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Old 09-08-2004, 11:57 AM   #1
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Rain Forest Lighting

I have been thinking about lighting lately and I have an interesting idea. For lights I have a couple of 96watt compact floresents http://www.ahsupply.com/96watt.htm. Since these are rather bright with the special reflector I have been thinking of putting a piece of plexiglass in the hood between the tank and the light. Then painting the top of the plexiglass so that I get a lighting pattern like the sun comming thru trees. I can paint some parts of it black some part different transparencies of green, yellow etc. I wonder if could get the kind of look where you have "beams" of sunling coming into the water? The tank it would be used in is http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...er=asc&start=0 or will be if I ever get the thing done
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like a really interesting idea. I saw a cichild tank with just light in the middle and shadows on the side. That looked pretty cool. I don't know if it would work or not but keep us informed if you do it. Also the link doesn't work for me.
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:13 PM   #3
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OK the link should work now. I think I will go ahead and try it as it will not cost much to do and be easy to make. If it turns out good I will make sure I share it with every one
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:51 PM   #4
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Sounds really cool!
Dont forget to post pics if it works.
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Old 09-08-2004, 02:31 PM   #5
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I've heard it is really difficult to get the "beam" or "ripple" effect from PC lights. Mostly because the light source is over such a large area. If you want beams or ripple you need to go with a single-point light source, such as Metal Halide. You can put two over your tank, one over each half, and you'll get a nice ripple effect cast onto your tank bottom. The beams your looking for, however, only appear with stuff suspended in the water column. (like dust in the air) so those may prove to be rather elusive. If you consider the MH approach, keep heat in mind. The bulbs can be VERY hot, but it will be like having the sun sitting over your tank.

My only concern on painting a shadow would be how the colors would affect the over all lighting in the tank. Do you think it would end up just tinting your tank green?
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Old 09-08-2004, 02:49 PM   #6
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8O 8O OH OH OH! 8O I have a great idea that's way too complicated to impliment but I thought I'd share it anyway!


Make a shallow plexiglass tray, say 1 inch deep. Fill it with 1/2" of water. Place a dozen or so plastic leaf shaped cut-outs in it. Put a very small powerhead on each end of the tray to push the water and leaves around. Put this tray over your tank, under the lights, and you get moving shadows I know, way too complicated but I think it would add a authentic rainforest ambiance to your tank. Especially if you went with MH lighting.
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Old 09-08-2004, 03:58 PM   #7
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Your right being able to see the beem would be there are particles in the water. But I think I could get the beam to showup on the background maybe or on the bottom of the tank. I dont really want to go to MH becouse I dont need that much light, cost and heat. But I wonder if I just use some bright LED bulbs or some kind like http://www.theledlight.com/? Also on the coloring of the tank with from the light filtering panel I think it would look ok I am not going to paint the entire thing green just spots like a leaf.

Also billy I have thought about something like you mentioned. Exept maybe have tranparent disks painted and attached to small DC motors with reduction drives say modified servos (hmm I have some of those and the disks had turn slowly and overlap so it look like leaves moving on the water and in the trees hmm.
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