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DIY T5 Canopy (upgrade)

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jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Hey,

About 3 months ago I converted my standard hood to T5's housing only two bulbs... Well I decided to see what more light would do for my tank, so I bought 2 more T5 fixtures and made a little canopy for it. This tank is only going to house lower light/flow critters.

Sooo I thought I would share what I accomplished this evening on the lil project. It is functional, though I still need to add the front, and stain the pine to match my tanks trim and stand.

http://community.webshots.com/album/119450830LRVxKM

Let me know if this link does not work..

Oh and please ignore the mess... I have too many projects going on right now...
 
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szidls

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
Hey Stag,
Looks good. Is there any noticable heat gain with the t-5's? I've been wondering about using them for actinic suppliment with MH on a 150 gal. Scott:)
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
I have only used T5's so I can't really give you a well rounded opinion, but I would say for softy tanks they are the best option short of MH. They are inexpensive, low maintenance and thus far my softies have done extremely well under them.

The true actinics flourece very very nicely. On the Big tank I am setting up I will run 60" T5 actinics with 250w MH.

As far as heat goes I would say they produce a small amount of heat and shouldn't be a huge factor for the temp.

These lights are the standard Helios 36" fixtures that come complete with built in ballast. I have heard that the Sunlight supply T5's driven by an external ballast are much brighter but I have not seen them for myself.
 

reefsupply

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
120
Location
Maple Park IL
I like what I see I went with the Tek T-5 retro. Each bulb has its own reflector. Works great not much more heat gain if not less than VHO and they look a lot brighter to me also. I use them on my 155 bow front with 2x 250 watt mh and 1 400 watter
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Mostly completed!

Hey All,

Here is the mostly completed canopy. I actually rebuilt the box so the sides slide over the original tanks trim and keeps it from moving around much.

I also added some DIY moonlighting I am trying out:
I bought two 5 volt Blue LED lights and two AA battery packs from Radio Shack. I soldered the lights to a battery pack and mounted it inside the canopy to see how it looks. So far it looks very cool though I think I will go with a brighter LED for the final go.

These T5's are really great so far! My mushrooms and button polyps are appreciative :)
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
These are just the 29W Helios lights that come complete with fixture, bulb, ballast and lil reflector that doesn't do it's job. I used aluminum flashing for the reflector.

You can pick up Helios units at just about any of our sponsors. (Blue Sierra, Salt Water City...)

The sunlight supply units are supposedly better though for my purposes they weren't worth the price. Total cost of the 4 36" T5 Helios was about 115.00 after tax. The two bulb sunlight supply retros were I think around 150.00 each.

This complete canopy stained with lighting and moonlights was only about 145.00.
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Well out with the T-5's and in with 1 MH... Eventually will put two in there but the budget only allows 1 at this point..

The ballst has since been mounted on the outside of the Canopy and I have stained the canopy to match the tank and stand.

I was not comfortable leaving the thin plastice center brace unsupported so I reinforced it with 1/4" acrylic attached with nylon nuts/bolts
 
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