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How to gut your Coralife BC 14 hood and Panorama Pro Upgrade


dormreefer

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Welcome to my thread, after doing several forum searches as well as google searches I failed to find any threads or sites that show how to gut your Coralife BC14 hood. While there are several other good retro fit guides for other tanks such as Nano Tanks you can use for additional information I hope this serves as a good foundation to assist any other fellow reefers who wish to retro fit their hoods. It honestly is not as hard as you may think as long as you don't rush and are careful!

 

If you own a Oceanic Biocube check out quikcolin's Hood gut and Panorama Install

 

How to gut the hood!

 

Before proceeding to the first step ensure all cables are removed from the two rear openings. This includes any pumps, heaters, etc should you wish to keep them on during the gutting process simply replug in devices after hood removal. Lighting cables should also be unplugged before attempting to move the hood away from the tank/outlets. All directions given below assume that the hood is upside down with the feeding flap facing towards you. Be sure to also have a Philips and a Flat Head screw driver on hand!

 

Step 1- Remove the two pins from the hinges that connect the hood to the tank. To do this use a flat head screw driver and gently push in between the rounded tab and the inner hinge as shown by the red arrow in the image below. After removing the tabs you should be able to completely lift the hood off the tank.

guide1_zpsa397860c.jpg

 

Step 2- Unscrew the six screws holding on the plastic light cover. Screws are located in each corner and in the middle.

 

Step 3- Remove the two rubber bands that hold the PC bulbs in place, then proceed to remove bulbs by slowly pulling away from the socket. (It is advisable that you do not touch the bulbs, instead touch the plastic pin area)

 

Step 4- Unscrew the two PC bulb fittings on the right side of the hood each fitting has two screws shown in green below. After unscrew each bulb clip by removing the screw in each shown in blue. Once you have unscrewed both the PC fitting and Bulb clip go ahead and unscrew the LED bar screws shown in orange

IMG_0521_zpsda960f28.jpg

 

Step 5- The reflector should now be loose, carefully remove the LED bar and PC clips. Move the reflector out as far forward as possible. There will be a green grounding cable attached under the top right corner. If you are doing a retrofit and no longer wish to keep the stock reflector cut this cable. Once the cable is cut your reflector should be freed from the hood other than the LED light board connector. Follow the cable for the LED light board to the brown board in the rear of the hood (shown by a purple start in the step 7 picture) and unplug the cable, at this time you can remove the reflector. If you have chosen to keep the reflector and ground cable simply leave the reflector as far forward in the hood as possible

 

Step 6- Locate and unscrew both the PC ballasts (Blue arrows) and the Right transformer (Red arrow).

IMG_0523_zpsa5581890.jpg

 

Step 7- Make sure both Ballasts and the right transformer are now loose. Find the blue cable on the right transformer and follow it to the brown control board located in the rear of the hood (purple star) unplug the blue cable from the board. Please note that this transformer supplies power to both case fans, should you wise to keep the fans functional you may either buy a 12v AC adapter with 2 pin plug and attach it to the board here or attempt to switch the right and left transformers.

525A-Copy_zps6cb97de3.jpg

 

Step 8- Follow all Red and White cables from Ballasts and unplug them from the case switches in the top left corner. You should end up with the two right switches free of connectors. Of course, if you wish to remove the moonlights also you can simply follow the other switches cables and remove as necessary. The switch panel itself can also be removed by unscrewing the 4 screws in each corner. This will free both the switch panel and rubber cover. For reference a picture of the plugs with wires connected is shown below.

IMG_0528_zps91a5d66d.jpg

 

Step 9- Remove the Fans by unscrewing the 4 screws holding in each and following their cables to the brown board and unplugging. After remove the screws securing in the board and your hood will be free of all electronics aside from the 3 power cables entering in the top right corner other than the two clamps. Remove each wire clap by unscrewing each.

 

Step 10- In order to remove the power cords I chose to cut them as they can easily be replaced in the future if necessary by using a grounded extension cable. After cutting simply pull out the cables, this will leave you with a fully gutted Coralife Bio cube 14 hood.

 

Panorama Pro LED Dual Strip upgrade!

 

This section assumes you have gutted your hood of the Ballasts, Transformers, 2 PC power cords and the Front LED board. In order to complete this retro fit I recommend: 1 Phillips head Screw driver, 1 power drill or dremel with a 1/8th inch bit, 2 small Zip Ties, a pair or scissors or Stanley knife. The guide also assumes you have kept all screws from the hood and the reflector panel. I used a 12k/445 Pro and a 445 Pro and find the resulting light extremely appealing!

 

 

Step 1- Cut the reflector panel into two squares approximately 1.5x1.5 inch, these will become attachment panels for the left side of the Pro Modules, the right side will utilize preexisting holes.

 

Step 2- Drill a 1/8 inch hole in each cut reflector panel centered on one side as close as the edge as possible without splitting the metal.

 

Step 3- Screw each reflector panel into the far left holes in the hood where the PC bulb clips once were. If confused see the completed attachment panel in step 5

 

Step 4- Place each panorama pro module so that the right side is in light with the screw holes that the PC fittings utilized. These are located in the front right of the hood in two distinct pairs. Once in place screw the Pro modules in loosely and center them with the attachment panels from step three. Gently mark the location of the two outer holes of the Pro module on the attachment panels. Once again see step 5 image for reference, the markings will be used to drill in the next step.

 

Step 5- Slide or remove the panorama pro module from the attachment panel. Unscrew the Panorama module and use your Drill and 1/8inch drill to make the holes you marked in the previous step. Insert 1 zip tie through each hole, DO NOT tighten the Zip Tie, and rescrew the completed attachment panel to the hood. The result should be similar to what is pictured below.

IMG_0540_zpse0d5bc36.jpg

 

Step 6- Attach and align Panorama modules by first screwing on the right side into the two screw holes, for best results attach the module so that the cable is leaving from this end. As far as lightning preference is concerned I recommend first trying each layout over your tank without the hood. However, I did use the 12k/445 module in the front and 445 in the back. After screwing in the right side, securely attach the left side by pushing the Zip Tie through the two outside circular holes and tightening.

IMG_0552_zpsc2079a85.jpg

 

 

Step 7- Run the cables to the rear of the hood and out of one of the dedicated holes, for best results use some sort of tubing, or strip a wire, to hide these cables. You can also re-utilize the clamps if you desire. See image below.

IMG_0549_zps27451ba8.jpg

 

Step 8- Place splash guard/cover and screw in the 6 screws, ensure a tight seal to prevent as much moisture as possible. While Pro modules are water resistant Ecoxotic recommend you use the cover.

IMG_0553-Copy_zpsb8ffbe90.jpg

 

Step 9- Re install the hood by using the stock clips, and plug in your Panorama Pros into their adapter and enjoy your new Shimmering and more powerful light! Your corals will thank you!

 

 

Thank you for reading and I hope I helped a little, feel free to leave feedback or comments. This guide is still under slight revision as I have yet to fully reread and edit. :)

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Nice Alex. Looks like a neat DIY, considering one myself - to LED.

Does the one you have include an auto dimmer/timer?

Can it shift spectrum automatically?

What was the costs?

Any pics of the finished product lighting in tank?

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Nice Alex. Looks like a neat DIY, considering one myself - to LED.

Does the one you have include an auto dimmer/timer?

Can it shift spectrum automatically?

What was the costs?

Any pics of the finished product lighting in tank?

 

Thanks, figured someone would like to see a write up! :lol:

LED is definitely the way to go from both what I've read and experienced on other tanks, and in the last day my Corals have colored up more than ever and I love the shimmer. It makes the tank look much deeper and more vivid for sure.

 

A dimmer or timer is not "necessary" but I would advice some sort of timer for your light schedules. That's my one negative for the Panoramas they don't come standard with switches, while you can buy a 4 way splitter with switches (for around 14 dollars) without you have to unplug the transformer or disconnect the module from the transformer. I'll get a picture of this tomorrow, it isn't hard but it also isn't practical. Dimmers aren't required or needed in my opinion unless you have fragile corals, each dimmer will cost you around 15. Another negative to some may be that if you want to have a sunrise system on timers (like the stock actinic and white on different controls) you would need 2 individual power supplies. I luckily picked up both units in Hardware Classifieds with independent power supplies :happy:

 

The units cannot shift spectrum, you are stuck with what you purchase. However, ecoxotic do offer a lot in the way of expansions with their stunner strips which have a wide array of colors to choose from. The 12k/445nm and 445nm strips do provide a great spectrum for both growing and reviewing already though!

 

Cost wise there's no single answer. Going through Ecoxotic buying 2 pros a splitter and 1 transformer will run you around $225. If you want the independent control ability of the lights (2 transformers no splitter) it's closer to $250. I did luckily get them cheaper than that but I was leaning towards them before I got lucky on hardware classifieds and I definitely think for me they were the best retrofit. I liked the customer support stories told of Ecoxotic and the expandability, plus I don't have a solder iron and I didn't want to mess with power cables and wiring transformers :P

 

I've been trying to get some updated pictures without much luck, iphone hates blues, I'll attempt to get my camera or my roommates and get some soon!

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I actually do run three separate timers on the stock lighting. Well two actually, one for actinic the other of daylight. The third timer runs my fuge halogens with the cheato.

When I move to LED, I would prefer if there were some time of programmable/timer which auto dims the lights and shifts spectum.

I'd be interested if I could do a cycle like this:

Midnight - 2am 1-5% light more blue

2am - 6am total dark

6am-9am 5% blue

9am-11am 5-20% blue moving towards daylight

11am-3pm 20%-75% more white less blue

3pm-8pm 100% full blue and white

8pm-11pm shift from 100% to 20% decrease white most fading to blue

11pm-midnight down to 5% mostly blue.

 

 

Is this even possible? Unfortunately I'm not around to plug/unplug light and or to dim them myself. This all needs to be automated.

 

Is this even possible?

 

Looking forward to your pics. I know what u mean by iPhone not liking the blue. I have the same problem. It's terrible. I actually have a real nice underwater camera. I'm considering just taking some intank shots of corals. Should actually come out pretty neat. Has anyone ever done this?

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In theory yes that would be possible, you would need a reef controller like an RKL and likely the advance lighting module. Adding probably $200 to the setup. The only stock LED's I know that can stimulate that out of the box would be the AI Sol units with their controllers, which would cost upwards of $400 and you'd have to go topless.

 

Of course such a complex cycle is only really going to benefit you. Pretty much all polyps and soft corals can do fine in stock Biocube lighting so adding LEDs period will make a big difference.

 

I have seen pictures taken inside tanks before and they are pretty sweet. However, I know a lot of coral stores/dealers use viewing boxes to break the surface and then photograph through them

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So many choices! I think I have a lot of research to do still. I would like a dimmer for sure (I suppose for my pleasure). Although automation would be preferred. I'd say that my biggest concerns being able to set timers to switch on and off at predefined times. I would definitely want two separate light strips to somewhat control the intensity, with a manual dimmer at least.

I am pretty much sold on the conversion, I don't want to keep buying PC lights every six months any anything to promote coral growth is preferred. Better light effects for the viewing eye is surely and added bonus. :)

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First off, my corals are doing AMAZING! My polyp extension is much greater and my zoas have grown more in the last few days than they had in weeks. I added a cheap piece of Acropora yesterday to test out SPS and so far it has extended its polyps nicely!

 

I picked up a RKL Satuday because I wanted a precise way to control my times with a battery back up to save the times. It's nice to finally have a consistent light schedule and it manages overlays and multiple times with ease. I'd definitely vouch for the 2 pros, 2 Power Supplies and a RKL.

 

The one thing I have noticed is that if you don't run fans the Pros will raise your temperature as much as 1 degree over 6 hours of two running. As a result I have ordered a 12v Power Supply and will be attempting to get the fans up and running soon!

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