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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The inside of my plastic hood for my tank holds two T8 tubes in such a manner (from the side) that I can't fit any reflectors inside the hood.

I'm thinking of painting the area around the tubes a reflective white to reflect more light into the tank.

Tank is 120cm by 40 by 45 and believe the tubes are 30 watts each.

Has anyone done this or have any other ideas about how I might increase the amount of light and not lose it going into my tank?

Painting seems a good idea. Obviously want a mould and humidity resistant paint. I think using aluminium foil would be more tricky what with the damp and condensation.

Dom :D
 

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Dom;

I have some experience with light and reflection, having engineered a lighting system for photographic use some years ago. White paint will certainly reflect light better than anything darker, but your statement "increase the amount of light and not lose it going into my tank?" puzzles me a bit...isn't the point of increasing the lighting, to have it "going into the tank", and that's what your earlier statement also says...?

Regarding Alu foil...there are some commercially used duct tapes (not the cloth-based ones, but actual, thick alu foil, which are adhesive backed, which you might be able to line the surface behind T8 tubes, although I don't know how it would hold up in this possibly high humidity environment) which you might check out. This is less of an issue because the Lighting fixture us separated from water by a glass...but be careful not to block T8 ventilation holes with it!

Finally, regarding "other ideas"... Have you considered an LED conversion? I have converted the (2) 24" wide, formerly also T8 fluorescent fixtures on my 55g (as well as the single 24" wide on a 29g high) to LED by gutting the old equipment and installing modestly priced Marineland Hidden 24" (22"?) LED equipment, and am quite pleased with it. I have made some modifications to allow a ZooMed timer to automatically switch from day to night mode (I can provide details if interested in this), so NO manual intervention is required, but this is advanced and only for those qualified. I would recommend the basic fixtures even without auto-switching, and these LED fixtures have been doing faultless duty for 3-4 years (in that time, I would expect T8 tubes would have already needed replacement). The work is not super technical, and you would be removing 220VAC powered equipment and replacing it with low voltage equipment, so if you are confident in your own work, have a go...worst case, you could have a qualified electrician check your work, or if you are not confident to undertake this yourself, have them gut and install the LED conversion. It would be a modest job taking only 15min! Some of the side benefits are well known, LEDs consume much less electrical energy, and produce much less waste heat than even the fluorescent sources, and last a lot longer...

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know how you managed to get the LED fixtures all under your hood. Will check out the Marineland Hidden LEDS.

Thanks for your advice.
 
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