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Good morning folks. I just started building a hood for my tank. After just
about $400.00 (can) I have everything I need. Unfortunatly I didn't come
here and ask a few questions first and now the hood is built. But I would
like to know the depth of (and cost of) my error so as to not to repeat this
on my next tank.

First off I made two sections of the hood each 5" high. The bottom section
drops 1" over the aquarium side. And the top is hinged onto this. Now what
I'm wondering is;

1)   Is having my T12 bulbs 7" above the surface of the water going to be
too much light loss? How much will I lose? I have purchased some sheet
aluminium to fashion a reflector. I probably can get it down to around 4"
from the surface. Will making these adjustments make any signifcant impact
on the lighting arrangement?

2) I have designed it to use 6 bulbs for a total of 240 Watts. Is this
enough for a 80 gallon tank? I'm actually using the measurment of a 70
gallon tank as I have at least 4" of substrate and I'm sure that I lose 10
gallons or more. From the tank surface to the substrate is 16.5  inches. I
could still make the change and add in 2 more bulbs for a total of 320
Watts. Would this be overkill?

3) I have bought 2 3" muffin fans (cooling fans) to mount into the hood. I
will wire them to go on and off with the lights. This should be enough
cooling for 6-8 T12 bulbs?

Thats it for now and I hope that in a year or two I will learn enough about
this hobby to be of help to some poeple here on the list.So far I'm still in
the full on newbie stage. Thanks alot for your help in advance

Rod Wuetherick

 RedIron Studios
 rod at redironstudios_ca
 Vancouver, B.C. Canada