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Old 05-22-2014, 03:48 PM   #1
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DIY HOB lighting

I'm thinking about building a couple HOB lights for my tanks. One will be for my 10g and other for my 29g. The ballast for both will be mounted low and behind as a counterweight to hold the head a few inches above the open top. The 10g will get a M85 (70 watt) metal halide in a "stand light" head. The 29g will get a M59 (175 watt) metal halide in a "pole light" reflector as part of its head.

Main question: what material do you think would be best for this project? Cost very important, as is weight.

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Old 05-22-2014, 04:02 PM   #2
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Alluminum Gutter sections from home depot, easy to cut, glue end caps on and spray paint..

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Old 05-22-2014, 06:15 PM   #3
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Gutter looks like it could be a good head for fluorescent or M98 (70 watt "yard lite") , but is too honkin' big for much else. However, I do have some 3/4" PVC I can try for the 10g light. I don't see it being stiff enough for the 29g light.

I also would like to enclose the top of the 29g's reflector.

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Old 05-22-2014, 06:20 PM   #4
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3/4" ? I may not be following correctly? ? You're wanting to build a whole light hood with existing hardware? You could use 4+" pic and rip it in half the long way

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Old 05-22-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lectraplayer View Post
I'm thinking about building a couple HOB lights for my tanks. One will be for my 10g and other for my 29g. The ballast for both will be mounted low and behind as a counterweight to hold the head a few inches above the open top. The 10g will get a M85 (70 watt) metal halide in a "stand light" head. The 29g will get a M59 (175 watt) metal halide in a "pole light" reflector as part of its head.

Main question: what material do you think would be best for this project? Cost very important, as is weight.

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That is a lot of wattage. Are you injecting CO2? What are your plans as far as plants ?


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Old 05-22-2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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I am experimenting with growing plants, with no real long term plans except to see what grows. I also like HID lighting.

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Old 05-22-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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With that much wattage you may be growing algae. If you want an inexpensive solution: go to Lowes or Home Depot, get a clamp lamp for each tank, maybe 2 for the 29 gallon, and three 23Watt(100 watt equivalent), 6500K CFL bulbs.


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Old 05-22-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
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Check out this thread and make sure that you read the whole thing. My inexpensive CFL light solution
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:39 PM   #9
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I've seen those. I had a pair of 15 watt CFL's when I started but it still looked extremely dark. While I managed to modify the hood to accept a pair of 25 watt CFLs. However I've already started working on this project and am feeling froggy.

Also, where can I find CFLs in 8000K or 10000K above 20 watts?

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Old 05-22-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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I've seen those. I had a pair of 15 watt CFL's when I started but it still looked extremely dark. While I managed to modify the hood to accept a pair of 25 watt CFLs. However I've already started working on this project and am feeling froggy.

Also, where can I find CFLs in 8000K or 10000K above 20 watts?

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Lowes or Home Depot ONLNE. Maybe Fleabay. For plants, I would go with 6500K.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:54 PM   #11
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I have 25 watt 5000K's now. I still want to finish this project though.

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Old 05-23-2014, 09:02 AM   #12
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3/4" ? I may not be following correctly? ? You're wanting to build a whole light hood with existing hardware? You could use 4+" pic and rip it in half the long way

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3/4" PVC is for the frame of the lamp. The head itself will be constructed from something much larger.

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Old 05-23-2014, 09:03 AM   #13
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Oh to suspend it?

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Old 05-23-2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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Yes. I thought I made that clear but I have been known to consider riddles clear as day.

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Old 05-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #15
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Right right, hob.. more like sot.(suspend over top) sematics.. I'd use threaded pipe and fittings.. the pvc is going to be flimsy.. some copper with saudered fittings would look awesome.. expensive but awesome.. than again plain old steel painted black would be cool too

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Old 05-23-2014, 08:13 PM   #16
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The copper does sound like an idea for a production version. I can probably build two or three frames and equip them for less than I can buy one equivalent factory-built lamp the way prices are.

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Old 05-23-2014, 09:38 PM   #17
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There is such a thing as too much light and this would surpass that amount by a large amount. You would more than likely fry any plants in the tank, overheat the water like crazy, severely stress out the fish, and more than likely have an obscene algae farm assuming they can withstand the amount of light you would be pumping into a tank that size.

Go big or go home is nice... to a point
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:06 PM   #18
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There is such a thing as too much light and this would surpass that amount by a large amount. You would more than likely fry any plants in the tank, overheat the water like crazy, severely stress out the fish, and more than likely have an obscene algae farm assuming they can withstand the amount of light you would be pumping into a tank that size.



Go big or go home is nice... to a point

+1. I agree.


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Old 06-01-2014, 07:40 PM   #19
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I have the 70 watt lamp constructed but due to a ballast mismatch, I have to order a proper ballast. After checking the electrical characteristics of an M85 and an M98 metal halide, and seeing that they were listed identically, I was sure the ballast I had would suffice, but obviously not. The PVC frame, however, is great, and very stiff and strong.

While we're here, do single-ended (medium base) M98 metal halide lamps exist in 10,000K? ...or do they only exist in M85 double ended configurations below 150 watts and then jump to mogul at 175 watts?

I may also build additional sizes once I have created a working model. I plan on making a 50 watt copper model for my 10g.

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Old 06-19-2014, 07:56 AM   #20
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Ballast come yesterday evening and the lamp is burning.

70 watt 4000K bulb shown.

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