The hood has been siliconed, hopefully the plexi will help support the middle section of glass, but I doubt it once its got the light and water to deal with. The middle section sagging a bit is fine either way.
This pic shows the bit of sag that it has, would likely not happen with the same glass on a 2ft tank.
This is will the tubing and plexi both which provide a bit of support, ATM anyway.
I finally finished the hood tonight
. Now after a LOT of thought I settled on spiral CFLS for a couple reasons. First the hood had to be custom to give me enough light spread(had to be wide). I did not want to hassle with ordering any lights (3ft T5 bulbs would be too big a hassle and expense to order/buy locally). I wanted something that was simple and really could not fail. Spiral CFLs have an advantage over other bulbs in that they are self-ballasted individually. This saves more space for the bulbs in the hood, less wires, and no expensive $40 ballast replacement 5-10 years down the road. The hood technically has adjustable wattage if you decide to remove 1, 2, or more bulbs. The bulbs are still a bit expensive over all, $22.50 for all 8. They are 13 watt 6500K and rated at 840 lumens each, total wattage is 104 watts. The down side is they don't give as good spread as linear tubes, but with good wide reflectors that can be minimized. About half my tanks use these same bulbs and some are running 2+ years, even with plants I don't like replacing bulbs until they burn out especially with pricier HO T5 and PC bulbs. The CFLs can at least be reused around the house if they get too dim for the tank.
Okay now pics.
Enough tape will splice any wires.
Total cost breakdown for the light was:
wood - $17
8" wide Aluminum Flashing - $6
4 twin cluster sockets - $18 - only Menard seems to carry these
Total - $64
which is more then I would of liked but meh. My $150 goal isn't looking that good lol
You could easily do a DIY sponge filter for very little cost, however I want some decent flow in this tank. This is a used HOT Magnum 250 I got for $10. I'm gonna see how it does with a prefilter at least, since the mangums have a really s###y design were the impeller gets to chew on everything it sucks up. The heater is a really cheap Hagen elite non-submersible off amazon for $9.30, I got a couple for other tanks and backup heaters w/ free shipping. I've had good experience with them despite their cheapness. I have one that is 6 years old that has outlived 4 submersibles in that time and never given my any issues except when I accidentally drowned it and had to take it apart and dry it out
The tank is pretty much ready to be filled, I just need to do substrate. I'm thinking either soil/sand or just sand either way it will be cheap and messy.