Originally Posted by DKRST
Interesting, but not quite the polished look I'm shooting for in my living room. I'm bookmarking the page for possible use in other applications though!
One way to dress up the yo yos would be to fit sleeves over them. Remember "Hair Scrunchies" those rubber bands with a foot of fabric wrapped around them that every high school girl from here to timbuktu wore on her wrist? Same concept, less awkward. You could blend it or make it decorative.
I'm encountering a similar lighting issue. I have a six foot tank and four foot lighting. I'm probably gonna go with six 24" T5s that I found for $9 each and mount them to a panel with a light weight facade for the all around. The problem with mine is that in order to get light weight I can't go sturdy. So suspending the fixture seems like a good option, provided I can solve the up and down issue.
Using chain seems the easiest answer. When I need it up, just snap on a caribeaner and link bottom links to higher ones. I'd only be able to do one end at a time though. My other consideration has been cable with a pully system. To secure the loose end I'll loop and crimp it and simply create a second "button" to put the loop on when the fixture is up.
My last idea was to use wrought iron hangers. I don't quite know what they are, I think they're to hang lanterns or planters from in the garden. Its a long piece of metal about half inch in diameter that is shaped like a candy cane. I saw them and Immediately thought they'd fit behind my tank and be the perfect height to hang the light fixture from. The added bonus is I don't have to balance precariously on a ladder over 2000 pounds of water and glass. To raise the fixture (for my tank they'd be posted near each end and accessible from behind) just have one person on each side lift them about a foot with the fixture still attached and place a block under them to keep them elevated.
I don't know if any of these are applicable, but hopefully you got an idea from them. My tank is in my office and I know how it is balancing aesthetics with functionality.