Ok so I am making some changes...
I am tired of my single MH
pendant hanging over my tank for a few reasons. I think it looks kinda funny first off. Just doesn't seem very pleasent to look at to me. Second, the metal is hot as heck when the bulb is on. Not a very safe thing to have around at head height, especially being in a retail store. And finally, I don't have any fluorescent lights (i.e. 03
's) to supplement the MH
So I am going to be building a hanging fixture that will enclose my existing MH
bulb plus two other 55w PC
's. I have a couple requirements for the fixture.
1. The fixture needs to be the same width as my tank (~13"). This was a problem for me at first as I didn't know how to incorporate a MH
and florescents in the same space without the two coming to close to one another.
2. The fixture can't be any longer than my tank (~30). This is actually easy. 55w PC
's come in 24" size. If I build the fixture out to 30", it will give me plenty of room inside for fans, wiring, etc...
3. The fixture needs to be tall enough to hide the wiring, reflector, bulbs, etc... I am shooting for about 8" tall. That should be enough to hide everything.
4. Unit must be able to be hung from the ceiling. I am thinking hooks screwed into the side or top of the unit will easily allow it to be hung. I have plenty of support and struts about the tank so this should not be a problem.
5. The reflector in the fixture must house the MH
's all at once. I didn't want to bother with individual reflectors for each bulb. Not only do they cost more, but they also take up space inside the fixture. At ~13" of width, I don't have a lot of room to move around.
With all this in mind, I went on the net to browse around to see if I could find, for sale, what I am wanting to build. After investing a little, I found that Coralife makes pretty much what I was looking for:
Of course their fixture starts at $399 and it only has NO
bulbs installed. But at least this gives me a working model for what I want to do.
Next up, I needed to find a reflector to house the entire unit of bulbs. I know that I could make a simple reflector out of roof flashing, but I thought that perhaps a polished mirror type metal would work best. I was having some difficulty finding what I needed in the space I needed to put it in. Then I found this beauty:
As you can see from the pic, I can either put 1 VHO
on either side or 1 PC
on each side and install the MH
in the middle of the two. Perfect!!
Next up, I needed to find encaps for the PC
's. This site also had exactly what I was looking for: http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merch...paratecompacts
I have a buddy of mine working on getting me a Workhorse 5 ballast, J-Box (to install the ballast remotely), plugs, and outlets at no cost. Always good to have a friend in the electrical business.
I'll be making a trip to Home Depot on Monday to pick up some misc stuff (i.e. screws, nails, wood for project, fans, etc...) I think I am going to use 1/2" wood as that should make it fairly sturdy. I will also be spacing the boards in the top of the unit to help the fans (one installed on each end for a total of two) in removing the heat associated with running that MH
in there. Very similar to what this guy did:
Just thought I would share this info. I'll post pics and updated progress on this project next week as I begin to build. Should be fun to do. I have wanted to customize my lighting for a long time. Just was to lazy to build the fixture to do it in.
, total design budget for this was $150 (without bulbs). I should come under than. Much cheaper than the Coralife fixture I posted above that only works with MH
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