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I have 2 Coralife T5NO fixtures on my 29 gallon. I wanted to make a "canopy" or housing for them for awhile. I really wanted to just make them look more pleasing. Now I am thinking something different.

The reflectors and bulb placement on these fixtures are really bad. I would like to make something totally new, using their parts. The main thing would be better reflectors. I don't know how easy it would be to seperate the bulbs so they are further apart. If it isn't easy, I would rather treat them as one big bulb.

I would rather not start from scratch. I am a DIYer, and I understand electricity, but I am not so keen on making my own fixture. I don't think I will save money, plus I don't want to dabble too deeply. I find plenty of better fixtures on sale so I am willing to make some investment but could just buy a new light. The main part (creating the fixture) just made me think, hey, maybe I can improve this even more.

Basically, I would like to use all the guts of my lights. I don't mind splicing a few wires but I would like to keep most of it intact. I am using 30 in bulbs right now, my only consideration would be moving down to 24 inch bulbs as they are easier to come by. The ballasts are 18 watts a peice so I could either overdrive a T5NO, or underdrive a T5HO. Right now, I am leaning towards staying with the 30 inch (I think they are 27.5).

This isn't something I want to do today, maybe not soon, I would just like to start to put this together.

Some key questions...Would it be that much better to buy reflectors compared to making them? Where can I find info on what designs work best, store bought or home made? Would a curved hood benefit over a flat one?

Once I work that out, I can conclude if it's better to build something, or just buy something new.
 
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