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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is how I build my hood for my 29 gallon aquarium.

Supplies:
1x6 and 1x8 pine boards.
2 hinges (or a piano hinge)
Wood glue
Finishing nails ~2"
Nail filler
Sandpaper
Paint (or stain)

I started by cutting my boards to length. I would recommend getting your wood from an actual lumber yard rather than Lowe's or home depot. You will save yourself lots of time and headache trying to find nice straight boards. There are two variations of hoods I have built. I will describe one of them here first and the second later on.

There are total of 7 boards used...

Face board: 31 3/4" X 6"
Front top: 31 3/4" x 6"
Back top: 31 3/4" x 8"
Front side (2) ~4 5/8" by 6"
Back side (2) ~4 5/8" by 8"
Note: 6" boards are not really 6". They are something like 5 1/2"
The back is left open in my hoods. You could some sort of back board for extra support if you would like. I didn't see a need for it.




As you can see the front half is attached by two hinges to the back half. One piano hinge could also be used.

After the boards were cut to length I began assembling the two halves. I used glue and a nail gun with 2" brads. Regular nails can be used. You may want to consider seating the nails below the surface and using nail filler to get a nice finish. I find that the nail gun makes things a lot easier and faster to assemble.

Note that in the picture the back half of my hood uses only a 1X6. This was a screw up on my part and I would recommend using a 1x8 so the hood covers the entire top of the aquarium.

Once the two halves were assembled, I filled the nail holes, sanded everything down good, and put on 2 or 3 coats of black paint. I then cut out notches (with a chisel) for the hinges and installed them.

I used small "L" brackets inside of the hood to keep it supported on top of the aquarium.






You are now ready to install your lights!

Another variation of this hood, which I actually think is nicer and easier to built is this...It is one I build for my 55 gallon.


You can see the difference in the photo. This one is easier to get to sit on your tank right because the sides are just 1 piece rather than two. Everything just fits together much nicer. The problem I had is that the face board warped outward. The other style prevents this because the face board is attached to the front side board. I also used a piano hinge on this hood, which is another nice touch. The hood in also taller because it need to cover some HOB filters (i.e. the face board is a 1X8 rather than a 1x6).

All in all, this will take about a 1/2 to full day to build once you consider all the time to paint and dry. Total cost is probably less than $20.
Good luck.
 

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I built the same type of hood for my 40gal. Excellent design. It allows you access to the aquarium while leaving one of the lights on. One thing I noticed with mine is that heat is somewhat of a problem, even with vents. I am thinking of adding fans to mine.
 

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I've been planning out one like the first one you have, except with a piano hinge. I have absolutely no carpentry skills, but I figure I'll give it a shot. This helps me a lot. Thank you.
 

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What PC fixtures did you use on your 29g? Are they Current's Satellite fixtures? I like having the acrylic cover(s) to keep moisture off of the bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I cut a 48" Current fixture in half, extended the wires and put on bulb on one side of the hood and one the other. Pretty ghetto I know. The only reason I did this was because I had the extra fixture. If I was to do it from scratch I would get the diy lights from AHSupply.com
 

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Very nice. I made a similar one for a 20 gal using the flip top style, but in my case the entire front half flips up, taking the front fixture with it, when you flip it. Gives me better access to the small tank.
 

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Has anyone followed these plans yet? I would like to know if they make sense, what successes you all have had, or what alterations there are to make this better.
I was thinking about it since I'm just starting out and need a hood with some good lights. What are you using for the lights?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On the 29 gallon hood I cut in half a Currnet USA 2x65 watt fixture and put a half on each side. If your buying new the DIY compact fluorescent lights from AHsupply.com are your best bet. What size tank do you have and what is your set-up? Maybe I can recommend some specific lights.
 

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Right now all I have is a 37 gallon tank and gravel. I'm picking up the stand later today. I was looking at the DIY kits from AHsuppy. I was thinking about getting 2 of the 1x55 watt Bright Kits. That should work in there right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I think that would work well, but you might as well just get 1 of the 2x55 watt kits. I think that would be cheaper and this way you would only need one balast. What are the dimensions of that tank? If it is longer than 30" you may have problems getting good coverage in all the corners with the 2x55 kit.
 

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30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 22 3/4. I wasn't sure if the 2x55 watt kit would provide sufficient lighting coverage. I'd prefer to do it that way since it won't be as expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The 2x55 watt is equivalent to 2 of the 1x55 watt kits. The 2x55 watt has two seperate reflectors and bulbs that you can place anywhere you would like.
I think that these would work well with this tank, but I would also consider High Output T5's if you have the money. You may get better coverage with those.
 

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Hi Snydaleid,

Do yourself a favor and call Kim (guy) at AH Supply and talk with him. I have a 45 tall (36" X 12" X 24" H) and was advised that the 2 X 55 watt kit would be too long for my tank due to end caps, power cord, and working space constraints. He suggested that I go with the 1 X 96 watt system. I'm glad I talked with him, he was very helpful and informative. I bought the 1 X 96 watt with his 6700K bulb and couldn't be happier after almost 3 months. I can grow just about anything, even in this deep tank. Hope this information helps!
 

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I sent them an email. The suggestion was to get 2 of the 1x55w kits. Have one of them on for 10 hours and the other one on a timer for only 5 hours out of the day. Interesting idea... Think I'm going to try that out.
 

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I sent them an email. The suggestion was to get 2 of the 1x55w kits. Have one of them on for 10 hours and the other one on a timer for only 5 hours out of the day. Interesting idea... Think I'm going to try that out.
That is a good suggestion. You can also replace the 55 watt bulbs with 36 watt bulbs if you find you want less light. I have done that, at AHS suggestion, and it worked fine.
 

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Hi Snydaleid,

I was talking with Kim at AH Supply yesterday about another matter and mentioned your post on this site. He said that he had received your email and that you were not putting the two 55 watt systems end to end but side to side. They will fit just fine that way, I misunderstood how you were planning the install. I hope you like your system as much as I like mine!
 

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Ok finally got it all finished. I had so much goin on that I didn't have much time to put toward this. This is a pretty nice canopy. I'm really happy the way it turned out. The lights are BRIGHT! I used a piano hinge and blocks of wood instead of the L brackets. Here's what mine looks like.


 
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