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Re: [APD] Retrofit Eclipse Six?

--- Erin Poythress <anang3 at yahoo_com> wrote:

> Hi Scott,
> Thanks for all your information. I think the 1 X 13
> would be enough, too, for a planted tank. The biggest
> hurdle with the factory 6, as I'm sure you know, is
> the dearth of light that makes it to the back. The 8W
> regular bulb is fine for growing slow growers UP
> FRONT, but yields nothing but leggy ugliness in back.

This is partly caused by the filter blocking the light --
so this problem is worse on the 6 than the 12 but it's
there on the 12 too. So bulb intensity won't entirely cure
the problem.

> If I were going to try the 1 X 13 setup, do you think
> I'd still need fans? 

I don't think you will, especially if the ballast is
mounted exterior or remote form the hood. 

> I would definitely still cut
> vents somewhere in the top, and the sleeving's a great
> idea, too.

If you remove the lamp housing that is in there, then use
some stand-offs to hold the reflector 1/8" to 1/4" away
from the hood. This will allow some airflow over the
reflector if you use one.

The easiest way to make some vents that aren't too
distracting visually is to get some of the AHS vent covers
and drill out holes for them, preferably with an
approriately sized forstner drill bit if you have one. If
not, then a spade bit will work if you just go slow,
carefully, and keep your hands clear of the area. If you
can, rubberband some wood onto the hood over the hole to
help center the spade bit and reduce the possibility of the
hood cracking around the hole edge.

I suggest trying it without an added fan. Even if you add a
fan you want a ventilation path, so try without a fan
first, and if the airflow proves inadequate, then a fan can
boost the flow. The quietest fan in the world is the one
not installed.

> If I shelved the idea of retrofit lighting altogether,
> does anyone know if there'd be enough light for some
> java ferns to thrive back there? 

Oh, you didn't day you would consider Java fern. Just
attach it to a rock or chunck of driftwood that's partially
under the light and partially in the back and give it an
eighth or quarter turn every so often. ;-) Anubias work
well on a plant-go-round too.

> I saw on here ages
> back about people using cork sheeting to tie java
> ferns to and wondered if that might be a good solution
> to the "filter shadow."

With the tank empty you can silicone some cork bark (or
such) to the rear panel and you can attach Java fern to
that.  That's what I did on my Eclipse 12. It grows kind of
horizontal, reaching forward for the light, but you can
trim Java just about any way you want.

Good luck, have fun setting up,
Scott H.

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