04-29-2005, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Hello sk8r turned aquarist. I used to skate too and I know all about trying to get decent aquarium lighting with a college budget. I used shop lights in my 55 gallon aquarium. I suspended these lights from the ceiling. I used a stud finder to find the location of the studs which I screwed the hooks into. Another important aspect is to use turnbuckles to make sure that the light is even when you suspend it. I suspended my light from a slanted ceiling and used chain for the suspension so I had to use turnbuckles to make sure the light is even. Total cost for 4 48" bulbs, the chain, the base board to attatch lighting to, the turnbuckles, AND the studfinder: about $50-60. I love having the suspended light fixtures because it allows my huge sword plants to grow well above the water surface and start flowering. No way this could happen with a standard "hood" type installation. Suspending the light also prevents it from heating the water as well and allows quicker access to the tank. If you look at large reef aquariums, many of them use suspended lighting.