diy hood mod take 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-29-2012, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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diy hood mod take 2

ok the pics dint come out on my first try lets try it agin

This is my first DIY post. So I hope every body likes it, if I have left out anything or you have any questions I will do my best to help you out just ask.

One of the big problems I have found is there are ether no pics of the project or there is a video that doesn’t really show any details. So I am going to try to post some pics to show
the step by step process in building a new light for a standard hood that you can bye just about every where new or used and if you are tight on funds like a lot of us you want to get the biggest bang for your buck

I will be doing this mod on my 30 gal tank

so lets go form this 15 watt .5watts per gal

to this 56 watts 1.8 watts per gal

First we need to find a light that we want to use i uesd one of my old ones the the balest died on

now that we have done that were going to gut it just remove everything from inside the hood but be carful dont break it or hurt youre self when your done it should look
somthing like this

now what were going to do is take a pair of wire cuters and cut the littel plastic bits of as close as you can it should look like this

now were going to take some sandpaper and sand the littel nubs down so that there
flat when your done it should look like this

now we need some light sockets you can buy these new or like me find some used i found some at my local habitat for humanity thrift store i got them out of an old bathroom ficture some thing similur to this

striped it down to get the part i needed ( i used 2 0f them)

then i used my trusty dremel tool to cut off one of the mounting brakets so it looked
like this

i then drilled two holes in the hood 6" in from the side and centerd on the back side of
the hood

Then useing the mounting screws from the doner fixture i mounted the light socket
to the hood

then just reconect the wires and tuck them agenst the side of the hood

then i took a reflector that i had lieing around and glued it in to the hood to give the
wires a littel sheilding from the heat of the lights when its all done it should look like this

all done enjoy the new light

Don't tap on the glass you're fish will think you are a idiot
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-04-2012, 06:05 PM
very nice! i just did this like 2hrs ago but used a 46 inch light.i managed to stuff 6 bulbs in there but used 40 watt ones to keep the tank kinda dim cause its not planted.the sockets i used i got from lowes. like these but cheaper
Shop SERVALITE 75-Watt Black Hard-Wired Lamp Socket at

these plus bulbs came to less than $30.for 6 of them and the way they are spaced lights up my 150 gallon very nicely no dark spots.i also want to add that you can utalize more of the light in this form if you use the hole back with the sheeted aluminum.the light bounces off of the aluminum better and you can bend it to aim the bight so you dont have any dark spots in the tank. i went from a ****ty .7 watts per gallon due to a single bulb set up cause my ballests im at a nice 1.6 wpg and i can very cheaply go higher with less that $5 WORTH OF BULBS.
formula for watt per gallon

total wattage added together and divid it by how many gallons of water and bam there it is.
6 40 watt bulbs gave me 1.6 watt per gallon
6 60 watt bulbs will give me 2.4 watts per gallon
6 75 watt bulbs will give me 3 watts per gallon.
and i could always add more bulbs for more watt per gallon if i wanted too

Last edited by 92smokeaccord; 08-04-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-04-2012, 11:43 AM
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Just wondering if you tried changing out the starter before you did this. Its the little round thing. You just push down and twist. Pop in a new one and your good to go. Unless your hood is really old this is all you really need to change.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-04-2012, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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balest was toast and i wanted to put more light in to the tank for my plants

Don't tap on the glass you're fish will think you are a idiot
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-05-2012, 01:29 PM
done that before, yours is mounted a bit cleaner then mine. But IMO you need a reflector.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-05-2012, 05:06 PM
You can easily make a reflector out of flashing copper or aluim it will cut with a pair of scissors. When you measure add one inch in length an one inch in width so you can turn half inch a safety edge to each side. Its easy just lay it out like a flat box. Use red snips if right handed green if left handed to cut holes to attach .
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-11-2012, 11:53 PM
beetlebz's Avatar
Ike anything too shiny can leave odd reflection artifacts in the water. You can try it, it's certainly cheap and easy enough. I've found white backings provide a good boost without boing too much or being artifacty, if I may invent the word :)

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-12-2012, 09:17 AM
Hey beetlebz;
That is a valuable observation about color and light reflection.
I believe there is a color flashing available that will match most colors.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-12-2012, 09:26 AM
beetlebz's Avatar
Lol I gotta stop typing after a certain hour, I need to correct my typos!

Anyway, it really really is a personal preference kinda thing. My 110g has t12 lights with a chrome reflector, yet two of my other tanks have white rain gutter with no reflectors. I'd be lying if I said it makes much of a difference, but it was fairly noticeable depending on the type of bulb. The inside of commercial fixtures are all white, just food for thought.

An interesting side note, you said flashing.... I had a buddy once make a light out of copper flashing and didnt use a hood. All his fish died!

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-13-2012, 05:56 AM
Hey beetlebzl
Do you think it was the copper flashing?
I suggested flashing due to ease of working. I guess you could always use 30 or higher gauge white coated sheet metal or have chrome applied to the finished sheet metal object.

I like the idea of using a rain gutter simple, sweet and effective.
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