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Re: Lighting (getting very frustrated)

I have heard good reports of A&H. Maybe my experience is unusual. I think 
part of the problem is that I wasn't calling with a definite sale, i.e. 
particular item #s in mind. I'm quite sure when you called to order 6 x 55 
bright lite kits, Kim was very helpful. I just didn't find him as such, maybe 
because he didn't see an immediate sale in the works, or because I had some 
confusion over what needed to be done, and he didn't want to put the time or 
effort in. Contrary to the reported dimensions on the web site, he told me 
that the Perfecto strip lights are difficult to *retrofit* (there's that darn 
word again) due to their size. He also told me that I couldn't use my 
existing hood. So what exactly does his kits retrofit? There's even a picture 
of a strip light *retrofitted* with a bright kit.

While it may be have been apparent to someone else with greater imagination 
and ingenuity than me, I finally, after months, figured out that I've got to 
rig together some type of glass covering for the tank, and not use my 
existing hood, or even the stock sold glass tops by Perfecto, because of the 
way they are hinged.

You know, it takes a while to get the hang of things. (James, I recall you 
confessing to washing your tank out with detergent ;-) ) Heck, when I got my 
first used tank setup with a very etched glass covering on the hood, I was 
happy because I thought to pry it out and have a new piece cut at the local 
hardware store and silicone it in. (Which I later removed, along with all the 
glass coverings that were to follow on the other tanks.) In any case, I had 
problems at first increasing the lighting on that tank, because I didn't even 
know Perfecto sold double strip lights. (Fact is, I didn't even know I had a 
Perfecto tank.) None of the LFS's had double strips, never heard of them, and 
were telling me I had to switch tanks to get more light. The Eclipses were 
the only ones around being sold with a double light strip--and they weren't 
even in stock. I would have had to special order one. I didn't even know 
there were mail order places around for this stuff.

It takes awhile to get your feet wet. You don't have to be a Mensa inductee 
to keep fish and grow plants. And even a Mensa inductee wouldn't know what 
the hell's out in the market until they looked around for awhile. I'd bet 
there's a lot of folks lingering around here who have problems trying to rig 
up and accommodate lighting/filters/co2. Too bad Kim couldn't take the time 
to help me out. Whether he's got a better product, I don't know, and I won't 
find out.


 <<Having just last winter constructed a new full hood for my biggest tank and
installed 6 X 55W Bright Lite Kits, I'm rather at a loss to see what kind of
problem you might think that you will have with AH Supply's products.
Granted, I started with a "clean slate", so to speak, in that I built the
hood from scratch out of Oak, so I was able to design it from the start with
the kits in mind and was able to make some necessary modifications as the
project moved along.


Are you attempting (or wishing) to install the kits into an existing hood?
All of the Bright Kits from AH Supply clearly state on the web site the size
of the reflector which accompanies them - they are 4" wide, 2" high, and
varying lengths, depending upon the wattage of the bulb. If your hood is at
least that big, you can fit in a Bright Kit. If you turn your existing hood
upside down, a few seconds with a ruler will tell you whether or not one of
the Bright Kits can be accomodated. The idea of the Bright Kit is generally
that you would "gut" your existing hood, replacing the old internals with
the Bright Kit components. If there is no room inside the hood to also
accomodate the ballast, it (or they, depending upon how many lights you
install) can easily be installed in a remote location (I made a little
"ballast box" out of scrap oak).>>