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lighting change

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by tedr108, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well, I decided to go for it yesterday and go for the suspended light technique -- all DIY. I got the idea from Tom's 180G setup.

    I got some 1/2" conduit, chains, eye bolts, and some things I don't remember the name of from the local hardware store. The maintenance of my tank just got way easier -- my old hood had to be removed completely, so I was always procrastinating on needed work. Another cool thing is that I can now reduce the lighting on my tank by simply raising the fixture. I have 2 x 96w PC lamps, which were fairly intense for a 50G tank. I have the fixture about 10" from the water right now... My fixture is very light because I have the ballasts screwed in underneath my tank ... others might need to use 3/4" conduit.

    You do need access to a conduit bender by the way ... I borrowed one from a friend. Only took a couple of minutes to put the 90 degree bends in the pipe.

    The photo is hard to see at the top, but the fixture is fully suspended by 4 chains coming from the conduit.

    [​IMG]

    No big deal, but I just wanted to share my upgrade. :)
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Get yourself a nice canister, say a Rena 3, in line the CO2, or go needle wheel powerhead in the tank, you'd be set.

    Maybe 3-4 bags of ADA AS.
    Then you'd really be set.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    I just knew that I should explain that Bio-wheel filter when I posted this pic! :rolleyes: OK, I agree it's an eyesore, along with all of the other wires and pipes. I had the Bio-wheel sitting around and decided to put it on my tank during the cycling period when I started the tank -- after the cycling, I've just been running it at night. There is actually a Fluval 305 underneath running all the time. I bought a Rena XP3 as a backup to the 305 a while back and am planning on putting it on the tank, since it has better flow than the 305 by a significant amount.

    That is ADA AS, by the way ... about 2.5 bags worth. Also, there is a needle wheel CO2 powerhead in the tank, and it's doing a great job.

    Right now I'm putting together a list of all of the needed accessories for my dream tank, getting most of the info from the 180G Rimless Starfire thread. I'm saving money for that, rather than upgrading my current tank. I'll probably have to settle for a 120G (48x24x24) tank, though I would rather have a 180G -- so my actual tank will be a little less than my dream tank. :(
     
  4. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Ted,

    Nice light upgrade.

    What is the outside of the hood made of?

    All around nice tank.:cool:
     
  5. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Chris,

    The lighting frame is just wood, spray painted black ... plywood on the ends and 1x2s between to hold the reflectors and lights -- lot's of open air around my lights. I'm hoping this frame will not warp (3 months and no warps so far), but even if it does warp in a year or so, I can rebuild it in about 45 mins and for under $10. As you may be able to see, I cut 2 half circles into the nearest end and put in 2 little fans which blow directly onto each light down its entire length -- my reflectors stay literally cool to the touch all day long with this method. By the time I cut away the extra wood that made up the hood yesterday, there was almost nothing left. You can actually look right at the outside of the reflectors when standing in front of it. Since the ballasts are below the tank, it is ultra light weight. It's far from beautiful, but the functionality pleases me ... my next one will look nicer and hide the reflectors better.

    Thanks for the kind comments.
     
  6. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    Ted,

    That's really awesome you made this! I've been wanting to do this for so long now. I think over the summer I'm going to do this to at least 1 of my tanks. It doesn't seem that hard to do, but you sure knocked it out of the park! No more lights shining in you face while you try to aquascape :p .
     
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