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Old 08-13-2010, 01:26 AM   #1
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DIY lighting (hood and lights)

so i have a stock tank its 55 gallons it came with a dual hood with just basic 15w bulbs (tubes) so i guess fluorescent? i know that if i diy i know it will be cheaper but i dont really know how to go about doing it..please any help or advice will be appreciated can i just keep the hood and replace the fixture like the bulb and socket and how would i do that...??? thanks in advance-david
SALE! - 70w DE Socket w/ Bracket - gl_70w_mh_socket - AquaBuys.com
is this something i should be looking at?
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:14 AM   #2
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I don't think you'd like the kind of light that it puts off, and if you have any plastic on your current hood, it would probably melt.

For retrofits, most people recommend ah supply

36 or 55 watt Bright Kits
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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What's the reason behind wanting to upgrade your lighting?

I wouldn't use a metal halide light unless you're going with a reef or very serious planted tank. Bulbs are expensive and they put out a lot of heat. That link you posted is just for the socket.

Look at T5HO retrofit kits to start.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:52 AM   #4
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well basically i have a 55 gallon that i want to plant i can only afford low light so i want to know what the best way (cheapest) to get enough lighting to atleast support low light plants because right now i only have two stock 15w flourescent tubes and i heard the minimum is 1w per gallon thank you btw for the clear up and info so far i just wanna know how to build my own lighting
thanks-david
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:53 AM   #5
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and thanks for the link danny it looks like something i would be able to afford but i seriously cant make out or understand what there talkin about sorry
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:03 AM   #6
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Basically what you'll do is dig out all the wiring in your current fixture and plop in one of theirs and maybe mount the ballast outside. You'll probably need the 2x55 watt + ballast kit to cover your tank, since my 29 fits 1 21" 55W (lengthwise).

I think this is one of their kits inside a fixture



Here's a good site

Retrofiting Lighting for a 55 Gallon Wal-mart Aquarium
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:03 PM   #7
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or if you don't care about looks just go buy a 4 foot shop light from lowes that's what i did.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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I bought a 48" white shop light from Wal-Mart for $10. The first 55g I had I just spray painted it black to match the black trim on the tank. It didn't look to bad. The current 55g tank, I applied wood stain to so it would match my homemade stand and the stained trim on my tank that matches the stand. I'm running an AquaGlo bulb in mine which is 40 watts. I have a PowerGlo bulb lying around that's also 40 watts, but I don't have anymore live plants so I only need one. I have pics on my profile of my DIY setup if you want to check it out. I think I only paid a max of $16 for my lighting setup without the bulbs and $6 went to the stain which I had for my stand anyway.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Yeah I have a wooden canopy on mine so I didn't bother messing with the shop light its just sitting inside
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:39 PM   #10
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all this info was very helpful i think i know the route that will be best for me and my wallet thanks guys!!
-david
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