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DIY Hood Questions:

First, thanks to all who helped with my previous posts about algae and
nutrients...  My tank is sparklingly clear and virtually no algae is visible
besides some green spot algae.  I plan on following Mr. Barr's nutrient
schedule for the next month to see if I can prevent more algae infestations.

I've been toying with the idea of constructing a wooden hood for my 60 gal
(48" X ~17" x ~17) to replace the two strip lights on top of a class cover
that I currently have.  One strip is a All-Glass 55 watt x 2 ABS PC strip.
The other is standard strip retrofitted with one AH Supply 96 watt bright
kit.  My plan was to construct a hood similar in design to the "split-hood"
design of George Booth.  I figured I would buy a reflector for the 2x55 watt

My questions:

1)  I've read the archives on type of materials to use, and am wondering if
the "kiln-dried" pine would be best to use, as I believe it would match my
pine stand once stained.  So, is the kiln-dried pine easy to work with?
Inexpensive?  Will it take stain?  Or are there better choices?

2) Should I "seal" the inside and outside with polyurethane?  The outside of
my stand is NOT sealed, and has performed very well for me over the years.
I suppose I could seal it with the aquarium still on it if need be to match
the hood...

3) Does anyone have a website with pictures of a split-type hood design
and/or more detailed drawings than provided on Mr. Booth's page?

4) Should I try to remotely mount the ballasts in the stand, or leave them
in the hood?  (I am going to use a cooling fan regardless.)

5) Do I need to keep the cover glasses or can the light fixtures handle the
increased moisture?

6) Lastly, I really like the idea of a suspended hood (like the one Erik
Olsen describes in That Darn Plant Tank), but am concerned about drilling
holes in my apartment ceiling, and wonder about the weight of that design.

Suggestions / comments appreciated, either on or off-list.


Is sunny Pennsylvania -- where 72 F on Saturday has given way to a balmy 47
F today.