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FAQ - Canopy and Lighting

How to solve the place over the aquarium build into wall between two rooms for lighting and maintenance?
I would place 3.5 - 5 cm laminated waterproof kitchen top board into the wall window which should match the dimensions of the aquarium bottom. It is possible to support it with a metal braces at the side where it overlaps the wall. Over the tank, I would leave minimum 20 cm open area or as much as possible. An aquarium will overlap the wall in one of the rooms, so I think there will be enough room for maintenance. The place over the tank can be aestetically covered by some removeble board. I have only 15 cm over the tank built in the bookcase. I have access into aquariums but they are small (40 cm height, 30 cm depth) so I'm able to reach everywhere in there. However, it could be a problem with bigger aquariums and I would need a bigger free place over them.

May I connect T8 fluorescent lamp to the electronic ballast assigned for T5 lamp?
No. Electronic ballast intended for T5 fluorescent tubes is not usaeble for T8 tubes.

Must I place the glass between the aquarium lights and water level? I'm affraid of the water condensation on the lights.
I always use to use the cover glass over the tank and as close to the tank glass as possible. In other case, the water evaporates. And the reverse side of the canopy would be still wet. The ballast could be affected and also there is possible electric shock hazard. I recommend cover the aquarium with glass. I have the fluorescent tubes only afew milimetres above the cover glass and glass is 2-3 cm above the water level.

What was the cost of this canopy building?
Here is the cost in Euro. Total canopy cost except of four linear tubes was about 68 Euro. The material list and cost is as follows:

canopy frame – laths: 20x40x90 mm – 3pcs – 7 Euro
covering – laths: 10x60x900 mm – 4 pcs – 8.30 Euro
wood screws: 3x16 mm – 1 pack (250 pcs) – 3 Euro
top boards – black laminated fibreboards 16 mm: 87x23.5 cm – 2 pcs + cutting – 4.50 Euro  
piano hinges: 32x900 mm - 2 pcs – 6.25 Euro
edge banding tape: 5 m – 0.89 Euro
glue Ponal Super 250 g – 4.13 Euro
paint: 500 ml - 5 Euro
starter holder – 4 pcs – 5 Euro
starter Sylvania – 4 pcs – 1.30 Euro
electromagnetic ballast 30W – 4 pcs – 15.46 Euro
wires: 3.56 Euro
plugs – 4 pcs – 3.45 Eur

It is possible to save some money, i.e. to buy the wood cheaper. Also not all glue, paint, screws etc. were used. The first thing was to build the accurate canopy for my tank, not to save money. Except of the listed material, also the fans, grids, connectors, AC adaptor were used but it was the addition and I found later that it was not needed. Tubes were a little bit expensive but there is also option to find some cheaper. My 4 tubes cost over 50 Euro.

Copyright © 2003 - 2012 Robert Toman



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