View Full Version : diy reflector

09-26-2007, 11:11 PM
what would be the best way to make a DIY reflector? i have a spare 10g so im thinking of making it a nanoreef, and i have a spare 2x40W fixture, but its just the bulbs and the ends, no top. i read that you can use a mirror but that sounds hard. any other ideas?

Lady Hobbs
09-26-2007, 11:13 PM
I read that some use a piece of galvanized gutter.

09-26-2007, 11:14 PM
Mylar is one of the best reflectors available and isn't too hard to work with if you have thin material.

Lady Hobbs
09-26-2007, 11:35 PM
Stainless steel? You'd have to put tape or something around the edges or cut the blazes out of yourself.

I have that wooden canopy I've been thinking about doing something with....like add lights but the thing is about heavy enough.

09-26-2007, 11:36 PM
Stainless steel is an option but is very heavy, has to be polished to reach maximum reflectivity, and is hard to bend without the right equipment/knowhow.

Edit: Look here:

09-27-2007, 01:30 AM
Look for a retrofit kit, and just do a DIY canopy.

09-27-2007, 01:48 AM
I've been considering making a reflective hood using some kind of aluminum tape on the inside. It's the kind of tape that they use to seal ducts in your house if you have forced air heating. Not sure how well it'll perform though...

09-27-2007, 01:54 AM
That reflective tape is just aluminum foil basically. That means it is a diffusor, not a reflector like what you want.

09-27-2007, 02:04 AM
Not meaning to start an argument, but how does aluminum foil diffuse light? Is it because you can't get a perfectly smooth layer and the small bumps/ripples will scatter the light?

09-27-2007, 02:11 AM
Take a sheet of aluminum foil, and a flashlight or lazer pointer into the bathroom, and turn off all of the lights. Tape the foil to the wall. Shine your light on the bare wall. Not the effects. Then shine it on the foil. Notice the difference?

Sometimes it may SEEM to be brighter, when you have it over your tank, but there is less light usable by plants. If you dont have plants/coral, a good reflector isnt really necesary, just use the white peice of plastic, or whatever came with your light.

09-27-2007, 02:32 AM
yep, aluminum foil is useless. its not a good reflector.

i might try that metal GM suggested, the problem is im hanging the lights over the 10g, and the lights are larger than the tank. and the bulbs dont have a top, its just 2 end caps that connect to the bulb, meaning i need a reflector

09-27-2007, 05:07 AM
alunimum foil actually can be a good reflector/refractor in non-plant situations.

09-27-2007, 02:03 PM
alunimum foil actually can be a good reflector/refractor in non-plant situations.

hmmm, but what i mainly need it for is corals