DIY T-5 retro hood


New member
I just put together this hood for my new T-5 retro's and thought I would sare a pic. In the pic I don't have it painted and not completly wired yet and the lid isn't on. Each light bar is hinged and has a hook so that each light and be lifted and held in place to work in the tank.
I'll try and borow my parent's camera again this weekend, it's in Mexico untill Thurs.
lbear, There are a total of three ballasts. I had thought about mounting them on the back of the hood, but decided there was too much of a chance of them getting splashed. So I mounted them to the inside wall of my stand. I've got them all on three different timers, so I can do a three step dawn/dusk stage.
Looks Neat.. Could take some more detailed shot please..

Also, The Bulbs seem very close together how are you going to place the reflectors ..
What are the dimensions and for what size tank..

The idea of each light assembly being on its own bone-shaped mount should be the ultimate in flexibility.

MY T5 Retro is now in Kentucky, and on it's way to NY. Go UPS!

Kamla, It's for a 29gal tank that's about 24x16x18. Each of thoese bars is 2.5" in width, just over the size of the reflectors, so there is about .5" between each reflector. Thats why I also cut the spaces inbetween the bars so that I could get some air flow around the bulbs and reflectors. It was pretty tight in there befor I did that. I'll take some more pics as soon as I get the cammera. I'll be sure to take some so that you can see how close the reflecors are to each other.
BigJPDC, It's working pretty good so far. I'm one of thoes reefers who can't keep their hands out of the tank, so it was a must.
222 - do you have enough slack in the wiring to be able to rearrange the bones instead of taking the bulbs out of the sockets?

I've got enough slack between the back of the hood and the ballasts that I could pull some though and do that (I've got enough slack that I can pull the hood off the tank and put it on the ground without unhooking any of the wiring), but it only takes a minute to pull out the bulb and replace it. I think it wold take longer to unscrew the hindges to bones.
I got it now. I was thinking of leaving the bones free floating, and maybe using slots or pins to keep them in place. Either way, it looks great.

i like that idea of each t5ho on a hinge.

but be careful so they dont slam down accidentally while working on the tank
Ballast mounting decisions decisions.

In the stand - one side will be next to the skimmer, the other is the overflow into the sump. Both have potential for splashing.

I'd like the ballast to be up in the hood to minimize all the wiring, leaving only the power supply cable running down.

How are people protecting their hood-mounted (or otherwise) ballasts?

I can see how mounting them in the stand could be a problem with the sump down there. I would think you could mount them on the back outside of the hood (inside they may generate too much heat). The stand isn't a problem for me since I don't have anything under it, but the back of my hood sits over my HOB fuge.
I'll know more when it all arrives. UPS says it's enroute to Jersey now, hopefully I have my kit on Friday and I can roll the bones.

Outside back of the hood or the top would be best, probably mounted to some kind of splash guard.

222 - is there much light sprawl coming through the bones onto the ceiling? I did a small (8" wide) single sliding bone test last night, using only my moonlight bar (T5 retro parts are now in Philly and Jersey, should be here today or tomorrow), and the first thing I noticed was how nice and dark it was above my open top-and-back hood for the first time.

I hardly get any light coming out of the hood. The reflectors do a really good job of directing the light down into the tank.
I would love to see more closeup pictures of that hood. I built a DIY hood for my 90 gal, housing 6 x 48" HO T5's but I have to slide the lid back each time I want to put my hand in the tank. I have a hinged front on the hood but I burn my arm every time I try to reach in to move something.
Mount the lights to a panel and hinge the back of the panel so it can be raised from the front, then put a few stop blocks in to rest the front on. Even some eggcrate may be better for good venitlation.

Just a thought.
That would be a thought. The problem is, the way I designed the hood, I need the shelf that the lighting is on for strength, so it can't be hinged.