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Old 03-27-2007, 10:43 PM   #11
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Well, I looked at some of the reflectors, and they aren't really what I like. The ones that are 48" are flat with a 90 degree angle for the sides. I can easily do that with cut mirrors and have no metal, and actually have the sides angled rather than at a 90 degree angle for the sides, like maybe 45 degree angles. And can even do a more parabolic type reflector using mirrors. Wood is easy to cut, and would be easy to secure the mirrors as I like them. And getting the cut mirrors is probably cheaper than the almost $40.00 for the single 48" reflector. Either way, it's still in the thinking process, and can't wait to start drawing it up on paper.

Edit:
Here's other things I'll be doing as well....

I'm also looking at some assorted bulbs online as well. If I put in 4 bulbs, I'd like 2 to be either 5000k or 6500k-6700k, and the other 2 to be the 8000k bulbs used by other well known planted tank pros. Or even do a 5000k, a 6500k-6700k, a 8000k, and a 10000k. But since my first project will be the 55G, which I want to be under 2w/g, I'm only doing a 2 bulb canopy for it. The 75G will have either 6 or 8 bulbs. And 4 in my 29G. But one project at a time, lol.

As for the fans, it's going to have 3 very large, quiet fans, run off a DC Adapter. And I'll have vents in both the sides of the canopy for fresh air to flow into the canopy, as the fans are blowing the warm air up and out the top. And yes, the entire canopy is going to be sealed in a clear coat, as well as the stand. That way it will look nice, with a nice finish. Also, just above the front doors that will be installed for doing maintenance and feeding, I'll have a piece of glass mounted just above that so there's no chance of water being splashed up on the bulbs, ballast, etc.

As for hiding the trim on the tank, I'm going to make the framework of the stand and canopy so it's the exact same dimensions as the tank top and bottom. Then when I install the side paneling, it will be installed so that all the trim on the tank is covered, and will be rounded with a router so it looks nice. That way, when the tank is set in the base, none of the tank trim will be showing. And it will all be in Cedar.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolfblue
As for the fans, it's going to have 3 very large, quiet fans, run off a DC Adapter.
When I researched mod'ing a canopy and adding fans, the best cfm/decibel ratio I could find were with Silenx computer case fans. Very, very quiet for the amount of air they moved. When I build the canopy for my 125, that is what I will be putting in there - then you can direct wire a AC to DC adapter and you have very good ventilation with little noise. HTH
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSU Fan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolfblue
As for the fans, it's going to have 3 very large, quiet fans, run off a DC Adapter.
When I researched mod'ing a canopy and adding fans, the best cfm/decibel ratio I could find were with Silenx computer case fans. Very, very quiet for the amount of air they moved. When I build the canopy for my 125, that is what I will be putting in there - then you can direct wire a AC to DC adapter and you have very good ventilation with little noise. HTH
Cool, will definitely check them out....
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:29 AM   #14
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I built my canopy recently. I used the DIY shop light method as well. If you are looking at trying to save some money, by all means, buy the entire 2 bulb shop light! They are $7-$8 for the whole thing. The ballasts, if bought seperately are like $28 a piece! Even if you dont want to use the entire shop light inside your canopy, you can scavenge all the parts from them. I had to remove 3 or 4 screws total to remove all the guts of mine. Then you have all the hardware needed (for 2 lights) for under $10.

Personally, I mounted the hardware from 2 T8/T12 kits under mine. I got lucky that with one kit I can remove a bulb allowing me to only use 3 32w 6500K bulbs. The other kit, if I remove a bulb, both go out. However, they do sell single bulb units if you want to go that route.

You can get 32w 6500k bulbs in a 2 pack at Home Depot for $6. $3 a bulb compared to $20 a bulb at the LFS is a steal!

I used a PC fan for cooling. Brand new it was $5. I already had a 12v power supply from an old VHS tape rewinder. Otherwise, that would be the most expensive part of the project.

The unit I built, I painted the inside white and the outside black. The outside didnt turn out so good. This gives me an excuse to rebuild! LOL. When I do, I plan to use a mirror in it. A long door mirror is $5 at home Depot.

So, for a 4 bulb unit running 128w of 6500k lighting, all the hardware would cost about $40, bulbs included. Shop Lights $14, bulbs $12, fan $5, mirror $5. Add another $20ish if you need to purchase a power supply.

And, to top it off, it's so easy it's not funny.
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:58 AM   #15
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I looked at the shop lights at Lowe's and they are $22.99 or something like that here, for the 2 bulb unit.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:07 PM   #16
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I bought my 2 bulb units last month for about $7 each at Home Depot. I cant see them being that much more expensive there if you have an HD nearby.
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:45 PM   #17
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We just had a Home Depot put in last year I think it was. But it's way on the other end of town. Will check it out if I ever get over there.
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