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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my used 48" 40g long tank it came with a hood but no light. I had some wood left over from buiding my stand but without my board stretcher it just wasn't enough to make an entire canopy. So I measured the hood and built a light housing out of the 3/4" oak I had.

Because of the demensions I could not use a 48" flurescent lamp, and fixtures for twin shorter bulbs with ballast were not cost effective. So I found screw in "Twisted" Power Compact bulbs in a 6500K at Wal-mart. The local Rural King had screw in light bases that were for "Stage Lighting".

I used one bulb on each end and two in the middle on each side of the center divider that sets on the center brace.

I painted the inside high gloss appliance white.



 

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I have the same problem with my 29 gal tank that I am setting up when i got the tank it had just the tank, lid and no light.I have considered DIYing the light might have to look and see if i can find those light fixtures like that. I have already DIYed a stand and painted the background. How much were the light fixtures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jacca5 said:
I have the same problem with my 29 gal tank that I am setting up when i got the tank it had just the tank, lid and no light.I have considered DIYing the light might have to look and see if i can find those light fixtures like that. I have already DIYed a stand and painted the background. How much were the light fixtures?
The fixtures were $2 a piece 8) and I need to give credit where it's due. "Mcdaphnia" had several posts on the screw-in Power Compacts and I PM'ed him for details. at first I had my doubts on how the colors of my Mbuna would show up, thought they might look washed out. But the blues in my Mainganos, the yellows in my Labs and the reds (orange) in my new zebras look AWESOME! I bought the "75W" replacements. They also have 60W and 100W equivalant versions but make sure the say "Daylight' those specifically said 6500K.
 

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nice work. I was thinking of retro fitting the 4' light on my 120g with screw in flourecence.
Thanks
 

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beaker99 said:
nice work. I was thinking of retro fitting the 4' light on my 120g with screw in flourecence.
Thanks
Go for it. The simplest way to do this is just buy an incandescent tank light and replace the bulbs with the smaller sizes (that will fit) into the fixture. These bulbs run cooler thanm incandescent, but if you replace florescent tubes, you may want to add a muffin fan (like you probably can hear right now running on the back side of your computer).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mcdaphnia said:
Go for it.
Hey Mcdaphnia, I hoped you would see this, thanks a ton for your suggestions and insight. I just realized I posted how it looked but didn't post a pic of the lights performance...
 

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Looks good, though it's hard to photograph the visual impact difference between tube lighting and point source. It's very obvious to the human eye, creating a more "underwater" appearance because surface ripples play with the light reflections from point source lights, something that is cancelled out when you have a tube light spanning the tank. And it is a closer approximation of how the fish would perceive natural sunlight in their native habitats. I hope it helps them feel more at home and ready to breed!

BTW if you have a fish club near you with an annual auction, head there. The incandescent light strips sell cheap. They can hardly give them away, everybody wants florescent, but they are perfect for compacts. I just checked this thread before leaving for the Youngstown fish club's auction this afternoon, so I'm taking my own advice and see you later!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
fishwolfe said:
how about more info on the wiring of these?and where did you get them for $2 ???
I got the fixtures at a chain store named "Rural King" don't know if they have them in Portland area. I would think "Home Depot" or "Lowes" would have them as well.
As far as the wireing goes it was too easy. Each fixture has two screws, attach 1 wire to each screw. Code is black wire to the gold screw and white wire to the silver screw. But that really is nit-picking. I stripped the outer casing and used the white and black single strand copper wire from inside 14-2 romex (house wiring). Each light has its own pair of wires that join at the wire nuts in the center to the power cord that was a lamp replacement with a standard 2 prong plug. All 4 whites to one side and all 4 black to the other.
Click on these thumbnails to go to a big picture that is much easier to see the details.

 

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I'd be upgrading from the wirenuts if I used your fixtures. If I couldn't do all my connections inside a "workbox", I'd at least use heat shrink tubing or even better liquid tight connectors on all connections.
 

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Hey are those the energy efficient bulbs? Thats a pretty nice setup, I built something similar for a 55g but it holds a double shop light fixture with 2, 48" bulbs. Mine is heavy and eventually the shop lights don't work right I think due to moisture. I think your setup is more practical and would use a lot less energy to run if its the energy saver bulbs running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good observance "Mcdaphnia"... At work we use wire nuts on electrical connections that have the potential of a water hose busting in the proximity and soaking the connections. I used the same tactics on my lights. Wires are first twisted together. Electrical tape wrap the twist. Then wire nut the connection. finally wrap the wire nut with elecrtical tape overlapping down past the wires and back. The wire connections at the lights fixtures are terminated into spade connectors. AND the light is above the original Hood. Yes there is a possibility of getting moisture, but none of it is directly above the water. I tried to make it last but only time will tell. :wink:

Yes "Chillout", they are power saver bulbs. That is, when compared to incondecsents. They advertise to give off the same amount of light as a 75 watt bulb with only 20 watts. BUT, I used 4 of them, thats 80 Watts. I would be willing to bet your 48" flouecsents are 20 watt lamps and you use two, that's only 40 watts. What I don't know is the power consumption of the ballasts to drive your lamps :oops: :?
 

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Actually 4' fluorescents are 40w a piece, so a total of 80 as well. I think I could run just two of the 13w energy efficients and be just as happy as I am with these. All the 80w does for me is make me have to scrape algae once a week :oops: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Babykong said:
Light Housing looks really good! does it generate a lot of heat using those lights
Not much heat at all, the light does get warm, but not enought to raise my tank temp like an incondescent would. I have checked my water temp in the mornings after they have been of for 12 hours and at the end of the day when they have been on that long. It always reads about 80 degrees.
 

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I have those over my 2 planted tanks. It's a cheap way to get a lot of lumens into a tank. I haven't had any heat issues with mine and I have a 10w over a 2.5gal and 2x20w over my 10gal. Warm is a good word for the bulbs, but they don't get too hot to touch or anything.

I'm actually working on plans for my 55gal's new hood with c/f lighting like that. I'm thinking about planting it if I can keep my sev from getting too munch-happy.
 

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Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this thread, I myself haven't used it yet but fully intend to put it to good use. Would of never even consider those energy stars b4 I read this. :thumb:
 

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i liked the idea so much i ran out and copied it :D i used 6 sockets and the wireing was simple,just ran them in series and used liquid electric tape on the connections.took about 15 minutes to complete.i love the new look of the tank.i was using a standard cheapo home dumpster shop light fixture before.this looks so much better.and easier to do in my canopy im makeing.heres pics :thumb:


 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I helped somebody!
I helped somebody!
I helped somebody! :D
 
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