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Seeking better spread perhaps?

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by KentCurtis, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    Hey everyone, I posted in the General part of this forum with my setup before I decided I would subscribe, but I will post it again here for reference. I am running into hair/thread algae (not sure of their differences, if any) with my following setup:

    20G High
    2x24 watt t5HO Current USA fixture
    Pressurized CO2
    Dosing EI in accordance with the 10-20 gallon routine
    Eheim 2213 (Spraybar output blows from right side to left)

    My DC is usually lime green(ish), not much of a hint of yellow though because I have lost a couple fish recently trying to turn it up. After reading through the subscriber forum it looks like I may be wanting to achieve a better spread of my lights. I am currently using the supplied mounting legs which are about 3" tall giving me about 5"-6" tops of space between the top of the water and my lighting fixture. Tom, I read where you had lights hung at heights of more than a foot and I am thinking this could possibly help my issue. Does anyone have any suggestions for raising the light? I am living in an apartment so I do not think mounting it via the ceiling would be appropriate, but I am open to suggestions that would be practical and give a clean look. Thanks! Also, any other suggestions as to what I could tweak to beat this algae are welcome.
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Until you do get it mounted higher, you could try pulling the light forward on the aquarium. Shorter plants get less light, and they're usually up front. If you have a glass hood, try taking it off.

    Are you sure it was CO2 that did the fish in? Have you ever watched House? Much like, "It's not lupus!" you'll find, "It's the CO2!"

    -Philosophos
     
  3. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    I tried moving the light forward this evening, I will start running it that way starting tomorrow.
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Kent,

    I used basic closet hardware. I lay the light fixture over the 'arms' and the adjustable racks mount to the wall. Only loss of light is where the fixture crosses the arms. I have a pic somewhere if you need one............The arms easily are moved up or down the rack.......
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here is a nice easy way to suspend a light, that is different from the bent conduit method: Post pics of your DIY stands - Page 4
    Notice the copper pipe support bars. And, this is for about the same size tank as yours. The advantage of hanging the light is the ease of adjusting the hanging height.
     
  6. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    I agree with Vaughnh if you can hang the lights you will get a much better spread. I constructed a hood for my 60gal and dismantled my coralife 4x65w pc fixture and simply mounted the ballasts on the back side of the hood and the lights and reflector on the inside roof of the hood. I was able to move a lot of the heat away from the bulbs by moving the ballasts, that was a + and i get a WAY better spread. The plants stopped competing for the middle of the tank. I didn’t like the spread 100% so i chopped my reflector in half since it was double concave sort of like a W so essentially two reflectors in one and spread them apart by 6 inches and now have a really good spread from front to back with no parts being any less bright.
     
  7. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    I really like the idea you suggested Vaughn. Im not much of a handyman, I do alright, but as I said I am living in an apartment at the moment and do not have the tools to make the bars bent, or resoldered like that. Any suggestions on how to get that type of functionality with bending, rather than soldering? I thought I recalled seeing Tom bend some bars to make a hanging setup.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can use electric conduit, which is just thinner wall steel tubing, and use a conduit bender to bend it however you wish. Conduit benders are less than $20 the last time I looked, and are easy to learn to use. If you want to do the copper tubing method, you don't need to solder the fittings on. You can use one of several epoxy or methacrylate glues to hold the parts together. I like the idea of highly polished copper hanging bars with nice crisp right angle bends, but their main advantage is the aesthetics, and that is a personal choice.
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    You should be able to rent a conduit bender for this. Most places that rent tools should have one. If you buy the steel conduit there they might even bend it for you. You'll probably want to bend it just a touch under the 90 degree angle as the conduit will sag a bit when you put weight on it and the upward angle might give you some more clearance. If you can screw the conduit to the walls and ceiling then you're set as well but you can mount it to the stand like Tom did too.

    Another option would be cast iron pipe. More industrial looking, but it's all threaded fittings so no funky tools needed. You might not even really need a wrench, just clean the pipe and crank it down hand tight. As long as you make sure there's no sharp edges, or wrap the wires, you can probably run all your wires through the pipe as well.

    You probably can't do this with PVC as it'll sag too much unless you have featherweight lighting or can screw the PVC to the walls and ceiling. OTOH, if it's just the bulbs and reflectors you might get away with it providing the ballasts are down near the floor or stand mounted.

    -
    S
     
  10. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    What do you guys think about this? Republic Conduit at Lowe's: 1" x 10' GRC (Rigid Steel Conduit)

    is 1" conduit and 10 feet long. I could probably cut it in half, or even less, and mount it to the back of my stand. It would be ideal if they had shorter pieces so I didn't need to make a cut, but I think this will do the job. There are other sizes as well up to 2" I believe
     
  11. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    1" is pretty standard stuff. As long as you don't have too heavy a fixture you should be good. The shorter you can make the "L" shape hanging over the tank the less leverage it will have and the less likely it will be to sag as well. Since you're probably going to have a 24" or less tank, you'd only be looking at 12" or so front to back so it'll probably be minimal unless you have an anvil for a light fixture.

    -
    S
     
  12. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    Yeah I think it should be fine. It is a Current USA 24" fixture, I was surprised by how light it really is. What would one use to cut that material? Would a hack saw do the job? And I assume I could just bend it with what was suggested earlier
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    [​IMG]

    These are the neatest way to cut conduit.
     

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