Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Nanoguy 02-26-2007 12:59 AM

DIY Lighting Question.....
Ok I have a question for you DIYers. First off let me tell you folks I am CHEAP. I am having light problems with the crappy stock lights on my 60" 120g tank. So here I am with a question, if I took this and mounted it in a custom wooden "canopy" and then used this for bulbs would that work out. It would be used over the stock glass cover. I don't need tons of light, but the measly 18w stock lights really suck. Tell me what you think.

Mrmofo 02-26-2007 01:47 AM

if your tank is 49 1/2" long id say go for it...just be careful those lights need to be fixed to somthing ive put tons up in the trade...just make sure the terminal strip is siliconed or somthing with alot of water protection u dont want your A and N making friends.make sure its properly earthed too (the casing if its metal in any fitting needs to be earthed) thicker the wire the better and safer. if your built an enclosure and put a reflector on it, it would be safer so water cant be accidently dripped or anything onto it...this has alreaddy given me an idea for a good enclusure for myself...have u done any electrical work b4?

Nanoguy 02-26-2007 10:59 AM

My tank is actually 60 inches long but I figured a few inches on each side wouldn't hurt. I have done some minor electrical work like installing light fixtures in my garage and house and wiring ballasts. Just thought this would be a easy project if done right.

Brandon 02-26-2007 02:30 PM

Ya that would work just hang it like 10 inches or more above the tank to get the wide spread.

usmc121581 02-26-2007 02:34 PM

You would have to compare the wattage on the ballest to the wattage on the bulb. If the light doesnt pull more wattage then the ballast then it will work. It might burn the ballast out quicker because they are not made for that purpose.

caferacermike 02-26-2007 04:31 PM

The real question is whether the lighting will be sufficient for what you want.

Nanoguy 02-26-2007 08:51 PM

With the stock lights right now I have 32w total over 120g, that works out to a whopping .26666666 WPG. I found some ballast a Lowes today that will run 2-40W T12 bulbs as well as some GE bulbs for aquariums that were 48" long and 40w each. If I built a canopy with 2 ballast and stagger 4-40w lights I would be getting around 1.3 WPG, not going to grow any huge plants but plenty good for my oscar tank. Keeing in mind I know the WPG rule isn't the best but it is good enough for this project.
I am looking at supplies as follows.
2 2x40w ballast ($15 each)
4 40w GE bulbs ($8 each)
8 endcaps ($2 each)
material for reflector ($15)
wood for canopy ($25)
misc. wire, screws, hinges, wire nuts, etc ($30)

I probably forgot a few things but that is the basics. I figure I'll have about $150 in it all together. To be honest, for a little more I could probably buy a decent fixture but what the hell. I'm so broke this gives me the option of buying stuff little by little.

I am also having issues with my Nanocube lights and will probably have to send it to nanotuners for a light upgrade. I cannot for the life of me figure out what is wrong with it.

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