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System 3 Lighting Update

I finished my upgrade of one of the System 3 three gallon tanks I own. I
ended up using the AHS Miro reflector sold for the 13 gallon but with a 9W
bulb, socket and ballast I had purchased from another source rather than the
13W bulb. The 9w with the Miro provides a very nice upgrade in the lighting
and my plants are bubbling away.

In order to do the upgrade I removed the stock plastic bulb assembly with
its ballast and used a dremel tool cutoff wheel to remove the standoffs
under the lamp assembly. I also removed the switch cover and ground down the
switch mounting area to let the reflector sit nicely against the top. I then
marked and drilled three holes in the top using the reflector as a pattern
and used some nice stainless steel button head socket screws, SS nylon
insert locknuts and some 1/4" nylon standoffs to mount the reflector and
socket. The screw heads are on the outside but due to their low profile are

I obtained a polycarbonate T-8 lamp shield from HomeDepot which I cut down
to cover the lamp and socket. I slotted the end of the tube so that the
socket could be fully covered and the end cap could be placed on the end
where the wires enter. The other end of the polycarb tube was notched to
pass the head of the locknut and the other endcap was notched smaller to
cover the end of the tube and just fit around the #6 screw shaft.

The ballast was placed in a small two piece aluminum box which I fitted with
grommets for the wires and screwed to the back top of the System 3 cover.
This places all the wirenuts outside the aquarium lid for greater safety.
The wires to the lamp exit this chassis and go down and back up forming a
drip loop as they enter the hood. A little dot of silicone in the grommet
completed the moisture proofing through the wire holes. I routed the wires
along the same path as the original wiring. I'll soon get around to putting
one of the AHS vent plugs in the hole where the switch cover was removed.
You can't see the little box at all from the front and I plan to cover it
with some black adhesive covering to make it completely anonymous.

This makes a nice installation and still leaves the area exposed by raising
the top for feeding and filter inspection.

Now for some aquascaping!

Thanks to all for the suggestions.