Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   20L planted light fixture revamp (pic heavy) (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium-equipment/20l-planted-light-fixture-revamp-pic-38231/)

beetlebz 02-27-2010 09:34 PM

20L planted light fixture revamp (pic heavy)
 
9 Attachment(s)
SOooo for those who dont know, as a proof of concept I made a lighting fixture for my 20L planted female betta tank to hold 4 18watt screw in CFLs. It was waaaay too much, so Ive been running the same raggy looking old rain gutter (literally) with 14 watt CFLs with one bulb removed. it did the trick and vanquished the algae but it still looked like garbage (which it was, scavenged from work lol) and its output was uneven due to the poorly spaced bulbs (because one was missing) and dirty interior.

SOOOOooooo off to home depot I went today. I scored an 8ft section of regular style plastic rain gutter AND a pair of plastic end caps for all around 10 bucks.

first things first, cut her down to 28.5", which didnt have to be perfect because its going over a glass hood, and snapped on both end caps. I think the end caps will wind up needing glue.

once it was all done I drilled out the rivets that held my home made socket brackets to the aluminum rain gutter, and disassembled all of my wiring. I cut off the 2nd outlet side of one of the brackets, so I wound up with one double bulb bracket and one single. I measured out the spacing of the bulbs so that the 3 bulbs sit a uniform distance from each other and from each end cap. hopefully this will eliminate any dark spots.

marking each hole in each bracket with a pencil, i used my drill and a 1/8" bit to drill through the plastic, and used 1/4" by 1/8" rivets to secure the brackets to the new plastic shroud.

new 14 watt 5500k CFLs, reattach my wiring, drilled a small hole for the switch in the back (even used a grommet where the wire passes through the plastic housing! safety first...) and away we went. Up and running in about 45 minutes, and that includes 3 union breaks, a smoke break, a pee break, and a whole lot of brain storming.

the pics follow, from start to finish. if you started from scratch, youre only looking at about 25 bucks IF THAT in lamp parts including the bulbs, but please dont play with electricity if you dont know what youre doing. you WILL be sleeping on the couch for a VERY long time if the wife finds out you almost burned the house down :)

Mean Harri 02-27-2010 09:43 PM

This thread deliver. +10
Say, is that a red strobe light on the floor in that one picture? Old light off an old firetruck?
Dig the statues on your stand too. Aloha

beetlebz 02-27-2010 10:22 PM

indeed it is Mh :) actually the light on top is a federal beacon ray off a 1966 mini pumper that was remounted in 1984 on a dodge chassis, i just built a lightbar for the truck last year, the old beacon ray needs some love. the light its sitting on top of is off an old fire truck from new hampshire that my cousin refurbished.... but they aint strobe, sealed beam incandescent rotators from before halogen was even a clever new idea :)

Angel079 02-27-2010 11:18 PM

NICEEE ... did I mention I need a new 4ft fixture for my 45g pls....so if you would kindly accept online orders :-) Gosh I'd go bannana's having a workshop like yours....

But serious that same concept would work for a t8 set up too wouldn't it?

beetlebz 02-27-2010 11:37 PM

that would be silly easy :) get the electronic NO ballast from a home improvement store, some gutter, some end caps, but you need to order the tube ends from a fish supply like drsfostersmith or something similar. i have never found stand off bulb ends anywhere but their catalog, tho they are cheap :)

iamntbatman 02-28-2010 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angel079 (Post 334353)
NICEEE ... did I mention I need a new 4ft fixture for my 45g pls....so if you would kindly accept online orders :-) Gosh I'd go bannana's having a workshop like yours....

But serious that same concept would work for a t8 set up too wouldn't it?

Sounds like a lot of work for a T8 fixture. I'd just buy a four foot T8 twin-tube shop light from Home Depot and call it a day. I guess you could get all fancy and mount it inside wooden canopy or something.

$18:
Shop Utilitech 48"L Utility Fluorescent Shop Light at Lowes.com

beetlebz 02-28-2010 10:36 AM

but where is the fun or sense of accomplishment in that? plus you have the satisfaction of knowing yours is home made, and built like a truck compared to the stamped out disposable pieces of junk you can get from lowes.

good wiring, electronic vs magnetic ballast, custom sizing, lots of benefits to DIY in this case! I just wish lowes or home depot sold the stand off surface mount bulb ends.

Angel079 02-28-2010 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beetlebz (Post 334366)
that would be silly easy :) get the electronic NO ballast from a home improvement store, some gutter, some end caps, but you need to order the tube ends from a fish supply like drsfostersmith or something similar. i have never found stand off bulb ends anywhere but their catalog, tho they are cheap :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamntbatman (Post 334458)
Sounds like a lot of work for a T8 fixture. I'd just buy a four foot T8 twin-tube shop light from Home Depot and call it a day. I guess you could get all fancy and mount it inside wooden canopy or something.

$18:
Shop Utilitech 48"L Utility Fluorescent Shop Light at Lowes.com

:lol: After I re-appropriated *cough* several shoplights from my better half and the part where I don't one 2x4ft bulbs but only 1x4ft over the 45g (Cause why double the lights on a smaller tank when 1x30w works great over the 55g) I need something done with that 45g right now I have uhm 2x18" individual bulbs side-by-side and that gap of light in the middle drives me CRAZY to say the least.
Alternatively I had thought of giving that tank a glass top and a recessed lighting from the ceiling since its right in the hallway that would be double neat for a extra light fixture AND solve the gap in my tank there.

iamntbatman 03-01-2010 05:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beetlebz (Post 334545)
but where is the fun or sense of accomplishment in that? plus you have the satisfaction of knowing yours is home made, and built like a truck compared to the stamped out disposable pieces of junk you can get from lowes.

good wiring, electronic vs magnetic ballast, custom sizing, lots of benefits to DIY in this case! I just wish lowes or home depot sold the stand off surface mount bulb ends.

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely benefits to DIY, especially since you can set it up with just about any amount of CFL lighting you could want. But she seemed content with plain ol' T8's so I was just giving her the easy way out. I thought her husband might thank me!

beetlebz 03-01-2010 09:37 PM

i love CFLs, i just need to formulate a CFL to florescent equivalency chart so i dont burn out my plants lmao


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