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Old 06-03-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
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DIY 72" lighting?

What have some of you all done for lighting on your six foot tanks? I don't really have the need for a fancy fixture because my tank isn't planted and houses only cichlids. I figure this is one place I can trim costs by going DIY so please share with me your set ups.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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If you want a cheap fixture, I've got one that has two 3' T8 bulbs in it (came with my 125).... PM me if you're interested
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #3
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If you are looking for really inexpensive then go to a Lowes or Home Depot and get a hanging T12 light fixture and put that over the tank. With the bulbs you are probably looking at 35.00 total. Cheap and easy.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:26 PM   #4
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Im going to build a hood as well to match my stand so a hanging light won't really work. Has anyone used a 4 foot fixture on a six foot tank? How does it look is it shady or does it provide enough light? I may take you up on the two 36's mfd.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
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Here's a picture of it on my 5' tank:


But here's what I did with my 125 that light came off of:
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcock
Im going to build a hood as well to match my stand so a hanging light won't really work. Has anyone used a 4 foot fixture on a six foot tank? How does it look is it shady or does it provide enough light? I may take you up on the two 36's mfd.
Smitty is right that a utility light would be the best bang for your buck. It's made to hang but you can take the fixture cover off and screw it to the top of your hood or if it's gonna open, then use a 1x3 stringer to screw it to.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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My biggest concern is that a 4 ft light won't do the job. If it will light up the whole tank then that's fine but if it's going to be shady then I don't think I want that.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #8
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Well, there may be some shade on the edge if you have the light centered (which you should). Still, I don't know if it would be a lot. Then again, I've never done it so don't want to stick my neck out there saying everything will be ok!

How tall are you planning to make your hood? The higher up the lights are, the less of a chance there will be for any shadows. If you are a perfectionist like me, look for a 6' (or close) light!

And just because I mentioned hanging lights, doesn't mean you have to hang them (as Mr. Limpet said). You can have a top to the hood and screw it to that, or hang from the top of the hood, or if you are like me and don't want/need a top, you can build a little shelf along the sides and and rest it on there. Same will go for two 3' lights.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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buy the 4 ft and get a 1-2 foot and build them into a canopy end to end. Dont see why it wouldnt work. you might have to have two switches but big deal.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:23 PM   #10
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I bought one 4' dual T8 fixture yesterday and held it about 1 foot over the tank to test it and it lights it up beautifully. Thanks for the input everyone.
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