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I love the whole thing, including your maintenance free forest.... It soooo 3D. This is the most fun thread I've read.

Let us know about the algae situation;)

ad9465
 

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I love you canopy design, i hope to achieve something similar. When i start planning i'll be sure to give you a call for some tips and tricks...

Keep up the good work...
 

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I like how you have the main 'cube / rectangle' internal frame on top of the tank, and the thin wood paneling all around it.

I am planning on this for a much smaller tank and I could not figure out whether the frame should rest right on top of the tank frame with trim on the lip of the frame OR
have the frame go AROUND the lip of the tank frame with trim INSIDE to support the hood.

I have the basic ideas down pat With basically one slat per light fixture to allow for air flow.

I guess with the rest of it you just get the basic ideas and then wing it. Yes?
 

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Hey Jeff! How are things going? I have been too busy to keep up on the forum but I'm here today and wanted to check up on you ;) Do you need more plants yet? I just tossed about 4lbs of them last week lol. I hooked a friend up though so hopefully there is a new aquatic plant enthusiast in the making in MA. Oh yah and I think I gave you those worms. Sorry I had them in my tank but the didn't cause any problems and I haven't seen them in months so I think they are gone. Post a new pic!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hey everyone sorry this took so long for me to write back in my own thread, but i'm never on here anymore, i just started at a new school and i'm doing that as well as living on my own lol. So here goes i'll answer your questions as best i can being 400 miles from my tanks.

Jimbo. What i did, was i took the inner box and had it sit on the lip of the tank, not on the inner part but exactly on the top. The wood used to make the box 1x1 (i think) (i can check) sits right on the lip all the way around. And then the panneling (popler sp?) goes down far enough to cover the black ring that covers the top 1/2"-1" of the tank. This way when the tank is closed there is no black ugly ring. If i can offer advice dont make the hood exactly the measurements. What i did was the inside edges of the popler that would hold the tank are exactly 48" apart. And it was real tight to put on the tank. I wish i did 48.5" apart, maybe even 49".

gmc - only with the blue "night lights" the fastners i used got wet from a loose discharge and rusted. soooo idk what to do seeing how it's on my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hola APC, i havent been here in FOREVER but now i'm back and needing some advice. As i said in my last post in 10-2007 (Phew it's been on that long?!?!) i built this hood a little bit too tight.

I've already had one ballast blow and had to replace it, and now the other has done the same. I managed to score a 4x65 watt PC fixture from a friend and am looking to put it on. But here is where i need advice.

I need to find a way to get this current hood off... It's extremely tight and it wont just slide off and i'm not sure what to do. I tried a piece of 2x4 and a rubber mallet tonight to no avail. I dont want to blow a side of my aquarium out or something catastrophic. So any ideas on what to do???

How can i manage to expand this without distroying the hood i worked so hard on. Actually that's it! What can i use to push the sides of the wood outwards from the inside? I might have an idea of something but i'm not sure. ANY ideas are greatly appreciated and i'm glad to be back to APC!
 

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Stupid random idea- put an inner tube (bicycle style) fairly tight to the side wall of the frame up against some kinda counter brace (scrap wood cut to length) and pump it up. Should give you slow gradual spacing without catastrophic failure. You probably only need a 1/8"... Random guy, with a random thought... Best of luck. Could be a "Dumb Idea" though- I am not a builder type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hmmm that sounds like a good idea. I'll have to look into that!

I was also thinking of using this


If i reverse it and use custom lengths of wood i can probably get away with spreading the wood apart that extra 1/8th inch. I like your idea though i just gotta figure out where to put the brase and where to put the tube. If you could elaborate it may just be what i need.
 

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How did you seal your wood? It looks like it’s been a couple years since you put this on your tank. It’s likely that some of your finish has been “weathered” off and the wood has absorbed moister from your tank and expanded. You could try to dry the wood out somehow (hard to do when your tank is full of water though). Once you do get it off I’d recommend sanding the inside edges down so it’s not so tight and then resealing the wood with a weather resistant finish.
 

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I've gotta put my two cents in here too..... First off, awesome job on the hood. I went a very similar route, using shop light fixtures. I've got three T8's in a custom built hood. I REALLY like the way you used a frame and then paneling. I used solid pine boards because I was trying to match the existing stand that I had. You can see pictures of my hood Here

I made my fixture to set exactly on the top of the rim of the tank and ran a set of custom parallel hinges to allow access for maintenance. It's a workout to tip the hood up, so I might head over to the Auto Parts Store and get some of those gas charged shocks like they use to lift the hatchback of a car and add them to the hinges to help lift it.

I run my lights on a timer, but I leave the moonlights on all the time. They don't draw that much electricity. I used a twelve foot string but I wish I had gotten a longer string to get just a bit more light at night. If there's any lights on in the room you can't see much at all inside the tank. Good job though! It's good to see someone out there gettin' their hands dirty and creating!
 

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Could you put a little olive oil on the tight spot? If a tiny bit ends up in the tank it is OK, not toxic, but do not get too much in there.

Is it tight at the corners? Or more like the middle? If the tightest spot is in the middle (ends or front/back) a spacer might do it, if you can make it maybe 1/16" bigger. But this pushes apart the lid in one direction, and tightens it in the other.

Yes, once you get it off it would be a good idea to shave it a bit bigger so this does not happen again.
 

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My canopy on my 75 is similar to this and is driving me nuts. Probably because I am not the handiest guy. I learn things the slow hard way. I can't see the photos too well from this computer - so I will try again on another. I also use shop lights. I have 3 lights that work (out of 4) that are Overdriven Normal Output. And to make it worse, I have no clue how to build or repair ODNO. Some things you just have to learn in person from others (patient others).

What I might do is use Commodity Axis lights that are 47" instead of the 48" shop lights I have now.

Most importantly, I have not been able to get my hands INTO my tank on a regular basis to do DAILY stuff. Which means when I finally GET THE THING OFF, I do a hack job trimming, etc.
I am going to cut the closest 1/3 of the canopy off and put some sturdy hinges on the top.

Wish me luck.

Muirner - thanks for this thread. It might just save my planted tank....
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Oh sorry i never updated this!! I got the hood off successfully. What i did was use a desk lamp to illuminate the side panel and i noticed where there was no woodgrain. This was i used filler to cover the screws. I pulled 6 screws out and used a flathead and it spread apart...

I'm now using a 4x65 coralife fixture and i like it, excpet i need new bulbs... Major expense. I may sell my hood to help finance it.

Jimbo - Arnt those lights just overdriven by the ballast? Just replace the faulty ballast and hazzah! done!
 

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Wow, that is great work, and beautifully done! I wish I had the time to complete a project like that. It would save me a lot of money too. Is this something that could be completed in a weekend, or much longer? I would love to create a planted tank with my son and wife, could be a great bonding experience. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
My dad and i did it a few hours at a time. Im sure if you could dedicate a day to building it, and a day to painting it you'd have no problems at all. I really enjoyed building it as it was the first project that i worked on with my dad, and i learned a lot. Let me know if i can answer any more questions
 

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Looks good.

Ive been thinking about selling my PC retros, because they all need new bulbs.

And going back to t8's/t12's.


anyone need 2 x 65w pc retro's? i have 3 maybe 4.

:p
 
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