Custom Hood

Subject: Custom hood
> Jeff wrote:
> > I spoke with someone today that said they can make me a custom
> > 55 gal. tank 

Charley Bay posted:

> DON'T DO IT!  :-)
> Yes, the price (I think) is fair.  You could DIY cheaper, but st
> $400 for a setup that's not this good.  It didn't even come with
> The only complaint I have... are you SURE you want it for a 55 g
> Those are so darn narrow... if you want to spend serious money o
> hood (I think $300 is serious money), you might want to look at 
> (or even 40 gallon) tanks.  I think you might be happier in the 
> I'll never buy another 55 gallon tank again.  The one I have is 
> narrow for its height to do what I want with plants.  If you hav
> for only a 55, though, I understand your decision... this is one
> popular tank sizes; I have just come to dislike its proportions 
> decision).

I have to second that opinion.  I have 3 55G tanks (2 were given 
to me) and while I work with them because I already own them, I 
would never purchase another.  The shallow front-to-back 
measurement means that every time you trim plants, the back wall 
is exposed again.  As Charley says, if you can't fit a bigger 
tank, you don't have much choice, but the cost difference on the 
total set-up is not that different between a 55 and a 70G, and the 
70's are so much nicer to work with.  They're my favorite size for 
a 4' tank.  90's are deeper with no more area, and I can't reach 
the bottom without a stool, 120's are great because of the greater 
back-to-front depth, but again, they're hard to service.  40's are 
easiest to survice, but because they are shallow, a lot of nice 
plants outgrow them quickly.  (BTW, 6 4' bulbs are great over a 
70G tank, that's what I use, and I can grow most anything I want. 
I have 4 tubes over my 55G, and that seems to be plenty, since my 
R. macrandra, Ammania and Didiplis all grow very well. (the R. 
macrandra and the Ammania are _bright_ magenta)

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA