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RE: DIY lights

Alysoun McLaughlin wrote:

I've purchased a four-bulb 48" lighting fixture from Home Depot.  It's
cheaper than a two-bulb aquarium light strip, but frankly, if I had the
money, I'd spend it on the aquarium fixtures, to avoid the hassle and

This fixture was designed to be wired into the ceiling of your house.  It's
a flimsy metal framework, with no support from below.  I got someone to wire
it, but how do you adapt it to sit on top of the aquarium?

Can you rest it on a plank of wood, stretched across the tank?  Although I'd
still need to find a solution to enclose the fixture.  What about the
material for a canopy, any insulation, or how far you need to keep the
canopy from the heat of the bulbs?  I guess the temperatures aren't quite
high enough to burn wood, but it still doesn't feel quite safe to me.

Any advice, web sites you'd recommend?

I'm sorry for the delaying in answering your quest.
I have a fish room with 15 tanks of various sizes that I use for breeding experiments with Anabantids. I have them fitted with heavy plantation and DIY fluorescent lighting. Here is how I did it:
For the canopies I bought PVC piping, 12 cm Diam. of the type used as gutter material in house building, which I cut in lengths that would suit the length of the tanks. Then I cut each segment lenghtwise and ended up with two canopies for one lamp each.
To mount the lamps on the canopies I use "Arcadia lighting control units" - kits made purposefully for aquariums - which I buy, directly from one of the large British mail order companies that deal in aquatic goods. These units come completely wired and include a ballast for remote installation, two plastic angers that screw on the inside of the canopy and support the fluorescent tube and two watertight end caps that fit the ends of the lamp and provide the electrical connection. I also fit a reflector from Arcadia on each canopy.
To avoid overheating of the tank, I do not lay the canopies on top of my glass covers; instead I cut the canopies longer than the tanks and support them on bars fitted for that purpose on the shelve structure were the tanks stand.
I hope this helps.
Best wishes
Diogo Higgs, in Oeiras, Portugal

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