I went to Lowe's today and priced a bunch of stuff and have a few questions....
1. I was looking at the T-8's and T-12's. The T-8 4' bulbs are 32W and the T-12 4' bulbs are 40W. Which puts out more usable light for the plants? They are the GE F-32 and F-40 bulbs. The F-32's are 5000k and the F40's are either 6500k or 6700k, can't remember which.
2. I was looking at the electronic balasts, and it says to mount the balast about 1/2" from the grounded metal reflector. Any reason for that? I wasn't planning on using any metal reflector, the under side of the canopy is going to be polished mirrors, or I was hoping to use mirrors. But if I have to use metal reflectors, then I will.
3. I was also looking at the bulb holders, as well as the shop light units, and was debating on whether to use the shop light units, or just install holders inside the unit with the mirror top. Any comments on this?
When I get this project started, I'll have some pics. My plans are to build my own stand and canopy, so I can have a matching setup. I am looking at possibly doing it in cedar. It won't be the cedar you usually find in the bottom of drawers that's really red. It's more an off-white with some red in it, and lots of detail in the wood such as knots, etc. Will look nice. And structurally, I plan on using 2x6's for the main framing. So it will be structually very strong.
This is going to be for my 55G first. Then if I get through it ok, then I will plan on one for my 75G, and then my 29G. Then, if I get really crazy, I might sell the setup for the 75G after I create a Dual-75G unit. The lower will be close to the ground, set up with HOB filters, and the upper will be high light under the canopy, and fully planted. And it will have cabinets on both ends as well, for all my fish supplies, etc, as well as canister filter and inline heater and reactor, as well as ph controller if I decide to go back to using it. Also, the canister will be located on one side, and the CO2 bottle on the other side. Either 20lb or 25lb will fit, and completely enclosed. But that's my plans. Gonna try and go as cheap as I can, using wall paneling on the outside of the framework. Real wood, not fake.
Then, if I go and get my 300G wide, will build my own stand and canopy for it as well. Will probably use 4x4's for the structure on it. But this is down the road, no rush now, as I lost my fire eels. So I got more time now.