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Cultivated Reef

Uwwmatt's DIY Biocube Fuge Light


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-Hand Saw

-Utility Knife

-Paint Scraper

-1/4inch drill bit




Supplies from Home Depot

-Hampton Bay 7watt fluorescent task light x2 (three pack $25)

-Self adhesive Velcro $2.00

-Sheet Metal Screws x8 $2.00

-Gang Box $3.50

First remove the nails from the gang box.


I found this in the electrical supplies aisle.


Second drill a hole in the bottom of the gang box


Third connect the two lights together with the included cord.



Fourth string the power cord through the drilled hole in the gang box and connect it to the lights.



Fifth arrange both lights so the fit snugly with the wires underneath. I found placing them at an angel worked best.


Sixth take the hard plastic packing material that came with the fluorescent light and cut out a rectangle roughly the size of the gang box. Lay it over the box and use a marker to mark the screw holes. Screw it down


If you feel like getting fancy use Plexiglas. I left my light running for 4 straight days to test the material and it held up fine. The lights don't get very warm. I have my fuge lights running opposite my main display so they are only on about 10 hours at a time. If you plan on going 24/7 you probably should find better material.



Seventh trim the excess plastic with your utility knife. Now its starting to look good!


Eighth (this should actually be step 2) Saw off those extra pieces around the gang box.



Ninth prepare your tank. 3 1/2inch from the left(when your facing the back) and 5 1/2 to from the right. I first scored the paint with my utility knife.



Tenth scrape, scrape, scrape. I found a paint scraper worked well here.



Eleventh apply Velcro



Your done!





Other Things to Consider

-They make black gang boxes, but they were all out when I went to the store.

-Use Plexiglas for the cover

-If your tank is already up and running do not remove the bioballs all at once. Take a handful out every day over the period of a week.

-There is a small amount of light that leaks out around the edges. My tank is in my living room so I don't care. In fact it makes a good night light, but you may want to make a cloth seal, or use you leftover Velcro to secure a piece of fabric over the box.

-I have not noticed change in temperature, but you should check to make sure yourself.

-The Gang Box is about 4 inches deep so take that into account if your tank is right up against a wall


Nanoreef11's version





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Uwwmatt, great post, easy to understand and see how you did it. I think this will be my lighting choice for my future fuge (8G BC).


Question: Have you noticed any heat problems from within the gangbox? I mean, is there a danger of the box melting from the heat of the lights?



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Uwwmatt, great post, easy to understand and see how you did it. I think this will be my lighting choice for my future fuge (8G BC).


Question: Have you noticed any heat problems from within the gangbox? I mean, is there a danger of the box melting from the heat of the lights?





The gang box stays cool, it has many vents in it.


If your biocube is in your room you are going to want to figure out a way to keep the light from exiting through the vent holes, even though there is not a ton of light escaping there is still enough that it would probably bother you if you were trying to sleep.

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Uwwmatt how is the cheato growth with those lights... I just made a similar light and I am wondering how much growth I should expect.


We will have to wait and see. Mine has only been running since the 18th. It seems like its starting to get a little cramped in my back chamber, but that might just be my imagination.

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very cool! I did something similar, but just took a 18watt coralife mini aqualight and mounted it back there. You'll have a lot of success I guarantee you!

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Very nice DIY. I will consider this for my BC14 as I have high nitrates and nothing is in the tank. I needed an idea for the fuge and this is perfect. Thanks for the great idea.

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I did this mod today with a gang box, plexiglass, 5100k bulb, bulb adapter (for lights bulbs), and light bulb cord. Was any easy to do mod. Just pulled it off at work with my boss. I work at a fish store so we had all the tools.


Hope to get some cheato in my tank now and get the nitrates down.

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I will post a pic as soon as i get home to my aquarium. I stay at my dads part of the time and my aquarium is at my moms. Look for a pic on here and my thread between wed-thurs. Thanks for the idea again.

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I posted pics on my thread. I will post pics here as well.


Here is a link to my page with the custom Biocube 14







I used a 5500K bulb that is energy efficient. Just bought a light bulb adapter and lamp cord. Was fairly cheap.








Chamber 2




If there are questions on the setup or prices I am willing to answer them.

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Thanks for getting the pic up uwwmatt. I'll post a better pic when its day time. I just wanted to get a post in last night. I could have made the install look better but I just threw together what I had at work and called it good haha.


Do you think the 5500K bulb I put in will be sufficient for the cheato to grow under?


Hows your cheato holding up? Any growth under those lights?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was wondering how difficult it was to scrape the paint off of the back of the tank. Could I try to use the stainless algae scraper that I use inside the tank or do I need a paint scraper?

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