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Old 01-06-2013, 12:17 AM   #1 
Kytkattin's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: California
Arrow DIY Hood/Lighting, First NPT

So the title pretty much says it all. In waiting for my new fishy boy to ship, I have managed to set up this tank. It is my first shot at a NPT, though I have been keeping plants for almost 2 years now. Right now the tank has some ghost shrimp, trumpet snails, and various other things that I probably couldn't name if I tried. I have a journal going on in the journal section, but I felt like posting here because, well, why not?!

The hood is a vinyl gutter, cut to size, and capped with two end caps. I have 2, 13 watt 6500K bulbs in the hood. There is a vent cut in the back to help cool the bulbs, and the hood will be painted black soon to help prevent light escaping and so it looks more professional.

Plants are various, off the top of my head: purple cabomba, banana plant (my fav...), Marimo moss ball, hornwort, various crypts, frogbit, duckweed, anubius, amazon compacta, Christmas moss, and two others that I can't remember the name of. I was getting decent growth with the fluorescent bulb I had before, but I am hoping for massive growth in doubling my wattage. At the very least, this tank is visually much more impressive with the new lighting. It is much easier to see everything, and the shrimp are 10x more active! Pictures just don't do it justice, I need to break out the tripod to get better shots.

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:18 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2012
  • Have you considered using a thin sheet of aluminum & bend it to reflect light back into the tank?

  • Option 2 would be to take a aluminum soda can & cut off the ends & slip it over the light bulb.

    (This makeshift reflector will have to be removed before you change out the bulb)

Just be careful not to cut yourself. Metal snips come in handy.

What type of paint were you planning to use to cover the top?

Hm... Looks good so far.
  • Take pictures of your entire tank every 1-2 weeks to monitor plant growth.

  • My fastest growing plants can grow 1/2" every 6 hours, but without the weekly photos I wouldn't be able to keep track.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Looks good, and a neat idea for the hood! I use those glass covers on my tanks, and then I end up having to buy lighting fixtures that will work with it.. you found a good, cheap way to make your own lighting, very nice!

And the tank looks nice.. I always liked the "jungle/natural" looks to tanks, I have a few myself.

How do you like your Christmas moss? I almost purchased some, but went with java moss instead (not happy with the java).. So now when the weather gets warmer I may go for Christmas or Flame moss instead.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: California
Right now I have aluminum foil bent around the bulbs to reduce heat and reflect light. It works like a charm, though really the white is very reflective on its own. Haha, I just realized that I don't drink soda at all any more. No soda cans in the house even. :(

I have been photographing it every couple of days and putting it in the journal section, so there will be lots of pics!

All told (not including the cost of the glass hood $14.99), it cost me $7 for 10ft of vinyl gutter, $3 apiece for the end caps, $2 for the extension cord, $3 apiece for the sockets. So all in all, probably more expensive than just buying one. But it should also be said that I am going to be making many more of these of various lengths, so the cost per each is less considering how much gutter I got. Breaking it down I would estimate it being about $16.

Honestly, I don't like the Christmas moss. lol. I don't know for sure if this is Christmas moss, but it is the only moss that petco sells around here. I have had it before, and it always seems to get severe algae growth. The only reason I bought it was because I love the way it looks on the stick. Haha.

Because this is technically a temp tank I didn't want to spend a lot on decor, so I wanted it to be well grown to make the fish feel comfortable.
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