Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Pearl2011 11-04-2012 02:30 PM

DIY aquarium light reflector
Are you able to buy them commercially or is it cheaper to make?? And is sheet metal or stainless stell better?

pop 11-04-2012 06:43 PM

Hello Pearl2011:
I think it would be easy to make a light reflector but you would have to feel comfortable using metal working tools. 26 or 30 gauge sheet metal is easy to work but it will corrode from exposure to water then again it could always be painted or hidden. I would look at using thin stainless steel. Add one inch to you layout for a safety hem of inch and notch the metal where you bend it (notching makes it easy to bend). Also I would use pop rivets to put it together. It might be easier to find hvac contractor and have his metal shop make the light reflector.


redchigh 11-05-2012 12:06 AM

I prefer flat white reflectors (plus you can use wood, plastic, etc)

Flat white reflects mch better than most crappy reflectors.. If you want metal, use the wood or plastic and line with mylar. (mylar is the most reflective material you can get- sheeting can be bought, or just tear apart mylar balloons)

pop 11-05-2012 05:49 AM

Plastic and mylar should work fine as suggested and most likely easy too. Attaching ballast and light fixtures could be a small problem. I guess one could always use a rain gutter. Utility is a big with me and if it is useful and beautiful how can you go wrong.
I noticed a link to soil substrate I will read it today with interest and a critical eye. I have been thinking about substrates so I might have some questions and worse an opinion. pop

waters 11-07-2012 07:26 AM

I built a custom canopy and ended up just sealing and painting the inside high gloss white.

redchigh 11-07-2012 01:29 PM

Gloss white works well for a light ripple, flat white is more uniform 'glow'. It's a matter of preference really.

waters 11-07-2012 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by redchigh (Post 1301789)
Gloss white works well for a light ripple, flat white is more uniform 'glow'. It's a matter of preference really.

I never really thought about there even being a difference...I just figured high gloss would reflect more. Learn something new everyday :-)

Pearl2011 11-09-2012 11:40 PM

My reflector is burnt, cracked, corroded and most likely a fire hazard so i was hoping to replace it with my dad.
Good 'ol craigslist . . . ost of the time. We need to replace the thing the lights go in (cant remember the name, such a brain fart) because its so corroded. The fish are prob so confused without a light on the tank . . .

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