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[APD] AH Supply Enclosures

Hi y'all,

I'm considering getting the wooden enclosure for a 48" tank from AH Supply. 
I was going to build one, but the price on these is great, and they look 
good. So what I'm trying to figure out, without too much error, is how it 
fits on the 55 gallon tank. Perfecto and All Glass vary slightly, for 
example, on the dimensions. I know that the tops/hoods are not 
interchangeable on each.  I called AH Supply today, and Kim told me that it 
fits around, over top, not on the inside lip. Checking the photo after we 
hung up, it looks exactly like it is sitting on the inside lip. So, I'm 
checking to see if anyone knows whether this will fit on a 55 gallon 
Perfecto, and how it goes on.

I made a 30" enclosure for a retro kit before. It fit over the top, and had 
a bit of overhang, as I had strips of wood inside to rest over the top and 
brace it. I think there were DIY instructions somewhere with that design ... 
and I like the look of it. I had the top closed (as opposed to spaces 
between the 3 pieces that form the top), and the front portion flipped over 
for feeding and working on the tank. I'm guessing there is no way to modify 
the enclosures from AH Supply to do that? although it would be nice if you 
could get access to the tank without removing the entire thing. Another 
problem I'm foreseeing, provided it does fit, is that I wasn't going to use 
all AH supply retro kit parts to wire into this. Kim thought this would be a 
problem. I decided to use a ballast and strip from a Britelite (one side 
burned out) ... plus one AH retrofit 2x55 (or 40) ...  and probably 2 or 3 
plain old compact flourescents. I wired 2 in on the other side of the 
Britelite when 1/2 went bad, as an immediate solution. So there may be 
slight variations in lighting from one side to another, but less noticeable 
than I have now. It doesn't look too bad, but the temperature difference 
between the 2 PCF and the CF is glaring. Not the light output so much, but 
the temp difference. I don't mind the warm temp of the CF, and now they've 
come out with Daylight CF's, I think around 5,500 or 6 K. I have come to 
dislike the really white looking light of the PCF that I have in the 
Britelite. As far as growth of the plants, I'm not noticing a major 
difference from side to side (and it's far from optimal, but I'm blaming my 
substrate, plus an algae invasion which I got after putting plants in the 
tank which I picked out of a lake this summer--obviously not adequately 
sanitized), except that green thready algae does prefer the whiter/bluer 
light. The warm light of the CF's seems a little less conducive to algae 
growth. I think I'd like to try combinations of difference lightings, and 
maybe stagger turn-on and turn-off anyway, and have 2 different power/timers 
on the whole thing. I hope this is not akin to blasphemy here on the 
APD--I'm doing it on a budget and kind of want to experiment with different 
light anyway. With that said, maybe one of the resident experts with some 
experience playing with non-standard lighting systems has a word of warning 
for me ;-)

Anyway, the issue would be the fit over the Perfecto tank and how much of a 
pain it will be basically, to try to wire these lamps in. Oh, and the other 
issue is feeding/working on a tank with this. I can't see removing it every 
time you want to get in there.

Any thoughts?



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