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Canopy or leave open?

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Mrfixer3166 View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 09 2017 at 12:30am
Hello, I'm having such a hard time deciding what I want to do. I have a 125 gallon tank cycling right now ( its a 48 inch wide tank not the long one)and I'm working on my lights right now. I don't know if I should hang my lights from ceiling or build a canopy for the Lights. I would think it would be easier to clean the tank without the canopy but worry about the light protruding out into the room to much. I have just 2 Chinese box lights to light it right now. I hear nothing but bad about them but got for a good deal while I save my money up. Plus I would like to buy used because I'm poor and don't have lots of Mula. But I thought maybe I would ask you guys? Canopy or not? Hang from ceiling or not? Or wait and buy me some kessils? Which isn't possible right now. Thanks for your help. I can't wait to put fish and coral in my new tank



Edited by Mrfixer3166 - September 09 2017 at 3:17am
120 Gallon 48 inch tank with 36 gallon Refugium.
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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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I've been at this 30 years and still don't know.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote love2skiutah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2017 at 9:23am
You could swing by and see how mine works if you are ever up North.  I love mine and I love that I can hide my lights. Mine just opens up and it's pretty easy to access the tank.  Even though it's 8 feet long, it's super light.  The wifey can help me slide it off and onto the floor if I need to get down and dirty.

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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2017 at 9:26am
Adam makes me LOL

It comes down to personal preference and the particular aquarium situation. I like to see my saltwater ponds and put my arms into the water anytime, so I don't use a canopy - never have. I'm a coral farmer from way back, when we first learned how to propagate coral from one of the Pioneers, Leroy Headlee, now deceased:  www.garf.org 

When going canopy-less, hanging lights down from the ceiling is only one of three options:
Option #2 is to hang the lights from a shelf bracket or hanging planter bracket attached to the wall above and behind the aquarium. 
Option #3 is to place wood or acrylic braces across the tank top frame (designed so they can't possibly slip and fall into the tank) with the LED lights attached.

Did you know? Looking at other peoples tanks is the best way to find out what you like. You can see some of my tanks over the years in a thread I have placed at the end of the list of Reefkeeping Tips, click here. Hobbyists are welcome to come by my shop in Murray to see my current systems using both hanging and tank top fixtures.

As you can see from the entire Reefkeeping Tips thread, I have worked very hard at finding the most cost effective ways to set up and maintain a reef aquarium and inexpensive ways to avoid most reefkeeping problems. One of my philosophies has always been to use what I have and make it work. 

That said, I love the new top of the line LED lights, including the one you mentioned, but I would never spend my hard earned money on a Kessil light. Please don't misunderstand me. It's not because they aren't one of the three best LED lights available, but because we have right here in the WMAS, a source of one of the other three best LED lights at budget friendly prices. Check this thread but don't be put off by the OP which indicates that the first batch of lights he had are already sold. He gets more all the time: Aqua Illumination LED lights for sale

A wonderful thing about these top quality LED lights is that they use an in-line, rather than in-fixture, power supply. This drastically reduces the weight of the hanging light fixture. The Chinese Black box lights weigh ~15-30 lbs. The AI, Radion and Kessil lights weigh ~1-7 lbs.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2017 at 9:39am
Aaron's setup is even more beautiful in person. I've seen it. 
There you go. Isn't this a great club! Three responses and two invitations to visit. Big smile Adam uses four (or maybe six?) of the Chinese Black Box lights over his ~300 gal tank. Below is a pic of his awesome reef, from a few years ago.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Teknik777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2017 at 11:50am
I have had both and I like both! But for my new tank I went with a canopy. I haven't quite finished the columns that will go from the stand to the ceiling. I also made the sides as doors on hinges so I can access the side of the tank easily. I am hoping its starts a trend!





Helps keep the light from shining in the room and on your face!



Edited by Teknik777 - September 09 2017 at 11:55am
220 G SPS Display.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tileman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2017 at 8:50pm
I have never had a canopy on my larger tanks. I love the ease and ability to get into the tank for maintenance and is easier to keep the water cooler during the hot months.  I just like the look of an open tank.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shaggydoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2017 at 9:01am
I like the look of open tanks the best, but I've lost some fish to my current vanity (open 60g tank). So, I am now leaning towards canopy tanks just to save on carpet deaths.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2017 at 9:29am
All of my tanks are rimless and without canopies, however, when I build my dream tank it will have a canopy. I really like the look of a custom finished tank that is floor to ceiling. 
RedSea Max S400 - 90G Rimless Frag Tanks x2
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2017 at 10:37am
Good point Marcoss. 

In thinking about this, I came up with a (possibly incomplete) list of the range of styles:

- Full closed canopy - no escaping light, fans absolutely required for cooling & gas exchange.
- Open top/open back canopy - some light escaping up and out into the room, fans typically required.
- Hanging canopy, open bottom (see * below) - light escaping down and out, fans usually not required.
- Hanging light fixtures, shaded (see ** below) - light escaping to the room, fans not needed.
- Hanging light fixtures - light escaping to the room, glare from open lights, what's a fan Wink.

* this style is rare, yet unique. See the pic below of our own Dion Richins tank.
** shading from direct glare with a cut panel of thin gauge flexible black plastic attached to front and possibly sides of the fixture, hanging down 3" - 6".

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

Pic courtesy of Dion Richins Driftwood Aquarium Furniture facebook page.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevin.st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2017 at 11:04am
On large tanks, I prefer a canopy.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2017 at 1:15pm
Originally posted by Adam Blundell Adam Blundell wrote:

I've been at this 30 years and still don't know.

Adam
 Big smile I know I'm being silly, but I greatly miss the huge Hawaiian species "tank" I had for a couple years. No canopy over that tank made it easier to get into. Wink
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the possibility of living there. It was my wife that got us there and then she found me a dream job in paradise. Man, I miss that place. Cry I guess that's why, for me, open water, where I can touch and smell the ocean, is preferable to furniture. 
How can you beat this view from the kitchen window?



This was just one of my favorite Mangrove Refugiums.


Favorite fish? I don't know, but this is a face anyone could love.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dion Richins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 8:37am
I've been running floating canopies for a few years now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Teknik777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 9:09am
Tank is looking sweet Dion love the floating canopy! And the new display!
220 G SPS Display.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote backwards32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 9:47am
Here is a pick of my hanging canopy. all the lights are totally hidden and housed within.

Fish Food Direct
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call or text me anytime
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mrfixer3166 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 10:45pm
Thank you so much everyone that responded. It truly does help with question i have.
120 Gallon 48 inch tank with 36 gallon Refugium.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chevmaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2017 at 1:50pm
If the tank is running in a well lit room and your tank lights are on around the same hours as daylight, the bleed over is not very noticeable.  If your tank is in a dark room or you run your lights late at night, then i prefer a canopy.  It doesn't have to be a full canopy, can be floating or just a canopy with the top taken off that the lights sit above.  I really don't like the bleed over in a dark room.
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