Here are 5 easy steps to make a fish tank light hood at home. Hoods with light strips serve as a protective layer and also provide lighting in the tank.
How to Make a Fish Tank Light Hood? You can make a fish tank light hood at home using simple tools and materials. You can use PVC and cut tank hood according to the size of the aquarium. Then attach light strips on it and connect it to a socket, then fix it on the open side of the fish tank. It is a simple procedure and will take only two to three hours for completion of all steps.
- 1 How to Make a Fish Tank Light Hood?
How to Make a Fish Tank Light Hood?
Hoods cover the aquarium and protect all the electrical appliances of the tank. It can prevent the evaporation of water and decreases humidity in the room.
Fish require 5500 to 6000 kelvin of light for viewing, and 75000 kelvin light is necessary for planted fish tanks. Keep it on at least for twelve to sixteen hours. The lighting is essential for the exchange of oxygen and heat in the water. It also plays a vital role in photosynthesis and helps plants grow.
Tools and materials required
Following Is a complete list of all tools and materials to make a lighting hood.
- PVC or plywood
- Hand saw
- Drill machine
- Silicon sheet
- End caps
Easy Steps to make a fish tank light hood at home
Follow all the steps in sequence to make an aquarium light hood:
Measure the fish tank
The dimension of the fish tank is already mentioned on them by the manufacturer. The size of the aquarium of the same volume differs from brand to brand. They can differ from each other slightly by some inches.
A typical 55-gallon tank measures 48.25×12.75×20 inches. This difference can create an issue when cutting the hood for the tank. You should measure the length, width, and depth of the tank for accuracy.
Take a measuring tape or ruler to take measurements. Take the length of the tank from both sides. Then measure the height from top to bottom by placing the measuring tape along with the aquarium glass.
It is essential to measure the depth of the tank from front to back. You can also take the tank width from across the front to estimate the gallons of water required in it. Note all the measurements in a notebook and sketch the tank on a separate sheet.
Prepare the aquarium light hood
You can use different materials to prepare a tank hood like PVC, glass, and acrylic sheet. Among all the PVC is a suitable and cheap option. A 10 to 12 feet PVC sheet costs approximately $10 and a glass sheet $20.You can buy glass and PVC from any hardware shop.
Now estimate the front back and side length of the PVC by taking measurements from the tank sketch. The front and back should have the same size, so they can exactly fit on the tank’s sides. The side panels are shorter than the front and back panels. It is a box-type hood; its height is ¼ of the aquarium height.
First, draw all the sides on the PVC with a permanent marker and then cut it with a hand saw. Place all the pieces together in an upright position and use glue to stick them together. You can also use clamps to hold all the parts together tightly.
When you wish to decorate, it paints a bright color varnish on it. Use fresh paint because deteriorated varnish can cause toxicity in fish. You can also attach any fish drawing on the outside of the hood to give it an aesthetic look.
Construct customized aquarium light
You can use different kinds of light to illuminate the tank. Fluorescent lights are a cheap option for this purpose than other lights it causes extreme heat in the water. You can use LED lights to prevent overheating.
It cost approximately $10 to $15.LED strips with different numbers and colors of lights are available in the market. These are waterproof lights and can run on 12 volts.
You can use lights with different color schemes according to the living organisms in them. To achieve maximum brightness, use white wavelength light in the hood to enhance plant growth and clear view.
Then you can protect the LED lights from water drops with an aluminum sheet, which serves as a heat absorbent. An aluminum sheet at a specific angle is suitable to stick all the strips with adhesive glue.
Then cover all the LED strips with silicone sheets to make them waterproof. Wrap it on all the wires to prevent any damage. Now connect them to the power source with electric cars. First, insulate the ends of the wire with electrical tape.
Then connect it to the controller and then to the power source. Refractive tapes are essential for reflecting maximum light in the tank. Cover all the LED strips with refractive tape after finishing its construction.
Attach LED lights to fish tank hood
Before attaching lights, drill two holes in the PVC hood. You will require end caps, clippers, nuts and, bolts for this purpose. Each end cap should be ¾ of an inch; make a mark on the center of them with a permanent marker. Then drill holes through each end cap with a drilling machine.
Then place two end caps inside the PVC sheet at an equal place. Then make a mark on the sheet exact where the end cap hole resides inside it.
Then you can again place end caps on their sites and secure them with nut and bolt. Drill another hole in between two end caps to allow the power cord to pass through it.
Then attach the lights with the tank hood and insert lights in end caps properly. You can use separate clippers to make the light secure inside the hood. You can mount fans inside the hood to properly circulate the heat inside and outside.
If you are low on budget, drill holes in the tank canopy for ventilation and control the heat in it. Now you should test the hood lighting before placing it on the tank. You should troubleshoot all the problems before fixing them on its site.
Place the hood on the tank
After attaching fix hood on the top of the tank. Place it exactly along the side of the tank so that it completely fits on it. To secure it, you can use hinge support and clippers. Hinges can allow limited movement of the hood to feed the fish inside the tank.
It should open from the tank front to get easy access to your fish and place two or more hinges on the far side of the aquarium.
Secure the hinges with the lid with the help of screws. You can also attach different moldings around the hood to block the light along the edges. When you have a glass hood, secure it in its place with waterproof rubber cement because you can not drill holes in it.