Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > DIY Projects
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-29-2003, 05:37 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,537
Retrofittin' lights

Ok. I really need to get some subcompacts on my tanks. I'm running 1.5 watts on the 10g which is planted, and less then a watt on the 55g (with just a coupla amazons and a java fern). The 55 has 2 hoods and a support beam in between em on the top. The bulbs measure 16".

I started doing some research and my head is spinning. Champion doesn't seem to carry a kit which fits my hoods; ahsupply does but its frickin expensive and does not even include the bulbs. Went to HomeDepot for advice, and got Mr "I only know how to say This Is All We Have" so they were no help. I'm going to try a diff HomeDepot, but was wondering if anyone here had any advice
__________________

__________________
aka Cycling Guru and the Ich Slayer

*glares at Terry and QTOFFER*

Card carrying member of FTAS & GCAS.
Allivymar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2003, 07:08 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,227
Allivymar,

You're in luck my friend lights and cheap is something i've done a good deal of research on.

For your 55 gallon, option one...

www.reefgeek.com

Get a fulham workhorse 7 ballast - $36
Get a pair of 6700k power compact 96 watts - $40
Get a two power compact sockets - $8
Get a two pair of bulb clips - $8

For around $100 with shipping, you've got 192 watts of light.

Of course, you will need to figure out how to get these bulbs into your existing hood... if it is plastic than forget about it, and you will have to build a simple wood one. Plastic won't take the heat very well.

For your 55 gallon, option two...

Lowes (cheaper than HD on lighting)

get two Sylvania 2x59 electronic ballasts - $50
get one "el cheapo" shop light - $7
get a two pack of sylvania daylight deluxe bulbs - $5

Open up your el cheapo shop light and throw away the ballast that is in there - or save it for your 10 gallon

Wire your two new ballasts in, one to each socket. Each ballast will have a pair of "leads" designed to run two bulbs, but instead, combine them to run a single bulb. This will double the output going to the bulb, making it considerablly brighter.

Put the shop light back together, load in the bulbs, and lay it across your tank - you now have approx 220 watts of light for under $70. Of course, running those bulbs at higher output will consume them faster, look to replace the bulbs after 4-6 months, but they are only $5 for a two pack, so not bad!

-----

For your 10 gallon...

Home Depot:

get two "Lights of American" undercabinet lights - approx $15
get one "Plant and Aquarium" bulb, one "Daylight Deluxe" bulb - approx $16
get a piece of glass cut to sit ontop of your tank and hold these lights - approx $5

for less than $40 you now have 30 watts of light for your 10 gallon.

you can disassemble the cabinet lights and build their guts into a basic wood hood as well, eliminating the need for the glass.

Let me know if this what you're looking for!

Stop by the chat this weekend, and I can help ya online if you like.

btw, i moved this topic to the DIY forum for better exposure.

-----

disclaimer:

I've left out a lot of important detail in observance of brevity in the post. If you want to go with one of these options, let me know and I'll bore you with all the nity-grity details 8O

EDIT 09/23/2003

I've done some measurements using the trusty volt-meter, and the 2x59 ballast is not as ideal as a 4x32 ballast ... the current put out by the 4x32 is only a little less, and the cost savings is real good.

I had thought that the 2x59 ballast would push the whole 120 watts into a 40 watt tube, but instead it's only pushing about 80, due to the length of the bulb.

The 4x32 ballast will push 64 watts into a single tube, but difference between 64 and 80 is small, and the cost savings between getting two ballasts compared to a single ballast makes up for it... use the money saved toward additional fixtures as needed.
__________________

__________________
justDIY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2003, 09:48 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,537
You're awesome justDYI!

I think I'm gonna have to go the second route for the 55g. Yep...I've got plastic hoods; completely forgot about the lights cookin em! Thanx for mentioning it LOL

The 10g currently has a Coralife light fixture with a Coralife 6700k bulb. The tank does have a glass top; I save a whole $5 there LOL I can prob fit another light on there with it; was wondering if I could go with a single bulb but I'm gathering not.

OK coupla questions so if anyone else has similar questions they can see the answers, then I think I'll pm you to hold my hand when I try this *grin*:

The 55g tank has 2 hoods with a tank built in support bar inbetween em. How will I fit the shoplight over it so 1) it stays balanced, and 2) so the top of the tank is covered and 3) so the entire tank is lighted; get a 48" shoplight I guess? The hoods do have a glass inset where the current light fixtures sit.

Think I will stop by the chat as well...any particular time/day?
__________________
aka Cycling Guru and the Ich Slayer

*glares at Terry and QTOFFER*

Card carrying member of FTAS & GCAS.
Allivymar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2003, 11:36 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allivymar
The 10g currently has a Coralife light fixture with a Coralife 6700k bulb. -snip- was wondering if I could go with a single bulb
Depending on the age of the bulb (under 9 months), you can continue using it, and skip one of the cabinet lights and one of the bulbs - so you save quite a bit there.

after 9 - 12 months, a fluorescent bulb is basiclly shot - sure it might look fine to our eyes, but it's shot as far as the plants are concerned.

Quote:
The 55g tank has 2 hoods with a tank built in support bar inbetween em. How will I fit the shoplight over it so 1) it stays balanced, and 2) so the top of the tank is covered and 3) so the entire tank is lighted; get a 48" shoplight I guess? The hoods do have a glass inset where the current light fixtures sit.
yup, 48" shop light is like 49"+ long, so it should sit across the top of the tank. You can use some pieces of scrap wood or glass to support each 'end', and leave the rest open, unless of course you have a cat or fish that like to jump, they we'd have to explore other ideas.

I'm not sure how well a single shoplight would do on your tank, might need a second el cheapo, and just wire them a bit different, you'd still have the same amount of watts, but over 4 bulbs instead of two. It's always something you can upgrade easily - tossing out $14 in cheap shop lights is a lot easier than having to replace an expensive power-compact setup

Quote:
Think I will stop by the chat as well...any particular time/day?
I'm not sure what i'll be doing this weekend, but just check in sat or sunday night and I'll probably be there.
__________________
justDIY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2003, 01:19 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,537
The bulb on the 10g is only 2 weeks old. The original burnt out in a MONTH so i just had the lfs replace it. Got a little while left on it Think I'll just throw another light fixture and a decent bulb on that one and be done with it.

The 55g may be a prob. I've clown loaches in that tank; wouldn't want em to go carpet surfing. Occasionally the angelfish will hit the cover as well...dunno what thats all about LOL but yeah, need the tank covered. Hrmm...the tank measures 48' across...if the shop light is over 49 wont that be a problem? LOL and I've no place to make a hood..I live in a 3rd floor apt. No space for woodworking LOL I'm not making this easy am I?
__________________
aka Cycling Guru and the Ich Slayer

*glares at Terry and QTOFFER*

Card carrying member of FTAS & GCAS.
Allivymar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2003, 04:06 PM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
and I've no place to make a hood..I live in a 3rd floor apt. No space for woodworking LOL I'm not making this easy am I?
Bug your friends, family, coworkers, whoever you can. If you can find somebody to either help you build it, or at least provide space and tools, you'll be good to go. You'd be surprised at how many folks are willing to help with stuff like this.

JustDIY is Da Man with these projects, that is for sure!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2003, 06:27 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,227
while you're picking up your shop lights and other supplies, over in the ceiling tile section (don't know why it's not in the lights section) they sell plastic light diffusers commonly called "Egg Crate"

They are typically 24" by 48" and have 1 sq. inch "holes" The price on them ranges widely, they're nearly $27 for a sheet here, but others seem to be able to get them for as low as $5 - hopefully you'll be on the lower end! That will keep all but the most determined of fish inside the tank.

As for a 3rd floor apartment - NO Excuse Buddy!! just joking

some of my best work was done while livin in my 3rd floor apartment - I built a 2x4 stand for my 29 gallon, and two lighting canopy, one for the 29 and one for a 10 gallon.

I used dimensional lumber (1x4) for most of my canopy (easily cut with a $10 miter saw and box) and then had HD cut a piece of plywood down to size for me for the top!(first 5 cuts were free).
__________________
justDIY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2003, 11:00 AM   #8
AA Team Emeritus
 
TankGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 8,974
Another idea for the 10-gal, which is what I do, is I got an incandescent hood for it at Petsmart, which is I think $20, and I put those pigtail fluorescent bulbs in each socket, which are 14w each. That's it. I am going to post a thread about those pigtail lights, because the ones I got from HD are kindof yellow, and not as white as I would like, but definitely deliver the light and my plants have responded favorably.

I probably got this DIY from this forum, but it explains in detail how to retrofit the 55-gal standard hood that you have:
http://www.boognish.org/ripvan/fishdiy/index.html

I have not done it yet, but I plan to!
TankGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 05:11 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
TankGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 8,974
An update, Allivymar. I just purchased two shoplights from Lowe's (HD did not have them) that were $9.99 each. They are twin tube standard shop lights but the reflector hood comes down lower than the bulbs, so they rest nicely on top of the tank, just out of the box. I got two glass tops (Petsmart has a set of glass tops for a 55 gal) and I am set, with 40w x4! I am going to have to play around with the type of T12 I have in there, but it was so cheap. The fixture is advertised as "stainless steel" but it is actually just a finish and the reflector hood is aluminum. I will at some point build a hood to hide them, and to make feeding easier, but with your jumping fish there is no room for escape, especially if you have the glass top on each side.
__________________

TankGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
light, lights, retrofit

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can you help on which lights to get? jabo General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 4 10-03-2008 04:40 PM
new lights are wrong lights.. help please rngrjt Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 10 06-10-2006 12:59 AM
Nicest PC lights? PC lights to stay away from? runway1 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 13 01-29-2005 10:50 AM
Lights, oh the wonderful lights. SerLunchbox Canada 19 12-24-2004 05:40 PM
shop lights instead of pc lights? bolohead Saltwater Reef Aquaria 8 06-10-2004 06:43 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.