looking good. With 4 fans you should have no problem keeping the air above the water fresh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks good.

Somehow get some surface agitation to increase evaporation which will increase the cooling effect. Maybe put an air wand on the side of the incoming air.
I dont think I will need to but I might. There is a hole in the very top, in the back center. I can feel air coming out of it with no fans running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hood is looking good. With 4 fans you should have no problem keeping the air above the water fresh.
I think with four fans blowing and the vent I cut in the top it should cool pretty well.

Here we go with the pro's:
The cooling system will work well. I should get good air movement across the water with all four fans blowing in. I am curious to see what kind of temp drops I will get out of it.

The cons:
I'm not happy with the way it looks. The plywood was cheap and it shows.
Two 18" fluorescent tubes that high off the substrate are not giving me as much light at the sub as I had hoped. I haven't measured but I am sure they are a good 22" above the substrate.
For some reason the door warped and doesn't fit right.
I should have planned better for wires going into the tank. Managing the filter, temp prob, and heater cord while maneuvering the hood into place was a pita.

How I am going to fix it:
I am going to add some framing and reskin it with luon.
I am also going to replace the lights. This time I am going to cut holes in the top and mount two cfl fixtures in the top. I'm open to suggestions here.
I am going to work a long notch into the frame and back so my wires can just hang down and I can lower the hood over them without worrying about pinching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One other problem I am having is the dc power supply I am using for the fans is to big to plug into my controller. Easily fixed with an extension cord I reckon.
 

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Those power supplies can be bulky for sure!
My daughters 25g tall has 2 CFL clip on lights in the hood - surprising amount of light! Best of luck on the re-do. Surprising how many little details go into something the should be simple.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The nuances of this project are surprising indeed. It is totally functional. There is enough light to grow plants. The cooling system is most likely overkill lol. Its just little things that I can improve. I'm an I.T. guy not a carpenter and this is the first time I have built anything from wood since high school so from that aspect I am pleased. I know it can be better though.
 

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I would not profess to be a "carpenter" but I do have my creative moments. Part of the reason the canopy is that tall is to house the CfL lights and reflectors which look very much like MCSLABS pic in post #4 of this thread.

 
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