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  1. #1
    Member sreist's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Question Building a Hood from Scratch

    Hi Everybody,

    I'm looking to build a custom hood for my 100G (72x18"). It is currently a FW tank but I might convert it to SW in a few years. I'm looking for suggestions on:

    1) type of material to use (plywood, partical board, other)

    2) how to make a front access door or flip up front

    3) can I use standard NO shoplights for the FW setup (I'll change the lighting if I decide to make this a SW tank)

    4) the min distance from the water the lighting should be (how tall the hood needs to be)

    5) what to use to seal / paint hood on the inside to help reflect the light into the tank

    6) what can be put on the back of the hood to keep the light from escaping the hood but allow filters and wiring to run

    Thanks in advance,

    Scott
    Oh my that's expensive :canadian: oof:

  2. #2
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    1. Plywood or particle, your choice. I recommend 3/4"

    2. Flip up lid or small access doors. The lid looks better if done right and allows better access.

    3. Not recommended, however, you can. The moisture inside the hood would not be great for the fixture if the endcaps are not sealed. That being said, my Hagen light fixture does not have sealed endcaps.

    4. Depends on the type of lighting. Normal floresants 6", Metal Halides 12". I don't know about VHO or Power Ccompact.

    5. White Marine grade paint available at any hardware store.

    6. Nothing! Leave it open for ventalation and gas exchange from the water's surface. You will not notice the light coming from the back. If you feel that it will bother you than forget the canopy and buy a top mounting light fixture. You can buy 6' fixtures that look very neat and tidy with built in fans.

    It may be worth your while to join www.reefcentral.com so you can look through the gallery at the different canopy options.

    Good Luck,
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

    Hardware:
    220 Gal Mostly SPS Reef, 66 gal sump with refuge, 33 gal refugium, Gen-X Mak-5 Return, 3 x IceCap 250 MH, 2 x 110 VHO, Deltec APF600 Skimmer and a Deltec AP-600, Geo 6-18 Calcium Reactor, 2 x Tunze Stream 6100, Profilux Plus II EX Controller.

  3. #3
    Senior Member steve666's Avatar
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    I would never use particle board on any part of an aquarium stand especially the canopy.
    We need more Indians!

  4. #4
    Senior Member orion's Avatar
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    I second what steve666 points out..
    particle board when wet or damp swells up ply wood is a much better choice 3 coats of varathane or marine grade paint should last for yrs

  5. #5
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    If you paint the MDF good it won't swell.
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

  6. #6
    Senior Member steve666's Avatar
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    <edited by IJO... this type of comment is unacceptable>

    Why risk it?
    We need more Indians!

  7. #7
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    I built my cabinet and canopy using 3/4" particle core with the exception of the front rails and trim pieces which are solid maple. Almost all cabinetry including commercially purchased aquarium stands are made with particle core in North America. The trick is to use veneer strips on all exposed edges the same as you would for plywood. What ever finish you use will seal all corners so there is no chance of a swelling if you have the most basic of carpentry skills and tools as I do.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

    Hardware:
    220 Gal Mostly SPS Reef, 66 gal sump with refuge, 33 gal refugium, Gen-X Mak-5 Return, 3 x IceCap 250 MH, 2 x 110 VHO, Deltec APF600 Skimmer and a Deltec AP-600, Geo 6-18 Calcium Reactor, 2 x Tunze Stream 6100, Profilux Plus II EX Controller.

  8. #8
    Senior Member badmedicine's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    All I can say is ....WOW!
    I have never seen better cabinetry
    I tip my toupee to you on a job well done.!
    I have a lot of Patients

  9. #9
    Member sreist's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I had made some plans with 1/2" ply but I think due to the lenghth I'll use 3/4".

    SWISEMAN: Wow that is some fine work you've done. hyeah:

    Any pictures from you DIY'ers would be great. It definatly helps me visualize where I want to go with it.

    Scott
    Oh my that's expensive :canadian: oof:

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Fantastic job swiseman and your correct. The trick to using core type board is SEALING out the moisture. Buying a good quality (density) of core board for the project and having the right type of saw blades also goes a long way toward a nicely finished job.
    Rob

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