Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made a strip for my 29 gallon tank that cost $53.
Items:
3 undercounter light plant strips (lightsofamerica) $10
1 philips sunlight bulb $10
1 long plastic flower box $ 8
mylar (from user at this forum) $ 5

With rug tape taped mylar in the box. With bolts and nuts put the lightstrips in the box and box sits upside down over hood.

Afterwards found out that lightsofamerica lights are not dependable. In fact got lightsofamerica to replace 1 light after 3 months. So far have had it running since Jan, 08 and no problems.

I plan to combine it with a light fixture that I bought on EBay for $50. Ebay light strip is slightly used but bought it for a 1/3 of selling price. Unfortunately the fans on the fixture are to loud. I am planning to replace the fans. Just haven't gotten to that yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After 8 months noticed only the java fern were growing well.
From what I had read I thought it work but not good after all.

The philips bulb was 6500K Daylight White Color

Now have a satellite light system made by current-usa which has a Dual 65 Watt 6,700K/10,000K Daylight bulb. Everything is growing. Growth is more bushy on top, thus light probably isn't being reflected to the bottom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Using a flower box... creative. It has the right shape and can be painted easily.
Thanks!!

I had decided on the plastic flower box for I have allergies that would be aggravated if I shellacked a wood box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have revived the experiment to see if I can lower my electric bill. This time replaced plant grow bulb with Zoo Med super daylight bulb and made a reflector. Replace 65 watt PC bulb March 28. April 15 added charcoal to the substrate to help plants to adjust.

Cost;
2 Under counter light strips --- $ 20
Philips bulb ------------------------- $ 10
Zoo Med bulb ---------------------- $ 13
Metal gutter ------------------------ $10
Black spray paint ---------------- $ 4
White spray paint ---------------- $ 4
Total -----------------------------------$ 61

When the philips bulb dies I will replace it with an aquatic bulb I saw at Lowe's for $8.

Results are:
All of the original plants are growing.
Ludwiga, which almost died, starting growing.
Foxtail plant planted May 1 is struggling.
May 9 got Myriophyllum mattogrossense and star grass. The star grass is struggling but the other is growing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Im contemplating the same thing, but going to use wood with sheet metal tape inside for a reflector, have a ballast for each bulb, It can only be 6" wide and 24" long.

I am trying to get two 65W bulbs in there, got metal halide ballasts to work with so Im sure I can make this work and work well, I am however also wanting to go down the CFL screw in route and have 4 bulbs, 2 day 2 night. each on their own ballasts and their own switches mounted opposite of eachother, one finger wave and it shuts one or the other on and off.

I am thinking I can get mine done for the price of the bulbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Not only am I broke but I got a wife what wont hush about me and the way I care for my tank. She thinks ideas and a little MacGyver-ism cost money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am however also wanting to go down the CFL screw in route.
Read 1 diy project where CFL bulbs were used for a large tank. He said that the bulbs get hot and since they are twisted there is the loss of light to think of.

The reflector is suppose to be a specific angle to get max light. I didn't have room for the paranglar shape. One side is L shape and the other is a half v shape. It seems to be working. I am not certain if it is worth the cost, though.

If you are really tight for money, I read 1 used mirrors to direct light into the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
the bulbs are twisted but like you said its about reflection.

I always CAD my ideas before I construct them so I will have a form of a blueprint to follow
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pictures of diy fixture

Front view


Right side


Left side


If you make it cheaper for a similar size tank post it, please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Diy light fixture now has 3 bulbs. Added another bulb and satisfied with it for now.

Cost:
3 Under counter light strips --- $ 30
Life-glo bulb --------------------- $ 10
Zoo Med Ultra daylightbulb --- $ 13
GE Aqua ray $ 7
Metal gutter -------------------- $ 10
Black spray paint --------------- $ 4
White spray paint -------------- $ 4
Total -----------------------------$ 78
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
I bought a 2x24 watt T5HO from Home depot, replaced one of the bulbs with a Life Glo, bought a timer, and used a kick plate from a door, which was stainless steel and had the right \_/\__/ shape for two bulbs to fit. I have it resting on the bulbs themselves. You could use rain gutter or better yet a plastic box and cut some coke cans in half to use the aluminum. No need to paint this, but I did for $3.

Light fixture 2x24watts 20 or 24" ~$30
Power cord (could be free off old electronics)
Timer $9
Kick plate $12 (could use coke cans cut in half and bent (free))
Plant bulbs $20 to 40 for two.

Total: $51-90 without plant type bulb

I'm going to replace the other standard bulb with a plant bulb also, but the smallest T5 fixture they sell has a compatible ballast.

The standard T5 bulbs worked to grow the plants but I had a good amount of the hard green algae growing on the glass, which is typical. No other algae grew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I bought a 2x24 watt T5HO from Home depot, replaced one of the bulbs with a Life Glo,
The sun-glo bulb would probably look great with that.

I just found a dual T5HO light system 30 in at aquaguy that cost $70. With shipping cos of $10 for total $80. If I knew what I know now I would have gotten this light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The sun-glo bulb would probably look great with that.

After a long dicussion here I have come to realise that my diy fixture is not getting light to the whole tank. Thus I went back to using 24in Satellite light fixture with a 65w PC bulb, since it is stronger than the T8 bulbs. I have less dark spots with it. To add more color spectrum I added a 20w Life-glo bulb over the tank.

Found a Coralife fixture 30in that will work for my tank, for the bulbs are approx 30in. Found it at Big Als

I am beginning to wish I had a 20L for I saw a lovely 1 with 2 clip on lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Not only am I broke but I got a wife what wont hush about me and the way I care for my tank. She thinks ideas and a little MacGyver-ism cost money.
Sometimes it cost more to do diy. That is what happen with my light system. For I kept adding and adding to it until it cost more than a simple T5 light fixture by coralife.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
bump
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I bought a 2x24 watt T5HO from Home depot, replaced one of the bulbs with a Life Glo, bought a timer, and used a kick plate from a door..

Light fixture---$30
Power cord------0
Kick plate----- $12 (could use coke cans cut)
Plant bulbs---- $40 for two.
Total-------------$80
I found a similar light fixture by Current USA here
$61.99 + shipping $11.99 =$74
Con is it Current USA fixtures run hot and have loud fans. I can replace fans on my Current USA fixture for $10, using cell phone chargers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
bump
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Here read that some are having problems with dual T5HO light system. One said that the Coralife light system gave off more light than the Nova.

Now uncertain which is best to replace the PC with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am beginning to wish I had a 20L for I saw a lovely 1 with 2 clip on lights.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top