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Old 02-02-2006, 10:19 AM   #1
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Cheap Lights

Home Depot has these 18" fixtures for sale for 9 bucks. Got some heating aluminum tape for a reflector. This stuff works great on any fixture and really makes a heck of a difference in your light output. Very Sticky! Don't let the sticky sides touch or it's toast! I taped the on-off switch to the on position cause when you combine two together, the switches touch and turn off. Don't need the switch anyway as I am doing on-off with a timer. I'm using Quantum Lightning rod bulbs. Some cheap ballasts won't fire them, but this one does no problem. It's not pretty but It does the job! Suppose you could cover it with a hood.
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:12 PM   #2
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I almost grabbed some of those when I was looking to relight my 30 gallon. They're just a bit on the tall side when you put them on edge like that. They also have a 24" 2 bulb fixture thats only about 3.5 inches tall, with a plastic diffuser light cover was only $20 when I was there. Works great with a couple of 6700k bulbs, but it looks dim. Will have to get a 10k bulb when it comes time to replace them.

The absolute cheapest I found there myself was picking up the plastic light sockets and screw in CF bulbs. Costs about $8 for ~23 watts of CF light. Of course they're the twisted bulbs so there's a lot of restrike, but they do work. I've run 3 of them in parallel with good results, I think more than that would need another chain.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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Cool. Gotta check that out. These lights had the plastic diffuser also, I took it off. My lights just sit on a glass top. I'm running an 11000k and a 6700k in the DIY fixture, and one 6700k in another stock top. All fits nicely on my 10 gallon. It works well, but it is ugly! Does sit high. Think I'll make a hood to cover it.
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:42 AM   #4
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yeah thats pretty cool. i have a very similair setup.

at first i was gonna go for 2 lights (the thick type - dunno the diameter), but when i turned them on i lit the entire room, so i returned the fixture and got a single light one. and my dad helped me make an awsome hood using some wood we bought. it looks better than if bought from the store (dads an architect). but now my problem is, i used Plexy glass to cover the top of the aquarium and the Hood sits ontop of it. even though the light doesnt get too hot, its still got enough to cause the plastic to Bend. it is really annoying so does anyone know how i could possible fix that?
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:41 AM   #5
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Plexiglass will sag under it's own weight, even without the heat. A better choice is glass.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:18 AM   #6
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get a glass cutter and some old windows from a salvage yard and make your own lids.
I just cut sum up for the first time yesterday, and believe me it's so easy I feel stupid I didn't do it earlier.
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:29 AM   #7
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Hey xxxcellarator, like BillD said, use a glass top. You could but one to fit just about any tank, or, if your handy, make your own. I got mine from big als for cheap, but my tank is only a ten gallon. Not sure how much a big one would be. I have to move one of my lights when I want in the tank, but I don't mind. Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:54 AM   #8
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I used plexiglass for my DIY hood... hasn't sagged at all with 26 watts of CF light and both ballasts behind it, and no vents. The bulbs are probably 3" from the plastic.

You're either going to have to move the bulbs further from the plastic or install some cooing fans to try and keep it cooler.
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenc
Hey xxxcellarator, like BillD said, use a glass top. You could but one to fit just about any tank, or, if your handy, make your own. I got mine from big als for cheap, but my tank is only a ten gallon. Not sure how much a big one would be. I have to move one of my lights when I want in the tank, but I don't mind. Good luck!
yeah i need a 36" canopy and that is about $40. quite expensive for me.
and i also went to Homedepot (in Canada) and asked them if they have glass. they didnt and i asked em where i could find some and they said at a glass specialist. and i asked em how much they woudl estimate the price to be and that said arround $100 for a sheet like that. i was like 8O 8O 8O cause i wouldnt mind doing it myself (thats actually better), but no way am i paying $100 for that. ide rather buy an aquarium and break it apart for the glass LOL
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Old 02-03-2006, 11:46 PM   #10
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I learned to cut glass when I was 12.. seriously it's insanely easy..
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