I'm planning on upgrading my lighting in the coming months. First I need to build a canopy to fit the lights under, but that won't be much trouble as I have other woodworking projects that need to be completed so I can make it alongside.
I have a Icecap 460 ballast with heatsink & wiring harness. It was previously set up on a 55 gallon saltie with T12VHO bulbs (3x48").
I need a reflector which I will be able to make easily from sheet metal and some T5 endcaps. I'm going to design the canopy so the back is completely open and the tops hinges up at least 90 degrees with access from the front.
The tank is a 18 gallon tall tank. Dimensions are 20" long x10" wide x 20" tall. It is a freshwater planted tank, hence the desire to upgrade the lighting.
I'm considering putting in 3 18" bulbs. The bulbs I'm considering are one each of:
T-5 HO Aquarium Lighting: T-5 HO Freshwater TrueLumen Flora
Aquarium Lighting T-5 HO Florescent Bulbs: AquaticLife T5 HO Pink Roseate 650nm Fluorescent Lamps
Aquarium Lighting T-5 HO Florescent Bulbs: AquaticLife T5 HO Natural White 6,000°K Fluorescent Lamps
Are there any considerations I need to keep in mind when building this? Cooling fans? Accessibility options? Hood-building pitfalls?
Does my light selection seem adequate or overkill? Would I see much of a difference from having all three of these lamps vis-a-vis just the 2 AquaticLife lamps?
Any input will be appreciated.