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Unread 12/30/2005, 01:32 AM   #1
mmoore0803
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T5 finnex conversion

So I went cheap for my 30g hex and decided on t5 lighting b/c premium aquatics was having a sale on 23" hoods with lights included

I had that fixture on the tank for about 1.5 months and then came across a thread that said one could modify the Finnex hood to contain individual reflectors instaead of just 1 big one (thanks trottman)

Well, I wanted more light w/o the heat of Halides and after being convinced that t5s were the way to go as long as each bulb had it's own reflector...I dove into this project...and when it was all said and done, I spent about $200 rather than the $300+ it would have cost me to buy a TEK hood

so here's what I started with


the ballasts....these hoods come apart real easily


This was fun....figuring out where to drill for the screw holes to hold the reflectors in place...can you see the holes I made in the original reflector?


All put back together


This hurt to look at....seriously...my eyes still hurt


the whole thing from start to finish took me a whopping 30min...now I have to track the growth of my corals.


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Unread 12/30/2005, 02:52 AM   #2
WarDaddy
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thats hawt!


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Unread 12/30/2005, 03:21 AM   #3
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Good work just make sure you protect those endcaps as they are not water proof. I was thinking of doing the samr thing. did you use IC reflectors or the TEK ones?


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Unread 12/30/2005, 11:07 AM   #4
mmoore0803
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the end caps are protected by the plastic shield on the finnex fixture

The reflectors were bought from reefgeek.com and I believe they are sold as the tek reflectors

Thanks


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Unread 12/30/2005, 11:31 AM   #5
trottman
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nice job and great pics! i wish that i would have taken some when i did mine!


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Unread 12/30/2005, 11:49 AM   #6
raydz
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Great thread! I will be trying this with the 48" Finnex fixture... I hope there is room... Has anyone tried modifying a "Orbit" fixture to T5's? I have one and I may try that also...


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Unread 12/30/2005, 03:57 PM   #7
drew22to375
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looks great.

Why did you mount the reflectors to the hood instead of mounting them to each bulb. Is there not enough room between each bulb.

Drew..


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Unread 12/30/2005, 09:37 PM   #8
mmoore0803
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Quote:
Originally posted by drew22to375
looks great.

Why did you mount the reflectors to the hood instead of mounting them to each bulb. Is there not enough room between each bulb.

Drew..
Didn't think I could mount the reflectors to the bulbs...there was plenty of room to do so I just did it this way...glad people are liking the mod...again thanks trottman...as he gave me the idea...I want to see pix of the 48" hood....great savings there


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Unread 12/30/2005, 11:10 PM   #9
drew22to375
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmoore0803
Didn't think I could mount the reflectors to the bulbs...there was plenty of room to do so I just did it this way...glad people are liking the mod...again thanks trottman...as he gave me the idea...I want to see pix of the 48" hood....great savings there
The Tek reflectors I got from reefgeek comes with clips that attach to each end of the reflector then the reflector clips right onto the bulb so you get the maximum light reflected to the tank. Of course that was 2 years ago maybe they have changed them since then. Either way will work great tho..

Drew..


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Unread 12/31/2005, 01:07 AM   #10
REMF
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Nice job, defiantly a cool money saver. Could you notice quite a lot of difference from 1 large reflector to the individual reflectors while it was on your tank?


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Unread 12/31/2005, 01:51 AM   #11
mmoore0803
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Quote:
Originally posted by REMF
Nice job, defiantly a cool money saver. Could you notice quite a lot of difference from 1 large reflector to the individual reflectors while it was on your tank?
definately a much brighter tank with the new reflectors in....of course I forgot to take pix of it on the hex before....my bad...now I have to figure out a canopy for this thing as it hangs off the edge of my tank by 2" on each side


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Unread 12/31/2005, 02:21 AM   #12
fishypapas
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hey mmoore, did you "bend" the reflectors a bit? from one picture to the other, they look smaller and more rounded.

thanks

fp


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Unread 12/31/2005, 02:22 AM   #13
mmoore0803
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Quote:
Originally posted by fishypapas
hey mmoore, did you "bend" the reflectors a bit? from one picture to the other, they look smaller and more rounded.

thanks

fp
Yup....not much though....enough to get all 4 into the fixture


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Unread 01/08/2006, 12:08 AM   #14
tangov559
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How much was your fixture? and where did you get it from, mmore.


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Unread 01/08/2006, 10:51 PM   #15
mmoore0803
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Quote:
Originally posted by tangov559
How much was your fixture? and where did you get it from, mmore.
bought it from Premium Aquatics.....supporter of this site....i think I paid just over $100


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Unread 01/09/2006, 01:57 AM   #16
shouldabenacowboy
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Nice mod.....


SBC


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Unread 01/09/2006, 08:37 AM   #17
raydz
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After receiving my 48" Finnex fixture.... I determined that I could not do the mod. The endcaps mount directly into the reflector and the fixture is not wide enough. Overall the Finnex is not too bad.... not nearly the quality of Orbit but considering the price its ok.

Interesting observation I made was that this fixture with 4 t5 bulbs was not any brighter than my power compact orbit fixture. maybe its because they use the single reflector.

I've decided to build my own fixture now that I have all the parts. I did'nt like the sockets so I ordered the waterproof type.


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Unread 01/09/2006, 10:29 AM   #18
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You should still be able to do the mod.
Quote:
The endcaps mount directly into the reflector
thats ok since the reflectors mount onto the bulb itself with clips.


Quote:
fixture is not wide enough
You might have to bend the reflectors a bit to get them to fit, the Ice Cap reflectors are 2.5" wide.

Quote:
Interesting observation I made was that this fixture with 4 t5 bulbs was not any brighter than my power compact orbit fixture.
The reflectors will change that.


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Unread 01/09/2006, 12:21 PM   #19
mmoore0803
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Quote:
Originally posted by raydz
After receiving my 48" Finnex fixture.... I determined that I could not do the mod. The endcaps mount directly into the reflector and the fixture is not wide enough. Overall the Finnex is not too bad.... not nearly the quality of Orbit but considering the price its ok.

Interesting observation I made was that this fixture with 4 t5 bulbs was not any brighter than my power compact orbit fixture. maybe its because they use the single reflector.

I've decided to build my own fixture now that I have all the parts. I did'nt like the sockets so I ordered the waterproof type.
That's odd...the tek reflectors I recieved were actually shorter than each bulb (see pix)...You can cut the end caps out of the 1 large reflector and then cut out the ballasts and mount them to the top of the finnex hood or the tops of the individual reflectors....The light output is similar to PCs when their is 1 big reflector...T5s are most effecient and produce the most light when each bulb has it's own reflector.....also, as I said....the reflectors have to be bent to fit in the hood.


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Unread 01/12/2006, 06:57 AM   #20
raydz
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Well... I finally got all my parts. After looking at the Finnex endcaps..... I decided to go with the waterproof type. After laying out the individual reflectors, There is no way they will fit in the Finnex canopy. The relectors would have to be bent to the point of altering their design (thus diminishing their effectiveness)

I've decided to just build a new canopy using mostly new parts. The only thing I'm going to use from the Finnex is the 2 ballasts, which seem to be decent quality. It was a expensive experiment for me. It at least made me research all the components carefully. I even replaced the bulbs. In a test.... The Finnex (Jalli) bulbs don't even come close to a good quality german bulb.

If anyone is interested... I can post some picks of the dis-assembled Finnex.... or the new project,

Ray


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Unread 01/12/2006, 05:37 PM   #21
mmoore0803
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pix are good!


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Unread 01/12/2006, 06:47 PM   #22
WZHANG
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I like dose "Jamicon" ballasts you got dere mon.

Sorry couldn't resist.

Do you think the fact that the reflectors have to be bent a little in order to fit, will somehow affect the...er... reflectiveness of the reflector? If that makes any sense...lol.

Do you think it is possible to remount the sockets giving a little more space between the bulbs.

Does this fixture have legs too? This seems like a really nice project!


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Unread 01/13/2006, 10:14 AM   #23
perpetual98
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I've got the exact same fixture and I was going to try to put individual reflectors in it, but I think I'm going to go from a 26G bow (24") to a 20L (30") and in that case I'll just gut the Finnex and retro everything into a canopy. Hopefully I can still squeeze a couple of halides over the tank in addition to the T5s and the individual reflectors.

I also took one of the 24W ballasts off and replaced it with a 39W ballast on the white bulbs. They're a lot brighter. Throws a little more heat and the bulbs life may be diminished, but it was a curiosity thing for me.


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Unread 02/18/2006, 02:40 PM   #24
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where can i purchase good individual reflectors at? is it possible to do the same mod but with Nova Extreme T-5 Fixtures w/Lunar Lights ?


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Unread 02/19/2006, 10:34 AM   #25
raydz
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I got my reflectors on the reefgeek site.... measure your fixture carefully... each relector is 2.25 inches wide. I had to build a hood to get 6 relectors in.


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