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Old 03-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
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DIY Light Mount

So, I decided that I needed a project today and since I'm thinking about slowly adding some riparium elements to my 65g planted tank, I thought that I would make a DIY mount for my light so that I could raise and lower it depending on how high out of the tank the plants would eventually grow. After some time spent googling, I hadn't come up with a whole lot (maybe I just missed it), so I measured the dimensions of the tank, the light and everything else and made my way to good ole Home Depot. After wandering around with no particular plan, I called my dad and we talked it over and eventually, we decided on a course of action.

I bought 2 1"x36" aluminum strips and 2 3/4"x36" aluminum "L" strips, two 8" lengths of chain, 2 hook screws, 4 4-40 1/2" round head bolts with nuts a metal file, and a hacksaw.



My tank is 36" long, but divided in half by a plastic strip, so I measured the length of each half and cut the "L" strips to fit. Then, I bent the flat strips by hand into the arch shapes you see above. Then, to attach them all together, I drilled 2 holes about 2 1/2" in on one side of each "L" strip and 2 holes at the base of each end of the flat strips. Using the nuts and bolts, I screwed them together forming something like this:



It looks rather flimsy, and it is light, because of the aluminum, but once the bolts were tightened in, it actually is quite solid. Then, having assembled both of these, I had to go about hanging my light from the pieces. I drilled a hole in the top of each arch and screwed in one of the hook screws:



Then, after much deliberation and anxiety, I decided to carefully do the same to the casing of the light itself. I gently drilled a hole and screwed the one hook onto each end of the light casing, again, about 2 1/2" from each end. Then, it was just a matter of deciding how high above the water I wanted it and adjusting the links in the chain to match. The result:



I'm not the handiest guy in the world and I can't tell you how gratifying it was to finish this and see that (for the time being at least) it worked! It's not the most attractive thing in the world, but it works and it does have a certain industrial aesthetic to it that I don't mind. I think all told, it came to about $30 and an afternoon's work, so not too bad.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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Nice. Are you using self tapping hooks? If so, you might want to consider ones with nuts. I don't trust those in this application.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #3
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I considered that, too. I'm going to keep a close eye on it and change them out if I see any hint of slippage. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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looks amazing mate! well done!
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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That is just too cool. I love it when things have an industrial look.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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Really awesome idea and look! Looks really unique!
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need4fish View Post
Nice. Are you using self tapping hooks? If so, you might want to consider ones with nuts. I don't trust those in this application.
Thanks again for the tip, I checked this morning and sure enough, the screws had slipped a couple millimeters down, so I took it down and replaced it with eye bolts and s-hooks. It's totally secure now.

Everybody else, thanks for the compliments!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:35 AM   #8
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looks great; I know if I tried it, the whole thing would splash into my tank and probably short circuit my house haha
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:43 AM   #9
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looks great; I know if I tried it, the whole thing would splash into my tank and probably short circuit my house haha
Thanks! Yeah, I'm really hoping that doesn't happen. It's better than it was when it was just sitting on top of the tank's rim, though.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WBAC88

Thanks! Yeah, I'm really hoping that doesn't happen. It's better than it was when it was just sitting on top of the tank's rim, though.
consider me inspired! if you have any spare time, could you pm me how you did it? in a little more detail than what you've written here? if not, it's totally ok
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