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DIY Lighting

3368 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Logan's Daddy
Anyone done any?

I want to get more light on the 150 so it can be as well planted as the 75. The current lighting is a double fluorescent strip, so there are 4 3' bulbs, two on each side. They are T8. I want to add more light.

I have been looking around and it seems like the best option may be a vanity light inside of a light box, the box would have aluminum foil on the inside as a reflector. I found a 3' one at Home Depot today that has 6 sockets, each up to 100 watts. This strip is only $35. So one on each side of the tank would be great, that would give me 12 more bulbs on there.

The bulbs I plan on using are the screw-in compact fluorescent ones. Home Depot has some and they show whether they are white, reddish white, or blue white. The largest in the color I want are 100 watt equivalents at 27 watts. I was also thinking that because of the design of these bulbs that the vanity light strip being mounted sideways in the light box instead of facing down may provide more light directly to the tank, less being reflected off the reflector before going into the tank.

Does this sound good? What changes would you make?

Keep in mind I am not wanting TONS OF LIGHT, I want it like my 75. Technically low light be the plants do really well. The main issue here is that the 150 is deeper, so I don't think I currently have enough light to penetrate to the bottom for the plants to do really well. The ones that are doing well in there now are tall enough to reach close to the light. I don't want to have to use CO2, but I am now a huge fan of Flourish Excel, so I plan on using that.

I want the 150 to be well planted, to give that 'wow, and people say you can't have plants with goldfish' impression.
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I don't know where you budget is but Metal halides are a simple and good option, Two 150 waters would do it.
Too expensive, too much light, and too hot (this is a goldfish tank).
you can check out for a kit that should suit your needs.
Something like this?

Here's the link to my diy thread:

Similar to what you're talking about, just with individual sockets so I could stagger the bulbs. Working great for almost two years now!
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niko has done several very nice, very effective, reasonably priced DIY T5HO fixtures. Texgal's was his latest, see all the details here.
well heck... check out my DIY canopy with T5 HO lamps :)

Link to pictures:

of course i wouldn't call this a reasonably priced DIY project :p

Did you ever do anything with this project. I too have a 150 and want to do a similar thing. I also noticed Logan's Daddy's post and have posted over there with some questions regarding his project.

One of my biggest concerns is if you can have all the lights sockets run on 1 or even possibly 2 plugs.

I want to go ove to Home Depot and take a look at the Vanity Setup as you mentioned, however, I'm thinking that I would rather do my own $3 sockets from Home Depot so I could stager them for a better light pattern and put some sort of mylar or such behind it for a reflector.

Anyway, let's get her done!!!

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Patchworks, all of the sockets are attatched to a single cord, not individual ones.

I posted this on my journal thread, but thought it might be good to put here too.

As far as the max number of bulbs for one cord it would depend on the size of the cord itself, but with a "heavy duty" (14 gauge) one from a surge protector or outdoor type extension cord the max load would be about 12 amps with room for safety.

12 amps on a 120v circuit is around 1440 total watts.

So with a heavy duty 14 gauge cord you could run up to 72 of the 20w (100w equivelant) spirals if you really wanted to...

I think in your case you would be A LOT better off using 4' shoplight strips instead of the spirals, they are much more efficient at getting the light into the tank, the only reason I didn't use them is that this tank is only 3' long and they wouldn't fit.

I belive the lost wattage when you use spirals is around 1/3 (due to their shape, light trapped in the middle etc.) from what I can tell so if you were using 20w bulbs you would need about 29 of them to equal the 2.5 wpg everyone loves to talk about. On the other hand, you would need only 6 shoplight fixtures with 2 32w t8 bulbs in each to have the same impact.
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Logan's Daddy
When I clicked on your link I get a link not found. Is your info still there? Thanks.
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