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Old 06-16-2003, 08:13 PM   #1
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Question on Retrofit lighting

im thinking of purchasing a retrofit kit, and to be honest with you im new to the salt-water aquariums and lighting. my tank is 36"x18"x18" im looking at purchasing a 4x96 retro-fit kit. So how am i able to make a hood for the retro-fit? any ideas plz share! thanks
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Old 06-16-2003, 09:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
So how am i able to make a hood for the retro-fit?
Real simple. If you want it to look nice then use real lumber vs plywood.

But what you can do to build a canopy for real cheap is to buy a sheet of 5/8" plywood. Measure the dimetnsions of the tank and make sure you include from edge to edge so the box you build will slide over the top.

Build it soyou have lets say 6" of canopy above the water surface. Put some cleats on the inside about 1" up so the canopy sits on this.

Put your lights in there. cut a door in the front if you want or put it so the top is removable. Cut out areas in the back for your hoses and equipment.

THere are some good plans and photos in the DIY forum about canopies aswell.

After you add reflectors im not sure 4 96W bulbs is gonna fit. I have only been able to get 2 reflectors in a canopy with 18" width.
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:18 PM   #3
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After you add reflectors im not sure 4 96W bulbs is gonna fit. I have only been able to get 2 reflectors in a canopy with 18" width.
Sure you can, my hood is only 13 " deep and I have 4X96 watt PC's in it.

Go to Home Depot or Lowes and find polished alluminum flashing. They have it in 12" and 16" widths. Cut to size long ways, and then fold over the ends to curve the light in the tank and then mount the 4 sockets 2 on one side and 2 on the other. Like the phots below.
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:46 AM   #4
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wow that is awesome thanks for the pics just another question though. Im going to do the 4x96 watt PC's but im confused im thinking of making a canopy for the top of the tank..im thinking of making the canopy about 6" from top of the tank. Will i have to worry about moisture and the lighting? Or how can i control the evaporation so it dont condense on the lights or dont i have to worry about that and would i need cooling fans? Also i have been looking at prices to buy the ballast at http://www.hellolights.com/index.html but it seems that when i look at the prices of the ballasts and everything i need it would be cheaper just to buy the retro-fit instead of making it all myself retro-fit im looking at is http://www.hellolights.com/364x96wret.html am i able to plug 2 of the ballasts into one extension cord and plug the extension cords into a timer for the seperate attinic and white lighting? or is that going to be too much drag on one electrical outlet?

any ideas? advice? plz!
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:58 AM   #5
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You can get ballasts from Lowes that will run PC lights...I'm thinking about $100 for the ballasts to run a 4x96. Not sure how that compares to what you've looked at. One outlet should run your lights with no problem. Any residential outlet is good for 15 amps...many are rated at 20 amps. The hellolights kit looks like it's about as cheap as anything else I looked at. Not sure you will save a lot of money by DIY'ing the whole thing unless that's what it takes to make it fit.
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:38 PM   #6
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IMO hellolights has very good prices on their retro kits. I would also plan on putting at least 1 fan in your canopy. I am currently running the same set up as your planning (50 gal with 4 x 96 pc) and the pc's can easily raise your tank temp 3 - 5 degrees farenheit. I currently have 1 4" pc fan and it keeps the temp. steady on all but the hottest days. I may still have to add another when we get deep into the summer.

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Old 06-17-2003, 12:53 PM   #7
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im thinking of making a canopy for the top of the tank..im thinking of making the canopy about 6" from top of the tank. Will i have to worry about moisture and the lighting?
My canopy is 6 inches tall and open in the back. As shown in the pics below. I do not have any problems with moisture on the lamps.. If you have an enclosed back on the canopy, I cannot say, as moisture could build up...
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:24 PM   #8
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WOW very nice pics and very good advice, timbo you wouldnt perhaps have any more pics and some plans that i would be able to follow to build my canopy do you?
thanks
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Old 06-17-2003, 03:29 PM   #9
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What are the dimensions of the top of the tank? I mean on the outside...Is it the 36X18? I can draw you a set of plans...
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Old 06-17-2003, 09:54 PM   #10
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ya its 36x18 if you could draw the plans that would be awesome and other advice on it would be great! Also is it alot cheaper to make the lighting unit or to buy a pre-built retro-fit? I was pricing them around on the internet for the ballast, and parts i would need and it seems that its cheaper just to buy the retro-fit kits?? Any where i can get the ballasts and fixture parts cheap LHS?? And what ballasts i would need for a 4x96 PC's?
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