Custom built refletors

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by Anonymous, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Anonymous
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    Hi everyone, I want to build reflectors to get the most out of my lights.

    I have a box full of small mirrors (about 10 cm x 8 cm) would it be possible to glue them to the inside of my hood using silicon? (I bought some Marine silicon that's marked safe for aquariums).

    I don't want to stick these mirrors on and have them fall into the tank and terrorize my fish.

    Thanks
     
  2. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    as i said on the other forum. no you can not use mirros as reflectors as they do not reflect the full light spectrum and also bends the light beams. rather get polished metal
     
  3. Anonymous
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    Thanks Henk, I don't really know much about lighting.

    This is for a 3 ft tank, I have a 30 watt ballast that is rated as being able to power 2 x 15 watt tubes and I just wanted to get as much as possible from them. I have heard that one needs 1 watt per 2 litres of water and 30 watt tubes are longer than the hood of my tank. I don't really want to have 2 ballasts.

    How much light do you guys recommend for a 3 ft? I will be keeping corydoras in it (mine are spawning every 25 days now) and I need the 2 ft tank for the fry. They do not like light that is too bright, but they love plants so I want to have enough light for my floating plants.
     
  4. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Hi 10i

    The easiest way to get the most out of your lighting is to paint the inside of your canopy white. You will definitely see the difference.

    What floating plants are you keeping with the cories?
     
  5. Anonymous
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    I have hornwort & water weed.

    The cories spend hours browsing the plants looking for food.
     
  6. Andre
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    Hi 10i

    What water weed is this? Elodea densa?

    You should maybe look at getting some Hygrophilla polysperma or difformis. They are fast growing stem plants who dont need too much light, and they are not declared weeds AFAIK (so you are allowed to keep them).
     
  7. Anonymous
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    Andre, thanks!

    I have no idea what waterweed I have (I'm very stupid as far as plants are concerned).

    The pet shops here don't really have a wide variety of plants. It's a hit & miss affair where you have to take what you can get basically. I have tried different plants with varying success, the best results have been with these floating plants.
     
  8. Philip
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    Philip Algae harvester

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    Mirror is the best reflective material that one can get for maximum light diffusion, but the only problem is that one cannot bend the glass to give the desired affect. Do not try to glue pieces of mirror together, the light would be reflected in all directions and be of no use.
     
  9. Cameron
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    Cameron Green fingers

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    I've read that white is the best reflector as mirrors actually absorb the light.
     
  10. Steve
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    In my experience, the diffence between mirrors and diffusers is that if you have a bright spot on a tube/globe, a mirror will reflect the bright spot exactly as it "sees" it, so instead of a spread of light you can end up with bright spots all over the show.
    A diffuser, most commonly white paint on metal or plain polished metal, (usually aluminium), spreads and "blends" bright spots to give a more even spread of light all over.
    White PVC works as well, but has been known to affect the visible, (to humans) appearance of the light, depending on the composition of the PVC and the light source used(makes it look more "blue")
    Personally, I use white paint in my canopies, with two that have white PVC reflectors as well.
     
  11. R.C.
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    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

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    The problem with using white paint is that it becomes yellow with age. From what I've read, Mylar is the best material to use. My Hopar PL & reflector light unit, makes use of Mylar for reflection. So far I’m very impressed with the results, compared to the normal black canopy and light unit that I had before.
     
  12. Ryan
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    I got hold of some 2mm white perspex, and glued that to the inside of the canopy with silicon. The canopy was made of plywood and painted with this black varnish type stuff that stains the wood and waterproofs it. It works quite well.
     
  13. Discus
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    Discus Algae harvester

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    I lined the inside of my aquarium hood with aluminium foil years ago. It worked pretty well. :)
     
  14. Anonymous
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    I bought a roll of aluminium foil and so far it's working well.

    Thanks for all your input guys!
     
  15. Ryan
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    Just watch out with the tin foil, it is possible that it will start rusting when in contact with the humid air above the tank.

    What do you need a reflector for anyway? Floating plants will most likely grow fine without any reflection, I have some Hydrocotle that grows like wild fire with basically no extra effort.
     
  16. Discus
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    Discus Algae harvester

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    Aluminium doesn't rust.

    It may corrode. But around freshwater, once it has a passive oxide layer (which it already has out of the box), it's pretty resistant to corrosion. Just avoid mercury. Mercury and aluminium really don't play nicely together.
     
  17. kevinw
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    If you were to paint your canopy white, should you use a specific type of paint?
     
  18. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    high gloss enamil
     
  19. CAtfishluvva
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    CAtfishluvva Algae harvester

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    I sprayed the inside of my lid silver, isit any good? Seems to be ok...
     

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