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Innovative Marine Aquariums

retrofit hood DIY..help


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I have a hood for my 20g, it has 1 t8 fluorescent in it. I am planning on doing FOWLR but my hubby hopes to add some mushrooms and polyps in the future-no other corals than this. I know with the t8 we are ok for FOWLR but if he wanted to upgrade the hood, is it possible to do it without buying a whole new hood?


could we change the ballast for t5's or LED?


I have cats and one in particular is way too curious therefore I don't want to attempt an open top tank.


Any help with this would be greatly appreciated

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Well, that's a little different request than the thread you posted in the lighting forum :)


A retrofit is possible.


For a T5 retrofit, you would want to retrofit two bulbs in there, just so you have the ability to tweak your color a little. I'm not sure if there is just one bulb that could provide good color all by itself. You should be able to fit two non-waterproof end caps in there (they are smaller than T8 end caps). For a reflector, just line the inside of the hood with aluminum tape (found in the heating and cooling isle of the hardware store usually), or just paint it flat white (pretty good reflective surface actually, and better than gloss if you can believe that). The ballast will have to be mounted remotely, as it will never fit inside the hood with the bulbs. Use one of these.


As for LEDs, there are a few options (I'm sure you want to stick with commercial products and not DIY). A 24" Ecoxotic Stunner (12k/445nm mix) would be a decent option, and there is enough room in there to add a second if you wanted to play with color. There are optional dimmers available, so you can play with color balance (if you have more than one strip) and overall intensity.


For a little more oompf, the Ecoxotic Panoramas are a decent choice. They are quite a bit more expensive, but come with a two channel manual dimmer setup, so you can play with the color and intensity right out of the box.

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