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Old 06-23-2008, 08:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

Thanks Hoppy and Gerry for your input. I agree that the corners are not the prettiest on this fixture. The reason I didn’t do anything with them is because the whole fixture gets attached to the inside of the canopy and you never see it again, at least not from the outside. If someone wanted to make something like this as a stand alone fixture/canopy then Hoppy’s suggestion of using the aluminum corners would be the way to go. My brother had also suggested making only four cuts, folding the sides down, then folding the corners over the sides and riveting them in place. With the right kind of rivets that method might look real nice too.

I had bought a computer fan for this fixture since my water temp was getting a bit high in the summer. I figured that blowing some heat out the top would help. But I never got around to that project. Now that I’m in Alaska I figured I wouldn’t need to use the fan. But I didn’t think of using it at night to help with the condensation. I might have to give that a try. Thanks for the suggestion Gerry.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

could be wrong but i think the rapid cooldown when the lights go off is causing the condensation. maybe if you put in styrofoam between the metal top and your finished canopy might help. its looking great good luck Gerry
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

This is the canopy I made to match my stand.





I wanted something big that would make the whole aquarium like a piece of furniture and a sort of crown for the stand I spent so long making. I also wanted to have complete and easy access to the tank without having to take the whole canopy off each time that I wanted to work in it. I didnít like the idea of using a hinge in the middle of the canopy; I just wanted one solid piece with no gaps or spaces that would let light through or not match up when closed. I also wanted the stand to be flush with the wall; so the canopy would have to swing straight up from the top corner. Luckily I had some extra space at the back of my stand behind my tank to allow for the design I eventually came up with. The design allows me to have a large canopy that swings all the way up and gives me unrestricted access to my tank. I use a small dowel to hold the stand up, like the hood of a car.



I can also easily hold it open just a little if I want to make a quick adjustment to something. I drilled down into the rim just a bit for the dowl to sit in, that keeps it from slipping.

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Old 07-23-2008, 04:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

Yo! Nice work on the canopy. From the pictures it does have a nice professional look. Very clean. I'd like to see some close-up shots of the hinge system you created. How does it hold to the back?
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

Thanks for the kind words wrkucera. Here are some better pics of the frame that holds the canopy:

To keep the canopy from falling backwards I drilled two holes in the trim and tied the frame to it with wire.


From the back


Close-up of back


The space behind my stand was 2” so I used 2”x1.5” boards. If I were planning this again I would make the space and boards smaller. I’ve made some covers for the sides out of matching wood, I just haven't attached them yet.

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:20 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

That is a fantastic effort, sonaps! Looks absolutely professional and super clean. I also have a thing for knocking up my own things around the house out of wood, so I can really appreciate what has gone into this. I'm gonna bookmark this thread and copy your ideas some day. You should be proud of this, mate, well done!
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

Sonaps... thanks for showing me this site today at Stusser. I hope the ballasts and bulbs work out for you...

- Clint
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskacajun View Post
Sonaps... thanks for showing me this site today at Stusser. I hope the ballasts and bulbs work out for you...

- Clint
Thanks man, you really hooked me up nicely. I gave those bulbs a test when I got home and they were blinding!
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

From the above post you can see that I decided to upgrade the lighting for this tank. I went to all the big electrical stores looking for T5 lighting and surprisingly all they had in T5ís were short one-bulb fixtures for like $90. I had given up and went back to Home Depot to get another T12 ballast to add to my tank. I got to talking with a worker there about the lack of T5ís anywhere in town. He asked if Iíd been to any of the electrical wholesalers and thought they would probably have them. After getting directions from him I set out with new hope. The first place I went to was promising; they had a 4 bulb T5HO fixture for $159. I wanted to check the other stores though since they didnít know anything about the bulbs that it came with. Iím really glad that I did since that is where I met Clint from the above post.

I walked into Stusserís and asked about T5HO lighting, he asked what I was using it for and I told him it is for a planted aquarium. He said ďI just set one of those up on my aquariumĒ. He brought me around the counter and showed me his setup which was posted online. Then he took me in the back and showed me what they had. I left with a six bulb unit that has two ballasts. The item had been broken in transit and he had stripped the ballasts and end caps, which still worked great. He let me have it for a steal! They didnít have the best lamps in stock (I think they were 3500K) I took them since that is better than nothing. They may be doing a special order on some 6500K bulbs though that I will get in on.

Iíve been doing a ton of work on the tank lately. More updates and pictures to follow.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Journal of 75 Gallon DIY Projects (Lots of Pictures)

I'm ordering the bulbs in the morning... They'll be here Thursday! So uhm.......... how bright were those T5's?

That hood you built has me wanting to run out to Home Depot.... & you're gonna have to hook me up on the CO2 system you're runnin'!

- Clint

Last edited by Alaskacajun; 07-29-2008 at 08:21 PM..
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