DIY lighting challenge


Premium Member
Here's a DIY challenge!

I have a 34 gallon corner tank with a Coralife 96 watt quad PC and a 65 watt actinic PC. The tank is 18" deep. I would like to upgrade my lighting using my existing canopy.

The problem is trying to fit better lighting into this particular canopy configuration. The usable area of the canopy is a triangle - 26", 18", 18". The top of the canopy is 6-7" from the water.

Any ideas?
I bet you could take the PC stuff out and fit a single 175W MH or, if you've got SPS, even a 250W in there with a spider relector or equivalent, then put the 65W actinic back in to supplement and simulate sunrise and sunset. A 400W MH may be too much for that size tank depending on your livestock's light requirements but I'm sure someone somewhere has done it.
A Mini lumenarc or similar pendant will get you the most bang for the buck with regard to light transfer into the tank. Don't even consider DIYing a reflector unless you are willing to use a much larger bulb (wasted output) to get the needed light into the tank.
I would say that with only a 6”-7” space above the water a halide inside the hood would be pushing it.
I have a Deltec halide which is only 3½” deep but to keep heat down and get a good spread from the light it needs to be at least 6” from the water.

Could you cut a hole in the hood and sit a halide on top?
Never thought of the idea of cutting a hole in the top to place a MH. Good thinking! I guess I could then build a three-sided box around that to blend it into the existing canopy a bit. How much bigger would I have to make the hole than the fixture itself?
I was thinking of a hole the size of the reflector and sitting the halide on the hood.
On the Deltec unit that would be about 8” square.
If your going to cut the hood, go with the luminarc mini...they are amazing reflectors...more even spread of light than anything out there, other than the luminarc L3's :)

You could prob just wait until you decide on a reflector and get it, then position it at the height you want it at, and figure out how big to cut it from there. I would think that setting the reflector on top of the canopy over a hole would be too high and a lot of wasted light. Your talking the 8" canopy height, plus the distance from the bottom of the reflector to the bulb...prob around 12-14"...seems a little too far for my liking. I've got a luminarc L3 w/ 175w 14K Hamilton sitting right on top of my 26g bowfront right now, and it is doing fine temp wise, if you are worried about temp